Earth Day: Peatlands Mapathon in Galway a great success

Submitted on Monday, 22/04/2024

European Peatlands and Policies Open Data Mapathon

In spite of the orange weather warning in Galway, the European Peatlands and Policies Open Data Mapathon 2024 in the University of Galway was a huge success.

With 184 people registered and 20 teams participating in the Mapathon, the following countries were all mapped using QGIS open source software, Ireland, the United Kingdom (Scotland and England), the Netherlands, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.

Teams identified and mapped the peatlands right across northern Europe, they identified and visualised policies and they linked these with insights from open data.

The event was held online and in person at the University of Galway (Insight/DSI) sponsored by the Dept. Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform in Ireland as part of their open data engagement fund. A special Heritage Award was sponsored by The IRC COALESECE/INSTAR+ PROJECT Irish Peatland Archaeology Across Time (IPeAAT), UCC, Cork and Open Data support was provided by Derilinx.

The winners of the event were as follows:

1st Prize, Peat-cell Pixels led by Behaz Mozafari of UCD who mapped Ireland.

2nd Prize, Kastani Street led by Liina Hints of the University of Tartu who mapped Estonia.

3rd Prize, Peat Finders led by Shivani Negi of Wetlands International who also mapped Estonia.

A special heritage award was won by the Peatlands Policies Polygons led by Ellis Dupker also of Wetlands International who mapped the Netherlands.

Event organizer Niall Ó Brolcháin, Unit leader of ASPECT @ Insight at the University of Galway, was delighted by the huge interest from across Europe. He said, “working with a pan European community to develop an open data ecosystem to support the restoration of a real peatland ecosystem is a great privilege. The fact that this event touches on so many different policy objectives was quite an eye opener even to me. Many thanks to all the people who supported this event in so many different ways”.

We were particularly delighted to welcome Hugo Lachater and Théo Duch who travelled to Galway from France courtesy of the Interreg NWE Buffer+ project and Bethany Copsey representing Repeat who travelled overland from the Netherlands.

Mapathon TV was broadcast live on youtube at: