Your records at GiGL

Your data plays an essential role in decision-making at all levels, helping to protect and improve biodiversity and geodiversity in London and beyond; inform planning decisions, target surveys and resources, etc.

Data gathered by volunteer groups, individuals and during commercial surveys are valuable resources for future scientific and educational purposes. It increases the impact and visibility of research and encourages improved research methods. Sharing data also avoids duplication of effort and cost in collating the same data twice.

Analysis of collated records can reveal underlying patterns in recording and help with survey effort and gap analysis – find out more about analysis of recording here

If you share your survey data with us we can develop our services, including data search reports, to better inform your future desk studies and surveys. The CIEEM, through their Code of Professional Conduct encourages public availability of data wherever possible.

Read more about how one London borough is encouraging greater sharing data.

One advantage of GiGL’s non-for-profit business model is that we are also able to make selected information available to researchers without charging for our time. This helps students on their way to completing their courses, and also promotes learning and discussion about our datasets. Sometimes, it also generates new data for the partnership.

GiGL’s work would not be possible without the many recorders in London. If you’d like to learn more about getting involved with recording, explore our Recording Section.

What happens to your records

We don’t sell data. We simply charge for the time it takes to produce a bespoke product. We operate sliding scale of charges depending on the type of organisation using our services. Our charging policy explains more.

Read more about the life cycle of data at GiGL.

Your data could be used for a number of purposes, including:

  • Land management. Many of our partners are responsible for managing, or overseeing the management of, sites within their remit. GiGL data can be used to support land management, including the writing of management plans and the protected site designation process. Where possible, this data flow is a two-way exchange as the more up to date the data, the better the local, regional and consequently national reporting can be.
  • Planning. GiGL data inform the planning process via two main routes.

Local authority access Planning, biodiversity and parks departments can engage with GiGL data through their borough SLA, and use their full resolution data to help appraise ecological risks or opportunities.

Planning applications can be informed by a GiGL data search report. These are normally commissioned and interpreted by a qualified ecological consultant. Data search reports typically include information about protected and invasive species, habitat survey data, open space information and data and citations for designated areas. Read more on GiGL’s role in planning.

  • Recording. One of the most important of GiGL’s services is supporting recorders. We help with the digitisation and verification of records and provide access to existing data for a recorder’s interest taxon/site.

We have also built a number of public survey forms for partners wishing to find out more about particular species in their area, and to engage with the public.

  • Education. Many of GiGL’s SLA holders have an education remit. They can use GiGL data and services to support educational initiatives and public engagement. For example, we helped design and host the online version of South London’s Horniman Museum’s ‘naturebase’ wildlife survey.

We also support higher level research via our student and researcher data service.

Validating & verifying data

We accept data in all manner of formats and enter it into a database developed to nationally defined standards.

The integrity of our data is important to us and all our end users. Our Advisory Panel includes species experts who volunteer to check the identification of unverified records in the GiGL database, starting with priority species. Records that come from recognised experts in their field are verified by their expertise.

Our validation and verification policies for biodiversity data and for open space data explain more about the process.

Making data available

Our accessing data policy sets out how we will treat and make available our partners’ data, including via the National Biodiversity Network’s Gateway.

The policy sets out how we treat confidential records and the resolution at which data are made available. Data providing partners are encouraged to agree to the conditions set out in the policy regarding the management of their data, but we can and do make exceptions at our partners’ request where we would otherwise lose access to an important data resource.

Our data use licences clearly set out the permitted use of the GiGL partnership’s data, the duration for which the licence is valid, and what must happen on termination of any agreements with GiGL.