the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

Issue 14

Springing into Action

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

Tolstoy’s words were never truer than at GiGL over the last few months. As flowers and trees have finally bloomed in our late spring, so too have the projects we have worked on feverishly over the winter months. Many of our systems have been reworked and given a good spring clean

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Telling Stories – new website

I have always admired the GiGL teams’ approach to technology. They understand, better than any group of people I know, how technology can be used to achieve great results, to tell stories that inspire change, and not just to impress and scare lesser mortals. Many of GiGL’s service users may not be aware of the detail and intelligence that goes into every product and service they create.

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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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Licence to Use Data

Encouraging use of our data holdings whilst ensuring sustainable funding to manage and improve the resources available is quite a balancing act. Over the last nine years, we have developed a suite of data use licences that offer free access for academic research, defined access for third parties working on behalf of our partners, and funded access for organisations who require access to the data and services we provide to inform local and national decisions about London’s environment.

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A Very Civil Partnership

The end of March 2013 marked the fifth anniversary of the fruitful partnership between The Royal Parks and GiGL. Our partnership began in 2007 with the appointment of Ian Woodward as the first GiGL Royal Parks Officer. Ian got the records system up and running before moving on to do an MSc. He was succeeded in October 2008 by Claudia Watts who is still in post.

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Essex shares its millions (of records)

The Essex Field Club is an entirely voluntary society for wildlife enthusiasts who study and record the natural history and geology of Essex. The Club was founded in 1880 to promote the study of the natural history, geology and pre-historic archaeology of the county of Essex and its borderlands; to establish a museum and to issue publications.

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Churchyards of London

Brian Cuthbertson, Head of Environment and Sustainability at the Diocese of London The Churchyards Ecology Survey is the first phase in a multi-year project called ‘Churchyards for London’. Depending on how you count them, there are about 600 churchyards in Greater London, yet we know surprisingly little about them, especially about the wildlife and ecosystems they…

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A Fresh Perspective on Geodiversity

The GiGL team represent the partnership and their data at many events throughout the year, from regular London-wide fora to one-off specialist meetings and workshops.

One such specialist workshop I attended earlier in the year was the London Geodiversity Partnership’s (LGP) ‘Overground – underground: London’s geodiversity for London’s people’.

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LISI Update

LISI is now starting on projects for its upcoming second year. The first of these is the invasive non-native species (INNS) mapping project. This will devise a standardised method for collecting data on invasive species and a way for recorders to get their information into the GiGL database where it can be stored, used and shared.

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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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