the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

Data Overview

Privately Owned Public Spaces

Greater London is endowed with some fantastic public open spaces. However, with over eight million residents enjoying the city’s amenities, as well as the huge influx of tourists for whom our green spaces form part of the lure, …

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Show & Tell: Tailored Geology Maps

“Environmental data” is a catchall phrase that encompasses a huge range of possibilities. While GiGL’s best-known datasets are our partnership’s biodiversity and open spaces data, we also have access to a range of additional environmental …

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Living History

In 2011, I wrote about my involvement with the ornithology records of the London Natural History Society, noting that I had first crossed their path some twenty years before that. Five years on, the nature of the project has changed, but much of the original challenge remains. I had seen my role, offering services to GiGL to process some old data, as not too demanding. However, when space in the Union …

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Sharing is Caring

CIEEM requires its members to share data with records centres. Yet in many cases this is not happening. Should ecologists, developers or records centres be concerned? A group of Build UK members teamed up with GiGL, ALERC, and The Ecology Consultancy to investigate why more wildlife information is not currently being shared, and to find a solution.

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Masses of moths

GiGL currently holds nearly 2.8 million species records. Whilst I can’t claim to have input all of those records myself, I can lay claim to just over 1.5 million.

In recent years, the greatest number of records has come to GiGL as large datasets from established recording schemes such as the London Natural History Society.

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What’s in a name?

London’s open spaces weave through housing estates; grand London plane trees overhang busy roads; and gulls settle in wet patches of local football fields. iGiGL is a great tool for a little armchair sightseeing of the 47% of Greater London that is green.Clicking on the intriguing shapes that outline London’s parks and open spaces will bring back a wealth of information on site uses and facilities, a description of the wildlife or habitats, and snippets of local interest or history.

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Re-introducing GiGL’s Datasets

GiGL’s datasets have changed a lot over the last few years. We are providing more types of data and more data products than ever before. Even our standard GiGL datasets have had an overhaul. After all these changes, our data guide has been treated to a face lift too [link to new data guide]. Here’s a quick summary of some of the main changes to our datasets.

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London Sets a Trend

London has a trend-setting framework for protecting and enhancing biodiversity. The Mayor’s Biodiversity Strategy has two main themes: protecting important wildlife habitat and priority species, and improving access to nature. These two themes are reflected in the strategy’s two main targets.

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Accessing Wildspace

Maps of Areas of Deficiency for nature (AOD) appeared in all the borough handbooks produced by the London Ecology Unit during its lifetime, from 1986 to 2000. The aim was to show where people had to walk more than one kilometre to reach an accessible wildlife Site of Metropolitan or Borough Importance.

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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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