Map shows the green spaces in Exeter, including gardens, cemeteries, parks and playing fields. (Part of the entry submitted by Rebekah Alford)

University of Exeter hosts GIS Day mapping challenge

The University of Exeter once again celebrated GIS (geographical information system) Day, this year with a 48-hour mapping challenge.

The event aimed to maintain the interactivity and social element of events hosted in previous years, despite being held online due to Covid restrictions.

A central theme was motivation to provide participants with a solid career-enhancing takeaway as well as an exciting test of GIS skills.

GIS Day is an international celebration of GIS, which a framework for gathering, managing and analysing data using maps or 3D scenes.

In the mapping challenge, students were asked to explore and present o the subject: "How accessible is Green Space in South Devon?"

Participants had to produce a panel of maps demonstrating analysis for either a location comparison or in-depth analysis of one location.

Within the 48-hour window, participants had to acquire open-source data, complete analysis and create maps of high cartographic skill.

Event host Daneen Cowling said: "The maps produced were beyond any standard we were expecting.

"They clearly demonstrated significant thought behind the decisions made to define the task, choose and analyse appropriate data, and present effectively for the audience.

"This made deciding the winners very tricky."

The three winners were Rebekah Alford (UoE cartography competition), Hannah Barnett (best data analysis) and Hannah Barnett (most creative map).

Eleanor Clement, an Exeter BSc Geography with Applied GIS and European Study graduate who now works for Ordnance Survey, gave a talk about her career at the start of the event.

She gave insight into how she has transitioned from university to her graduate job, and how her degree helped her.

The event itself (marking the start of the 48-hour challenge) was held on 18 November.

To read more about the event and challenge, visit the blog produced by Daneen Cowling: https://geoneen.wordpress.com/2020/11/25/gis-day-2020/

Date: 16 December 2020

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