Mandy Rudd, GiGL Director
Welcome to the 9th edition of the GiGLer and the first version of our new ‘iGiGLer’. In this issue, we have moved away from PDF files, a sophisticated way of delivering information back in 2006, to this new web-based format. The new iGiGLer will enable us to better communicate what we do. It houses all archive articles, providing a valuable resource of information on our services, partners and data holdings.
Use of the internet has changed – the web is no longer simply a means to present information. In a very short space of time, the web has become home to a highly engaged online community. We hope that the iGiGLer will be the first of many steps we take to embrace what web interactivity can now to do for the GiGL partnership and for how we deliver services and information to our partners and customers.
As well as embracing advances in web-based technology and communications, we are becoming increasingly outward-facing – ensuring that the systems we use and services we deliver reflect best practice.
We have worked very closely with our colleagues in the records centres in the south-east for years, and now, with the advent of the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres, we are able to easily exchange ideas and expertise with over 50 sister organisations throughout the UK. We employ national standards to deliver local services for our London-focussed partnership. These standards also enable GiGL to participate in projects that cross administrative boundaries and to work collaboratively with other records centres at landscape scale and on national projects with GiGL partners whose remit extends beyond London.
If you have read our aims and objectives and relevant policies on data management, you’ll know that GiGL’s role is simply to be London’s leading authority on the collation, management and development of services based on available data on London’s biodiversity and open spaces. To be effective and representative of our partnership, the staff team remain impartial on the range of end uses for which our partners’ data are used.
We develop services that provide tailored access to data that contribute to evidence-based decision making. We don’t get involved in providing advice on what the outputs mean in the context they are being used. Plenty of such expertise already exists within our partnership and we prefer to signpost it rather than duplicate it.
Historically, the GiGL partnership’s data have been used to inform daily practical conservation work and planning decisions. Our partners throw all sorts of challenges at us to inform less obvious agendas, including: relating our partners’ data to other environment-related datasets such as air pollution, the heat island effect and noise to create predictive models; scouting for film locations, mapping happiness in relation to greenspace, and much more.
With this and our membership of ALERC in mind, we have amended our strapline from ‘London’s open space and biodiversity records centre’ to ‘London’s environmental records centre’.