Work Package 2

Assessment and selection of geographical data for the spatial model

The objectives of this work package are to identify available spatial data, and, based on an assessment of these data sets, select the most appropriate spatial data for use in the spatial distribution model.


This work package will consist of three tasks:

  • WP2.1 Identification of available spatial data
  • WP2.2 Review of the spatial data sets
  • WP2.3 Selection of the spatial data


WP2.1. This task will focus on identifying spatial data sets covering the entire Ireland. Data providers will be identified and contacted, if necessary, in order to obtain access to spatial data and associated metadata, holding important details on e.g. coverage, projection and date of compilation. Spatial data for a number of themes will serve as input to the spatial distribution model, and will be selected among the available data sets taking into consideration, which data are the better proxy for an emission source or sector, and which data are of higher detail. Relevant data sets include road network preferably including mileage and road types, population density on high spatial resolution, building theme including information on building use and land use map including e.g. forest, agriculture and industrial areas. More data sources and geo-data catalogues have been identified, and will be further assessed during the project, here among the Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi), the GeoDirectory, the Geoportal, and IRLOGI. Also, it is relevant to further explore census data provided by e.g. the Central Statistics Office, Teagasc and the National Road Authority. It is expected that spatial data from public authorities are available to the project by no cost.

If national data are not available or applicable, international data sets will be used to set up the model, e.g. CORINE (Coordination of Information on the Environment) land cover maps could be applied for the agricultural sector, OpenStreetMap for mobile sources, and LandScan population data for residential combustion. It must be noticed that national data are preferred and that international data, that are often less detailed, will only be used in the absence of applicable national data.


WP2.2. A review will be carried out of the collected spatial data e.g. regarding resolution, coverage, age, quality, cost, update frequency, and applicability for the purpose of creating the spatial distribution model. During the review it will be assessed which spatial data are the better proxy for the emission sectors in the national emission inventory, and the number of distribution keys will be decided.

In the process of reviewing the spatial data, it might in some cases turn out that very detailed data are available and found to be the best proxy for minor emission sources, but also that applying these data and converting them into spatial distribution keys will be very demanding, labour-intensive and/or costly. In these cases an individual assessment will determine if the detailed methodology will benefit the resulting spatial emissions to an extent that justify the effort, or if a more simple methodology is preferred. The emphasis will be to achieve the highest possible accuracy within the resources available and to be conscious of the fact that the models shall remain operational after the end of the project period. During this phase it will be necessary to have 1-2 meetings with relevant stakeholders that have access to the spatial datasets.


WP2.3. Based on the review, the most appropriate spatial data will be selected for the model development. Many factors are of importance when selecting spatial data and it is not necessarily the most detailed or the newest data set that will be selected. This might be the case e.g. if the coverage is insufficient, the spatial uncertainty is too large or the data format is unsuitable. The selection of spatial data will be carried out in close dialogue with the EPA concerning specific requests.


Review report for WP2