BEGIN seminar – Dr Paul Holloway

Date: 11 June 2019
Time: 15:00-16:00
Venue: Forbes room, Irvine Building

From static to dynamic: Aggregating the conceptualisation of movement data better captures real world and simulated animal-environment relationships.

Habitat selection analysis is a widely applied statistical framework used in spatial ecology. Many of the methods used to generate movement and couple it with the environment are strongly integrated within GIScience. The choice of movement conceptualisation and environmental space can potentially have long-lasting implications on the spatial statistics used to infer movement-environment relationships. This study explores how systematically altering the conceptualisation of movement, environmental space, and temporal resolution affects the results of habitat selection analyses using real-world case studies and a virtual ecologist approach. Model performance and coefficient estimates were explored between conceptualisations of movement, with substantial differences found for the more aggregated representations (e.g., segment and area). Key findings from the virtual ecologist approach identified that altering the temporal resolution identified inversions in the movement-environment relationship for vectors and moves, while systematically increasing resistance to linear features (e.g., roads) was not identified for individual aggregations. These results suggest that spatial statistics employed to investigate movement-environment relationships should advance beyond conceptualising movement as the (relatively) static conceptualisation of vectors and moves and replace these with (more) dynamic aggregations of longer-lasting movement processes such as segments and areal representations.

Bio: Paul Holloway is a lecturer in Geographic Information Science and Systems in the Department of Geography and a Principal Investigator in the Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork. His research and teaching interests include using GIScience and spatial analysis to address a suite of ecological, environmental, and geographic issues. His research addresses the long-standing issue of how to incorporate movement at different spatial and temporal extents into species distribution models, how the use of volunteered geographic information and machine learning can improve spatial predictions, and how movement data and geographic context are used to understand movement processes.


GIS day 12/1/18

GIS Day @ St Andrews
When: Mon. Nov 12, 2018
13:00 – 15:00
Where: Forbes Room, Irvine


Donald Payne, Land & Air Quality Officer, Fife Council
Mapping land contamination in Fife

Anne Robertson, Head of Services, EDINA
Digimap to encompass global coverage and socio-economic data

Sebastijan Sekulic, PhD Candidate, DGSD
GIS & machine learning to detect forest from satellite imagery

Corallie Hunt, PhD Candidate, DGSD
Improving the spatial analysis of Scotland’s marine sedimentary
carbon resource

For more information contact Jed Long (
See also:

GIS Day Poster 2018

Making maps for complete beginners: An introduction to Geographic Information Systems

BEGIN is collaborating with CAPOD to provide training in GIS for researchers and postgraduate students at the University of St Andrews. The next instalment of this course will be in October:


Date: Tue 16 Oct 2018
Time: 1000-1700
Key details: Explore the spatial dimensions of your data and transform your boring spreadsheets into engaging and informative maps. No previous GIS knowledge required. You must bring a laptop with the latest version of free QGIS software installed.

Course information

This course will introduce students to the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The basic structures of GI data, vector and raster, will be explained alongside key applications and uses. Students will be introduced to basic mapping and spatial analysis in QGIS, which is a free and open source software, available for most platforms. The course will support studies from any discipline where GIS mapping is of interest, including geography, history, environmental sciences, biology, international relations and archaeology. No previous knowledge of GIS is required.

The workshop will consist of two lectures (30 min each) and two labs (remaining time). The lecture will provide theoretical support for the labs, in which the participants will have hands-on activities in QGIS to familiarise themselves with the software and develop their skills.

You must bring a laptop with the latest version of QGIS installed.  Lunch is provided.

Course pre-work

Must have the latest version of QGIS installed on your laptop. We will email you a link for downloading the latest version 1 week before the workshop.

What previous participants have said about this course:

  • “Excellent, well worth attending if you are a complete beginner.”
  • “Excellent basic introduction to the programme. Lots of time to work through examples and questions.”
  • “Very useful and powerful tool to show your spatial data.”
  • “Feel better able to use data like this in my own research.”


Aims and objectives

By the end of this workshop you should be able to:

  • Understand the basic structures of spatial data
  • Understand spatial distortions on maps
  • Display spatial data into a map
  • Perform basic spatial analysis.

See the details and book the course through the CAPOD course booking system.