Geological Surtvey of Ireland RFT for landslide inventory survey of Kerry and Mayo

Issued 25th June 2013

Closing date: 11th July 2013, 12.00 noon (GMT)

As part of the GSI landslide susceptibility mapping project and the ongoing development of the GSI landslide database: County Kerry and Mayo landslide inventories are to be developed and integrated into GSI’s landslide susceptibility model.


Assess imagery datasets and identify candidate landslides in the two areas

Develop and deploy a strategy to carry out an efficient campaign of reconnaissance and validation fieldwork to establish the bona fides, or otherwise, of the candidate landslides and to record the landslide attributes.

Using the additional inventory data; implement the methodology developed in the previous stages of the landslide susceptibility mapping project in County Kerry and Mayo and report on its effectiveness.

Document all project tasks and workflows in systematic reports.

Please see eTenders website for further details here

Global Intelligence Forum – Waterford: Spies like Us in the South east

The 3rd annual Global Intelligence Forum takes place in Waterford. This is a serious event run by MercyHurst college in US but held, each year in Dungarvan:

There are some important speakers (head of Interpol for one). And whilst not mentioned explicitly on the agenda, I’m sure that GEOINT will get a look in.

Though I’m not sure what the Irish Speaker, Robert Watt, Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, will be talking about. What do the CIA know about Haddington Road that we don’t!

Irish landcover change 2009-2012- New LUCAS data published use with some caution

The preliminary results for the EEA/Eurostat LUCAS frame area survey for 2012 for Ireland have been published. You can find all the details and data here but in short the landcover at point on a 2km grid covering the country were recorded on a field trip. 4000 or so points and they can be directly compared to a similar survey in 2009. I’ll be working on this data for a while but I thought I’d show you a danger warning first.

The graph below shows the comparison between 2009 and 2012 at an aggregate scale for Ireland and you can see that there is little change of interest (the numbers are the numbers of points recorded)


Nothing remarkable there but when you look at point by point change there is a huge amount of churn. The table below looks at points in 2012 with the same ID as 2009 and compares Landcover code.


obviously 25% of built land in 2012 was not grassland in 2009, so something needs to be explained. Clearly there is a high degree of spatial uncertainty in these repeat observations (not all by any mean are visited direct many are viewed from afar or via remote sensing).

The main reason for this is that the locations of the target points are not always visited. The first point in the list is shown below with the target in Red, the location from where the observation was taken in 2012 in Blue and the location in 2009 in yellow(the imagery is Bing Maps from 2011):


Given the quoted uncertainty 2009 was obviously observed from the road. the observation in 2012 is H12 Peat Bogs and in 2009 D20 , Shrubland without Trees. Indeed if we compare the locations of 2012 observation with 2009 (remember supposedly observing the same spot), we get the histogram below:



So only half of the points in 2012 that code to the same location as 2009 were observed from within 50m of the original observation point (neither of which need be the actual target). So I’d be wary, for now, of looking at landcover flows – overall change statistics at National level is the designed use – better stick to it unless some guidance from Eurostat is published.

SmartBay National Infrastructure Access Programme (NIAP) is now open

DCU is pleased to announce that the SmartBay National Infrastructure Access Programme (NIAP) is now open.

 Our goal is to rapidly grow the user base to encompass research teams, SMEs and MNCs, nationally and internationally, and demonstrate significant socio-economic impact through the growth of an associated industry base that commercialises research outputs, or uses the technologies to enhance productivity. This is a modest fund to support researchers wishing to access the SmartBay infrastructure through contribution to additional costs associated with deployments.

The NIAP will run from August/ September 2013 for a period of 2 years. Projects up to a maximum of 25K may be considered. 

The initial call involves Activity II where it is hoped to establish some new research projects involving SmartBay.

Activity II       Budget            75k

Grant-Aid to a maximum of €25,000 per applicant.


More details of the NIAP and application process can be found here SmartBay National Infrastructure Access Programme Activity II  


Please email your application form (to be found on-line at to by 13:00 Friday 26th July 2013.


For further information please contact:

Niamh Flavin – Project Coordinator and Administrator

SmartBay Ireland

Parkmore Business Park West


Tel: +353 91 392 901


Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Remote Sensing and Modelling

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Remote Sensing
and Modelling

The Crop Science Group at the Institute of Crop Science and Research Conservation (INRES),
University of Bonn, Germany offers a position for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2013-2016)
in a project entitled Ecosystems and livelihoods
in the SPACES collaborative research project
Limpopo Living Landscapes – Understanding the dynamics of ecological and cultural landscapes, in the face of global change, in the northern Limpopo region of South Africa

From Drones to Cupcakes

The links between remote sensing and food research aren’t many. Colleagues in The Food Centre in Ashtown use Imaging to assess food and ingredient  quality on production lines and some other uses but here, from The Guardian is my new favorite application:

It took 10 years and an elite unit from America’s navy seals to hunt down Osama bin Laden. Now the technology used to track the most elusive terrorist in history is at the centre of another top mission to help to enhance the life of cakes in British bakeries…..


Elfordstown Earthstation I Midleton I Co Cork
Press Release URL:

PRESS RELEASE: 13 June 2013, for immediate release


Leading global satellite technology companies, space agencies and maritime users from all over the world will visit Cork on 26 and 27 June, 2013 to attend the fourth C-SIGMA Conference (Collaboration in Space for International Global Maritime Awareness), hosted by National Space Centre Ltd, Midleton, Co Cork.  

The conference, C-SIGMA IV is a maritime security conference and workshop which over two days of presentations, discussions and demonstrations will focus on developing global plans and policies needed for the future.  Participants will be attending from Canada, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, USA, Russia, UK and of course Ireland.

C-SIGMA IV hosts, National Space Centre Ltd will add an innovative dimension to this year’s event by using its onsite control room at Elfordstown Earthstation to give real life demonstrations of how maritime domain awareness technologies can be used in real life events.
National Space Centre Chief Executive Rory Fitzpatrick said “At this conference, which explores an exciting and emerging industry, participants will get to meet peers from all over the world and participate in road-mapping future needs. We have experts coming from all sectors including industry, government agencies, maritime end users and emergency services. It promises to be an engaging and productive couple of days.”

C-SIGMA IV sessions will take place at Fota Island Resort Hotel, and Elfordstown Earthstation.  Bookings can be made online at  


* C-SIGMA is an unfunded, collaborative organisation established in 2011 to foster wider co-operation and exchange in the use of and access to satellite based maritime observation information at global level to benefit maritime safety and security.  Previous C-SIGMA workshops were hosted in Frascati (Italy), La Spezia (Italy) and the last workshop C-SIGMA III was hosted by the Canadian Embassy in Washington.

Free Grazing maps for Australian farmers

The sort of collaborative approach between farmer and geospatial industry as outlined below  is one way to over come the cost of ground truth acquisition and improve geospatial data sources.

Ireland’s Space Industry

The ESA Space Expo in TCD last week seemed a success judging by the numbers attending during the nicest weather we’ve had in years. I picked up a copy of a new(-ish, 2012) Enterprise Ireland publication called Ireland’s Space Endeavours, detailing companies and research groups involved in the space industry. You can downlaod a copy here its make eye opening reading if you thought space was what other countries did.

Fodder Crisis mapped from Space

Since the autumn we have been running a number of research projects using satellites to provide information on a national and local level on the production and management of grasslands in Ireland. This research has coincided with an awful autumn in 2012 and very late spring in 2013, creating a fodder shortage on Irish farms. Whilst these projects are in early stages – within a year or two we should be able to produce location specific estimates of grass cover and offer up-to-date paddock management advice – we have produced an interim product to track the extent of the fodder crisis and act as an early warning for the autumn. The product is called a Vegetation anomaly Map based on 10 Years of MODIS NDVI images. In short it compares the amount of vegetation visible in an area (in this image the county is divided into 1km Square pixels) over a 16 day period with the normal amounts in the last decade for that period. It takes into account “normal” variation so only large differences show up as variation. In the images below the range is brown for extremely low, compared to the average for the decade, through orange which is very low, to blue which is normal to green for above average. The first Image is comparing the period around April 25th with the average performance for that period:VIA_097and the Second is for around the period of May15th:


We can see immediately that up to end of April the situation was dire with grass level far below normal. By the end of may things have improved but note that grass levels in most of the BMW region are still below normal (and remember this is above and beyond what you’d expect in a “normal” bad year). Also just because grass amounts are back toward the normal level for this time of year in the south, doesn’t mean the end of the problem most farmers in this region should normally have cut one crop of silage by now and it hasn’t happened this year (so grass amounts are “above average” because they’ve not yet been cut; shows how far behind in the agricultural calendar we still are). The fodder crisis is a cumulative event, that is ongoing,  a late summer drought as in 2006 or a wet autumn as last year could force many farms to the brink again. Its hopped that maps like these will enable us to characterise the threat early on. I’ll be talking about these maps and other uses of satellite technology to aid food security on friday in the space expo in TCD if you’d like to pop along.