Posts by Matt Davies

Reflections on a decade at GiGL

In January 2015, after a decade at GiGL, I resigned my position as Operations Manager to take a much needed sabbatical with my young family. We headed to Mauritius, where I branded beaches with ‘GiGL Rocks!’ footprints using the custom flip-flops given to me as a leaving present.

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Structuring Surveillance

We at GiGL are always striving to increase the number of records we hold by encouraging more people to get involved in recording, and by supporting existing recorders in carrying out surveys and encouraging them to share records with us. Previous GiGLer articles have looked at some of ways in which we work with recorders, recording societies and the general public to this end.

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iGiGL – better than ever

iGiGL, our online data portal, is now fully fledged. We are very proud parents. As well as allowing the general public to find and plan a visit to publically accessible wildlife sites and open spaces, iGiGL now allows GiGL partners to view and download a wider range of datasets. Its user friendly interface also allows for use on mobile devices so people can find a site to visit when they are out and about.

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iGiGL-a-go-go

A new online mapping interface that allows Londoners to find London’s parks open spaces and wildlife sites has emerged out of the demise of similar services, the rise of the All London Green Grid and increasing demand for web-based access to GiGL’s key datasets.

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Rivers of Data

We always knew that iGiGL, our new online mapping interface, had great potential. Its value in allowing users to access our data without the need for desktop mapping software has already been recognised by Natural England and the Environment Agency. For no sooner had we launched iGiGL than they approached us about the possibility of extending its functionality.

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Street Trees

In the winter of 2008, we discussed how GiGL had been commissioned by the Capital Woodlands Project to help identify areas of London lacking street trees. In this article, we return to the subject but take a broader look at street trees in London and at aspects of street tree data management. The London Assembly’s 2007 report, Chainsaw Massacre, highlighted ‘the unfortunate practice of removing broadleaf trees to avoid subsidence damage claims’. At the same time, they found that ‘Londoners value the shade and cooling that urban street trees offer in the summer, how they improve street environments and reduce noise and dust from road traffic [and] crucially, how they also mop up carbon emissions’.

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Room for improvement

Providing ecological data to private and public sector organisations is one of the core functions of any local records centre. April 2011 saw the launch of GiGL’s new data search service. Our data search system and the content of our reports has been significantly improved in line with GiGL’s aim of enabling evidence-based decision making.…

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Plugging the Gap

Matt Davies, GiGL Data Manager In the winter 2009 issue of the GiGLer, I shared some novel visualisations of the GiGL database designed to help us all better understand the data we hold, whether they accurately reflect what’s on the ground, and where geographic or taxonomic gaps exist. We’ve been very pleased with the response…

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Making data count

GiGL holds a lot of data. But what exactly does all that information represent? Matt Davies, GiGL’s Data Manager, is beginning to find out what lies beneath. Over the last few years the GiGL database has grown to become a considerable resource with approximately 1.3 million species records. As our data holdings have grown, so…

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The only way is up

Matt Davies, GiGL Data Manager, on the benefits of our latest software upgrade. After considerable effort to install, accurately migrate data and develop the custom reporting we need for our day-to-day work, our Recorder 6 database is now up and running. Having reached the one million record milestone, the limit for the old Access-based system,…

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