Winners of our Second Year photo project

Students in our Second Year module Methods in Geography (GY201) have just completed a small interactive project using ViPo — a suite of software developed here in NUI Maynooth that allows students to upload and rate photos they take of their home place.

We have about 295 students in Second Year — yes, that many — and they are split into six tutorial sessions, with each student forming part of a smaller group of four. Students in each tutorial session elected a theme that they would try to capture in their photos e.g. session one went for ‘pollution’. They then went out-and-about to take photos and uploaded to ViPo just five photos, each with an accompanying short (tweet-like) description of 140 characters.

They had a couple of days to go online and rate the photos in each of their small groups of four students with a view to deciding on two group-winning entries. Then, in the last two days of the project, all of the students in each tutorial session rated all of the group winners to arrive at one overall winning photo and description.

The fantastic winning entries are noted below.

Session One (Tuesdays 9am): Pollution

Bags of illegally dumped rubbish near Cavan town. As well as polluting, there is a terrible odour and lots of vermin around the area. By Colman McEvoy.

Session Two (Tuesdays 11am): Nature

Some say it’s more beautiful to look at than Niagara falls, I wouldn’t go that far. Produced by a nearby stream and aided by heavy rainfall. By Mark Healy.

Session Three (Wednesdays 11am): Leisure

“Relax Ed, We’ve more horsepower than this lad coming up the rear…Neigh!” Equestrian life on the road. By Siobhan Cahill.

Session Four (Thursdays 11am): The economic crisis

This shows one of many ‘ghost estates’ in Portlaoise. There are unoccupied houses in the picture as well as wasted prime residential land. By Graham Brody.

Session Five (Thursdays 1pm): Pollution

Rubbish is constantly found in this river in Ratoath. Tin cans go rusty and damage the water and plastic bags cause blockages in the river. By Roisin Murray.

Session Six (Thursdays 3pm): The economic crisis

This housing estate was started at the end of the Celtic Tiger in 2009.. Never completed and left to waste. By Catherine O’Reilly.

Well done and thanks to all of the students for uploading more than 1000 images and writing loads of neat descriptions (and putting up with the teething problems!) — and a special well done to the six winners noted above.

Alistair Fraser and Shelagh Waddington

Please note: This small project and development of the ViPo software has been supported by a NUIM Teaching Fellowship awarded by the NUIM Centre for Teaching and Learning to Alistair Fraser and Shelagh Waddington in Geography and Aidan Mooney and Susan Bergin in Computer Science. We’d like to thank Wei Zhang for his help in developing ViPo, Peter Joseph Watson for designing a ViPo Android ‘app’, and all of the GY201 tutors, demonstrators, and students. ViPo will be used again in Alistair’s Global Foodscapes 3rd year class in second semester. If you are a lecturer or teacher and would also like to give it a try, please get in touch.


  1. Reminds me of the photo project we did last year for the food module with Alistair!! My favourite project from the three years in geography πŸ™‚ Great photos! Fair play to the second years πŸ™‚


  2. […] on from the photo project conducted by our 2nd year students, below is a slideshow showing all 146 finalists (i.e. the two […]


  3. Ann Mullen · · Reply

    Great photo’s second year, I hope you enjoyed this module as much as I did, as Rachel said ours related to food.


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