European Peatland Mapathon to unlock the potential of the Peatland Policy Portal

On 6th of April a unique Mapathon event will take place in the University of Galway. The purpose of the event is to discover the extent of available Geographic Information System (GIS) based peatland maps right across the European continent. Teams of four will participate in the event from up to 18 European peatland countries. The event hub will be at the Insight centre for data analytics in Galway and online right across Europe. The event will be broadcast live on YouTube. 


Multidisciplinary teams will work together to map peatlands and policies, right across the continent in order to piece together the first European-wide peatland map based on open data. This will be used to link policies, websites and other information relating to peatlands in a very visual way. There will be cash prizes for the most effective teams taking part in this exercise. 


The data and the information gathered will be used to improve the existing peatland policy portal being developed by the EU Life Multi-Peat project and to raise awareness of the huge ecological importance of peatlands. 


Each team will be asked to create a web-based peatland map relating to their own country or region in order to visualize and provide information about the peatlands in their own area. These will be collated by a team in Galway who will add these to a larger map of Europe. Work will take place in advance of the competition to encourage public bodies to provide open data to allow participants to map the peatlands of Europe. 


While the Mapathon will primarily use the English language we will do our best to make sure that language is not a barrier. People from all European countries understand the language of visualization. 


The purpose of the peatland policy portal is to assist policymakers and decision-makers in developing policies to restore peatlands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve biodiversity. This can be achieved, by ensuring that degraded peatlands can once again become fully functioning wetlands. 


Sign up for the Mapathon 👉 here.

By Niall Ó Brolcháin: Unit Leader of the ASPECT unit in the University of Galway.