Alisdair is a PhD case study for the IGIBS project. He is 8 months into a PhD that is developing a tool to interpret almost ant kind of imagery into part of a time line for mapping habitat change. You can view his university profile here. He says that the key descriptors for this work are “universal” and “precise”. So he is aiming create a tool that can be applied to images from Landsat , IRS and SPOT for example and from these data he is trying to draw out both changes in extent of habitats since 1975 and in timings of changes within a season. So he might be able to look at loss of semi-natural woodland through felling and to identify changes in the timings of tree bud burst that might relate to climate change.
In order to make data created at different times precisely comparable he needs to perform some complex processing of imagery and to filter out variable factors that distort the images, such as atmospheric quality. This means that his data requirements for the PhD are very wide ranging and have covered satellite and aerial data from the past 35 years detailing ground cover, atmospheric quality and many things in between.
There are also issues around the accessibility of data that will be worth exploring for the IGIBS project as some of his source data is commercially protected but much of his output and analysis might be more freely available. So some data will only be for University use while other parts of his work will be more accessible.
While the ultimate aim is to provide change maps for the whole of Wales, the pilot study is covering Borth Bog (Cors Fochno in Welsh) in the Dyfi Biosphere and so will provide a suitable case study for IGIBS.
In particular this case study will highlight some major areas of the IGIBS project.
- His need for such a wide range of geospatial data from differing sources could feed into recommendations for metadata and data discovery aspects as well as security issues and intellectual property rights.
- He will be producing maps of habitat change that could be useful to landscape researchers, WAG agencies, and many other categories of data users and so he is attempting to establish a link with the National Library of Wales so that his research can establish a resource for future use.