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GIS Technician, Outdoor NI

GIS Technician Date Posted: 18th October 2021 Closing Date: 19th November, 2021 at 1500 ORNI_Greenspace Layer GIS Technician_Information

Position: GIS Technician (12-month fixed term contract – with potential to extend) The Opportunity Due to an increasing demand for our services, we are looking for a driven and enthusiastic team player to assist our dynamic team leading the strategic direction of outdoor recreation development across Northern Ireland. The main project you will deliver alongside a GIS Systems Architect, Project Officer, and Communications Officer is the Greenspace Mapping Layer NI. This will be the first ever authoritative online map of all publicly accessible greenspace and off-road trails across Northern Ireland (more information on the project is provided in the next section). In addition, the GIS Technician will assist the GIS Analyst and wider ORNI Team with GIS and mapping support for other outdoor recreation projects. A passion for the outdoors will help, but first and foremost we need you to have excellent GIS and interpersonal skills to add value to our team and deliver a first-rate service to our external stakeholders. Who We Are Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland is a vibrant not-for-profit organisation with the vision to ‘Create a happier, healthier society where enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoors improves wellbeing.’ We deliver projects for a wide range of partners and clients, including Sport NI, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Tourism NI, local councils, environmental non-government organisations e.g. National Trust, private estates and community groups the length and breadth of Northern Ireland and increasingly the Republic of Ireland. In addition, ORNI provides secretariat services to the Visitor Safety Group and Outdoor Recreation Network, both United Kingdom and Ireland wide networks which champion good practice and knowledge sharing in our industry. We pride ourselves in keeping abreast of international best practice to provide innovative, visitor focused and high-quality solutions for our partners and clients. Our key areas of activity include:

  • Feasibility and Scoping Studies

  • Holistic Site Planning and Development

  • Innovative Product Planning and Development

  • Marketing Strategy, Planning and Delivery

  • Delivering Training and Sharing Best Practice

  • Event Management

What will you help us do? Based in Belfast (albeit currently working remotely due to COVID-19) you will join an ever-expanding team to work on a range of exciting and innovative outdoor recreation projects. ORNI has secured funding to develop a Greenspace Mapping Layer for Northern Ireland. As a crucial member of this project team you will help deliver an authoritative online map of all publicly accessible greenspace and off-road trails which will be used for by government departments and agencies to inform greenspace, leisure, health, and infrastructure planning; as well as being available to the public to encourage greater engagement with the outdoors. The Greenspace Layer will be designed so:

  • The target of ‘90% of the population within a 5-minute walk of quality green/blue space’ proposed for Programme for Government and other strategies can be objectively measured;

  • It can be used by government departments and agencies, Councils, and eNGOs, for infrastructure planning, gap analysis, resource allocation, site suitability assessments and demographic analysis (e.g., health and deprivation etc);

  • The data will be visually engaging and published on Spatial NI, OutmoreNI and OpenDataNI.

Using data models developed by the GIS Systems Architect from datasets provided by OSNI, ORNI, and other data suppliers, you will liaise with major statutory and non-statutory landowners / managers to verify and refine data for inclusion in the Greenspace Layer. This will mean that you will have the opportunity to collaborate and innovate with counterparts in Councils, Forest Service NI, NI Water, National Trust, RSPB, and the Ulster Wildlife Trust etc. The key tasks for the GIS Technician for this project will include (but not limited to):

  • Verify and refine ORNI trail data within the Data Model;

  • Verify and refine datasets for Councils within the Data Model;

  • Verify and refine datasets for remaining statutory and non-statutory organisations.

The processes to verify and refine datasets will include:

  • A methodical approach designed in conjunction with ORNI colleagues and the GIS Systems Architect;

  • Accurate point, line, and polygon digitisation of trail and greenspace venues;

  • Utilising orthophotography, GIS, and base mapping skills to interpret the landscape and increase the accuracy of the trail and greenspace datasets to record key attributes, such as access status, entrance and exit point(s), route, boundaries, carpark, and toilets

  • Engaging with colleagues and counterparts (primarily via online meetings) in statutory and non-statutory organisations to take them through the Greenspace Layer data model for additional verification and refinement of data attributes.

  • Updating the Project Coordinator and GIS Systems Architect regularly and highlight and problem-solve any issues with the data or data suppliers.

Outdoor Recreation NI currently use ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS, and ArcGIS online. Depending on the time required to deliver the Greenspace Layer, you may be assigned to assist colleagues with other projects relating to preparing GIS outputs to inform and present national and regional strategies; scoping studies and masterplans; concept trail designs; research spatial / gap analysis); and integrating GIS outputs with our consumer websites such as WalkNI.com. Who we’re looking for? Competitive candidates will be able to demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, and experience: Education and Experience:

  • Third level degree or equivalent in GIS, spatial science, environmental science, computer science, geography, surveying, engineering, or a related field.

  • Undertaken practical work experience in a GIS role – either paid or voluntary, within the past 12 months.

Qualities and behaviour:

  • Ability to learn and apply new skills quickly

  • Solution focused mindset and can-do attitude to problem solving

  • Comfortable working under moderate supervision with high self-motivation and initiative and a good attention to detail and accuracy

  • Ability to network and build relationships with key stakeholders

  • Strong verbal communicator to confidently:

  • communicate and collaborate with colleagues and sector counterparts

  • lead one-to-one meetings and deliver presentations to stakeholders


  • Valuable team player with a desire to share learning and ideas

  • Has a full current driving licence and use of a car, or access to a form of transport that allows the post holder to meet the requirements of the post in full.

Essential Competencies:

  • Proficiency in accurately digitising, managing data (raster and vector) and performing geometry editing functions (merging, clipping, buffering, reprojecting, etc.)

  • Proficiency in feature class attribute information input and

  • Ability to follow a design brief paying meticulous attention to cartographic detail and accuracy and produce cartographic output in multiple formats (PDF, jpeg, AI, etc).

Desirable Competencies:

  • Familiarity with national mapping organisation’s (OSNI) data products. Proficiency adding these to mapping projects and modifying according to project requirements.

  • Familiar with the land registry search process

  • Knowledge and experience of Adobe programmes such as Illustrator and/or Photoshop

What we offer The utilisation and integration of GIS within our operations is continually increasing therefore there is significant potential for the role to grow alongside this. If you can demonstrate the ability to learn, adapt and deliver then we will be keen to encourage and facilitate progression within the organisation. We offer the opportunity to work 37 hours a week in a small, flexible and dynamic organisation on a 1-year fix term contract (subject to a 2 month probationary period). Your salary will be £22,461 (under review) (Scale 5, spine point 13). In addition, we will give you a contribution towards a NILGOSC pension – currently 21.6% of pensionable salary. Your contribution will be 5.8% of pensionable salary. You will initially get 22 days annual leave plus public holidays, your annual leave increasing with years’ service. You will also be able to work “flexi” as set out in the Company’s flexible working hours policy. Applying for the post All applications and monitoring forms must be completed on the official form provided below and be emailed to e.rogers@outdoorrecreationni.com Applications will not be accepted by any other method. Download Application Form Download Monitoring Form Closing date for applications is 3.00pm on Friday 19th November 2021. Applications received after this time and date will not be accepted. Shortlisting will be based on the application form. If shortlisted, successful candidates will be invited to undertake a brief aptitude test on Tuesday 30th November 2021. After which, successful candidates will be invited to full interview and a practical GIS Skills Test on Tuesday 7th December 2021. These may be conducted either in person or virtually using Microsoft Teams – further information will be provided closer to the time. If you have any questions regarding this opportunity, please contact Elizabeth Rogers. Phone 02890 306 945 Email e.rogers@outdoorrecreationni.com

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