geographical information system

As part of our heritage research we are building a GIS for the abbey area.  This will enable us to put any information that can be geographically located into a mapping system.  We are at the early stage of the work, but we are already fascinated by the power of the GIS mapping tool to overlay features of interest so that they can be studied together.  In the image above a set of 4 differently processed Lidar, (elevation data), images are superimposed on an OS map.  On top of these examples of images taken from the photogrammetric survey and pins locating sites connected to the Abbey have been added.

Our research information is being assimilated using a free and open source Geographical Information Systems called QGIS, which will help us interpret the data effectively. The project’s volunteers are working with Dr Jemma Bezant of the Sacred Landscapes project to learn how to harness the software’s extensive potential. We’re also collating and layering many publicly available maps, including Ordnance Survey, tithe maps, estate and enclosure maps, as well as Lidar images and curatorial information.

The image below demonstrates how the GIS system helps us make sense of these various sources. It uses the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map as its base, with a section of the Surveyor’s drawing of 1817 and a Lidar image. This is overlain by the definition of the Golon Grange boundary (green line), as identified by David Williams in his 2001 book The Welsh Cistercians, as well as the location of Gollon Manor and two nearby farms belonging to the abbey.