Serving a Changing Society
Preface | 2006 Achievements | Serving a Changing Society | Supporting the Knowledge Economy | Protecting our Environment  | Mapping our Earth Resources | Engaging with Society | Co-operating Abroad | Providing a Stimulating Work Environment | Using GSI Services

Customers of national geological surveys such as the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) require easy and timely access to relevant information in support of a wide range of aspects of national life. Those aspects continue to embrace the management of natural resources but have, over recent decades, expanded to include construction, linear infrastructure, environmental protection, heritage and education.

The proposed EU INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community) Directive, whose contents were recently agreed by the European Parliament and the European Council, aims to harmonise spatial information across Europe and will be highly influential in how geoscience services, including those of GSI, will be delivered in the future. Under the directive, EU member states will be obliged to apply common principles to the administration of their map and spatial data services. Europe’s citizens will have better opportunities to find useful environmental information and updated metadata on the Internet. Likely to be enforced from summer 2007, the Directive will be a considerable challenge to providers of digital and spatial data such as GSI.

The development of the island economy within the island of Ireland, which is a strong focus of current North-South collaboration, is influenced by varied rates of economic growth within each jurisdiction, as well as demographic trends that may see the island population return to pre-Famine levels within one more generation. The uneven geographic spread of these factors draws strong attention to the importance of spatial strategy on an all-island basis. Elsewhere in this report the evolving co-operation between the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI) and GSI is described and it represents a response, which is driven by the need for balanced regional development and economic competitiveness.

While GSI will continue to provide baseline mapping and surveys, society’s needs are such that it must increasingly move towards monitoring our environment as a basis for modelling important environmental processes and forecasting their impact on our future lives.

Readers of last year’s GSI Annual Report (available here) will be aware that GSI developed a strategic vision to 2015 which took account of the need to develop web-enabled information services. GSI’s mission, as the national geological agency, will continue to focus on supporting national and regional objectives with suitable information and advice. For a statement of the core values, which drive GSI in delivering its mission, see box “GSI Core Values”. The strategic goals of GSI are as follows:

  • To provide easily accessible and accurate geological
  • To support sustainable development, environmental protection and national development plans.
  • To map Ireland’s earth resources.
  • To promote public understanding of the role of GSI and geology in Irish society.
  • To provide a stimulating, motivating and rewarding work environment for GSI staff.

Recent progress on achieving these goals is described in this Annual Report. It contains descriptions of two new programmes, INFOMAR and RESI, which have been designed to respond to new identified needs of customers. Increasingly data are licensed in digital format to users and a list of available databases is available in the appendices to this report on 2006 Appendices to Annual Report. Data are provided free of charge for educational and research purposes, and this is an important aspect of how GSI encourages the use of its data.


GSI undertakes its mission through the application of its core values:­

Excellence – This must underpin all our activities from vision to operating procedures and final products and services;­
Accessibility – Data are made available to all users in a timely manner and in user-friendly formats;­
Responsiveness – GSI strives to understand and anticipate the real needs of its customers and stakeholders, and to respond effectively to them;­
Ethical awareness – GSI displays integrity, equality and impartiality in its services and data;­
Societal awareness – GSI develops its programmes in response to society’s needs;­
Stimulation – The prompting of research and innovation through use of our data to create added value for customers;­
Cooperation – The creation of maximum benefit for customers and stakeholders through cooperation at regional, national, North-South and international levels;­
High Skill Levels – It is through the constantly updated skills of our staff that we create value for customers and stakeholders.­­

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