Map of the Month for August

We are in the middle of a big restructuring exercise in our lab at the moment. One of the tasks was an audit of our data holdings. My colleague Jesko Zimmermann produced this lovely map showing the geographic distribution of the half a million plus spatial data we hold. Don’t worry we’re not compiling some vast geo-intelligence network- most of the holdings are a from our satellite archive- and most of those are cloudy!

A full resolution version of the Map of the Month can be found here.



Landscaping over time

Apropos of nothing, landscaping in action. It’s interesting, to me at least, to see a piece of land changing over time. Its also rare to catch something like hedgerow removal as it happens (in 2005).



Last week my colleague Richa Marwaha and I were invited to Newgrange by Steve Davis of UCD School of Archaeology to look at the recently discovered crop marks with a thermal camera.

The survey was hastily arranged to get in ahead of the rain, which duly arrived the following morning. Luckily the flight had some success and the thermal anomalies above the archaeological features can be seen in inset image below.

Darker (cooler) areas indicate transpiring plants which are accessing moisture present in deeper archaeological features. The cooler heat fluxes leaving the plants are in contrast to the surrounding, warmer canopy which has regulated its temperature by stomatal closure.

Darker anomalies to the west of the monument are a cooling effect from wind moving through the canopy. Further noise within the signal may be attributed to cloud shadow passing at the time of the survey.

Many thanks to David Redhouse of Newgrange Farm for facilitating access.


Map of the Month for July

Continuing our focus on the weather, Teagasc’s map of the month for July looks at the different ways we have been tracking the extreme conditions across the country. Specifically it shows how, at least up to the end of June, the weather anomalies are largely national events but the impacts, as measured by satellite, vary from region-to-region.

We can see in the images produced by visiting Erasmus scholar Simone Falzoi that grass growth in June is holding up in the north and west, this is mostly due to the “heavy” nature of the soils in this region and how they can hold on to moisture much longer than the free draining soils of south and east.

High resolution image here




New WebGIS: the USDA/FAS Global Agricultural & Disaster Assessment System (GADAS)

The US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) has developed a new WebGIS called the Global Agricultural & Disaster Assessment System (GADAS). While GADAS currently only supports the Google Chrome browser, it contains many useful geospatial layers, including agrometeorology, remote sensing, crop masks, etc.

Here’s a screenshot centered over the northern Atlantic Ocean:


Now focusing in on Ireland, which is subject to a drought now: