One of the roles of the Icelandic Institute for Natural History (IINH) is to map the biota and geological formations of Iceland. This work creates geographical information that describes geographic location and type of a phenomenon. The IINH has large databases containing geographical information relating to nature of Iceland, including data on plant communities, habitat types, bedrock and superficial deposits, distribution of organisms, fossils, and minerals. Changes in natural conditions over time are also reflected in the data, where research covers a long time period.
Remote sensing using satellite images or aerial photos from aircrafts or drones are increasingly used for data gathering and mapping. A photogrammetry lab was opened at the IINH in 2019, with 3D-modelling capability. High-resolution geographic models are created using aerial imagery obtained from aircraft or drones. This method will speed up the process of mapping at a larger scale and developing geographic models with finer spatial resolution.
Mapping involves processing, formatting, and communicating the geographical information that the IINH possesses.