Mallon Technology

Case Study

Galway County Council

The Client

Galway County Council is responsible for the administrative area of County Galway, excluding Galway City.  The council is responsible for the planning, design and construction of important infrastructures, such as roads, water supply, drainage facilities and certain social and quasi–social services, such as housing, fire stations, libraries and burial grounds.

The Problem

Galway County Council in collaboration with River Basin districts in Ireland required assistance in the completion of an updated dataset for the Forestry Inventory and Planning System (FIPS).

The FIPS is a GIS platform that is designed to act as an aid for the long term strategic planning of the national forest resource.  The system covered a total of 570,951 hectares digitised to 2m accuracy.  However, since its initial completion, Forest Service statistics indicate that 95,813 hectares of woodland has subsequently been planted.

The decision to update the FIPS to provide a new forest cover vector layer was driven by a need to produce reliable and up–to–date forest cover statistics and related spatial data for carbon accounting and for environmental modelling and monitoring.

The Forest Inventory required the merging together of three datasets following separate processes of data preparation, cleaning and validation.

What We Did

Mallon provided GIS consultancy services to the project and assisted with the linking of spatial data representing forest parcels/plots to attribute information.  Attribute information that needed to be captured included contract number, species, percentage stocking by species, total area, exclusion type and exclusion area.  In total, attribution of 8,000 forestry contracts was required.

A processing team was also set up to verify, log and code data according to prescribed standards and to input data in collaboration with the Forest Service.  Part of the process also involved the flagging of real world changes on the updated colour orthophotography.

Manifold was used to capture Land Unit Numbers which allowed for analysis and review of the work undertaken.  This helped to establish new standards as well as providing feedback to ensure accuracy and consistency throughout the project.

The Benefits

  • The client was able to complete the FIPS update on time to a consistently high standard
  • New working standards were established, ensuring that any future updates to the system would be completed accurately
  • The up–to–date FIPS system now enables for accurate analysis to be undertaken across various datasets