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NZ GIS In Conservation (GiC)
NZ GIS In Conservation (GiC) is a registered charitable organisation set up to foster and support the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by volunteer conservation groups throughout New Zealand.
The purposes of GiC are to:
• Provide volunteer GIS experts to assist in the use of this mapping technology;
• Provide an email list where members can contact other like-minded groups;
• Provide a discussion forum for members to share their experiences and issues;
• Help groups locate source base data and maps;
• Develop and promote practices and methods where GIS can help solve conservation issues;
• Develop and grow a portfolio of tips and tricks for members; and
anything else which will help GiC achieve those purposes
GiC’s focus is on volunteer conservation groups throughout New Zealand that have or plan to set up conservation programmes and projects. Many of these groups will be registered with Charities Services as, like GiC, they will be relying primarily on donations.
GiC can help volunteer conservation groups in a number of ways:
- Facilitate, for little or no cost, access to high quality GIS software.
- Provide GIS experts who can help groups with insufficient funds and/or technical resources and have deferred the use of GIS maps for their conservation work.
- Help groups work smarter with institutional stakeholders through the use of GIS mapping (e.g. Greater Wellington Regional Council works in partnership with MIRO in the East Harbour Regional Park).
- Provide GIS specialists to mentor groups so that their conservation work can be carried out more effectively and efficiently (e.g. using GIS technology to map NI Robin breeding areas for effective predator trap placement; modelling the spread of weeds; and modelling annual species plantings).
- Help groups engage better with their own volunteers and the wider public through the use of GIS maps that give positive visual feedback.
GiC will be hosting an ArcGIS Online web site where volunteer conservation groups can sign up to a secure area where they would load, update, and maintain their conservation data, and even extend this to include data submitted by the wider public. The range of information saved as data can be extensive (e.g. bird counts, nest sites for fauna, pest weed sites, animal sites, significant flora/fauna sites).
GiC’s expert volunteers would help groups load and update data via their web page on ArcGIS Online. The data can then be inserted onto high resolution aerial maps which most groups already have access to and can install in their ArcGIS Online area. These maps can be printed off so that GIS software and expertise is not required during site visits.
Individuals and conservation groups can become members of the GiC after paying a nominal subscription. Members will then have access to a range of shared benefits:
- Access to ArcGIS Online and GiC’s volunteer GIS specialists.
- Enhanced feedback to volunteers so that they can focus their efforts and measure the results (e.g predator hotspots, pest eradication success, increased forest coverage, etc).
- Increased satisfaction among volunteers as a result of having more accurate maps that make better use of their time in the field,
- Share with other members their contribution to the development and enhancement of conservation work in New Zealand.
- Reap, in return, the benefits from information shared by other members and resources (including standard GIS software).
- Engage with the wider public and display visually their conservation work.
- Help and support the on-going need for more and more volunteers.
GiC is looking at establishing Chapters throughout New Zealand. GiC’s volunteer GIS experts would be members of a Chapter, and would work collectively and collegially to support volunteer conservation groups with projects in that Chapter’s defined area. Contact us if you would like to know more about GiC Chapters.
We are in the process of developing a website for GiC. In the meantime we plan to use Nature Space for volunteer conservation groups wishing to learn about and contact GiC.
Interested? Want to know more about GiC and what it is offering?
Email your organisation name, a brief summary of your project(s), your website link if available, and contact us