At the GIS Ireland 2012 conference, held on 11 October in Dublin, IRLOGI, the national geographic information association for Ireland, awarded its ‘Business Case and Return on Investment’ Award to the Heritage Council and National Biodiversity Data Centre, which is operated by Dublin-based Compass Informatics Limited, under contract to the Heritage Council.
Conservation of Ireland’s biological diversity requires a comprehensive knowledge base. As with any effective resource management initiative, there is a need to know what the biodiversity resource of the country is, how the different components of this resource are distributed and how the resource is changing over time.
Providing information on Ireland’s biological resource is the primary task of the National Biodiversity Data Centre. The data is used for a many purposes, including documenting natural capital, tracking changes in the environment, informing public policy development, and managing change in land use.
The Award Presentation: (left to right) Liam Lysaght, Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre; Naomi Kingston, Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht; Cliona O’Brien, The Heritage Council, and Andy Day, Compass Informatics
The National Biodiversity Data Centre has built a national data management structure enabling existing and future biodiversity data to be integrated on a common platform, to be archived, managed and presented through an online data portal, Biodiversity Maps. The compilation of databases and datasets, generated by both the private and public sectors, brings significant added value to all data holdings. It also builds a comprehensive national overview of Ireland’s biodiversity resources and enables tools to be developed to track national and local trends to inform policy.
The Data Centre’s Mapping System uses state-of-the-art GIS technology offering a range of information querying and reporting functions. The range of functionality available today through Biodiversity Maps will be maintained and enhanced as part of a continued programme of work.
Significant work undertaken by the Compass Informatics technical team on the Centre’s Information Management System ensures compatibility with other systems. The Data Centre provides metadata to INSPIRE and ISO/OGC geoinformation standards. The Centre uses taxonomic dictionaries from the Natural History Museum (London), ensures use of a data model that retains compatibility with that of the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) UK, and utilises software development frameworks that deliver usable and functional systems in an efficient manner (Web, Mobile app, SDI solutions).
The Heritage Council and National Biodiversity Data Centre staff, along with the wider Compass Informatics team, were delighted to receive the IRLOGI award, in recognition of all the effort that has gone in to making the Data Centre so successful. The award is also timely given the commencement of a new five year phase for the Centre.
About the Heritage Council
The Heritage Council is an Irish statutory body that follows an integrated approach to heritage, including both cultural and natural aspects. The Heritage Council complements and builds on the work of other state heritage bodies with primary responsibility for the care of property in state ownership and the designation of protected areas. The mission of the Irish Heritage Council is to engage, educate and advocate in order to develop greater understanding of the vital contribution that heritage makes to social, environmental and economic well-being in Ireland. Our vision recognizes that Irish heritage should be enjoyed, managed and protected for the vital contribution this makes to national identity, well-being and the future. The Heritage Council is a public body working in the public interest, with priorities to support jobs, education and heritage tourism in local communities. Learn more at www.heritagecouncil.ie.
About the National Biodiversity Data Centre
The National Biodiversity Data Centre was established by the Heritage Council in January 2007 and is based at Beechfield House, Carriganore, WIT West Campus, Waterford, Ireland. The Data Centre is governed by a Management Board that is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the work of the National Biodiversity Data Centre and for ensuring proper corporate governance. A new Management Board was appointed by the Heritage Council in 2011. Centre staff are responsible for the development and delivery of a work programme to meet the strategic objectives identified by the Management Board. Staff are also responsible for the day to day running of the Centre. The full-time staff are supported by a team of developers from Compass Informatics Ltd, who are responsible for development of the Centre’s data management and web mapping systems. Meet the Management Board and learn more about the Data Centre at www.biodiversityireland.ie.
About Compass Informatics Limited
From Compass Informatics head office in Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland, and a satellite UK office in London, Compass provide ICT services to the Irish, UK and global markets. Our portfolio of integrated geospatial and information management services assist our clients in daily operations and support strategic management decision making in a timely, efficient and cost effective manner. Our solutions, based on industry standard tools, coupled with our extensive ICT and data management expertise, provide support to many sectors, from comprehensive information delivered at the desktop, to enterprise solutions and Web-based applications addressing a range of needs – from general information to in-depth analysis, for government, businesses and citizens. To find out more, visit us at www.compass.ie or www.compassinformatics.co.uk.
Download the IRLOGI Award Press Release in PDF format.
GIS Ireland 2012 conference web site: www.irlogi.ie/gis-ireland-2012/
Irish Heritage Council: www.heritagecouncil.ie
National Biodiversity Data Centre web site: www.biodiversityireland.ie
Biodiversity Maps portal: maps.biodiversityireland.ie