Organisation - February 28, 2011

A tribute to the map

Wageningen UR environmental scientists have published a new atlas which illustrates a representative cross-section of Wageningen research.

A sneak preview of Mapping Research: an overview of the potential usage of cycle paths in and around Wageningen
Maps are intriguing things. They make a great deal of information clear at a glance.
And nobody knows this better than the scientists at the Environmental Sciences Group, the map champions of Wageningen UR. They know how to capture extensive information in a clear and usable map, whether it is about the soil, land use, climate change, pollution, ecological networking, deforestation, hiking routes in Ghana or cycling habits in the Netherlands. No research is sent out without a visual representation in the form of a map. The map as end-product but also - so it would seem - an end in itself. A sampler of these maps, and at the same time of the green research going on in Wageningen, has now been put together in an atlas by scientists from Alterra and soil science institute Isric. It is called Mapping Research and is a tribute to the map as an information source. As well as a PR product, of course.

Peace on the Ginkelse heath
The map shown here is one drawn up by Alterra researcher Martin Goossen. Goossen is the man behind the website on which anyone can make a personalized holiday map. Highly recommended! This map shows where the Dutch cycle paths are busiest. To put it more precisely: where they are potentially busiest. Goossen: 'This maps what we know about cycling behaviour in the Netherlands, based on recreation research that we have been doing for years. The map is based on questions such as: how often do you go cycling, how long for and where? Per post code area and adjusted for the total number of inhabitants, this is the picture we then get of the area around Wageningen. You can see clearly where it is busy in this area: the Binnenveld, the Grebbeberg and the Heuvelrug. People looking for peace and quiet are best off heading for the Ginkelse heath. We knew that already. But now it has been scientifically demonstrated.