HeritageMaps.ie, provides free web access to information on the built, cultural and natural heritage around Ireland and off shore.
Speaking about the launch of this new and imaginative viewer Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, stated, “The Government’s recently launched Creative Ireland Programme commits us to building a legacy of 2016 around our cultural heritage and encourages us all to play a part in placing our rich cultural heritage, and its potential, at the centre of our lives. This new online tool will help people to do just that, by providing new ways to access information on their local heritage.
“Heritagemaps.ie should appeal to a wide audience and will be of use to people of all ages, from heritage enthusiasts, to school children and professional planners. It’s great to see a variety of agencies working together with the Heritage Council to produce this very useful online tool which will make accessing heritage information easier than ever before.”
Developed by the Heritage Council and a range of partners including the local authority Heritage Officers, there are over 600 datasets displayed in map form available on the viewer, with over 150,000 mapped points of heritage and or cultural interest and almost 1000 biking and hiking trails. See Sligo Town map above
HeritageMaps.ie allows people to create customised maps and explore a vast range of Ireland’s heritage including pilgrim paths, burial grounds, museums, archaeological sites, maritime collections and walled towns, all from their phone, tablet or desktop.
Speaking about the viewer, Michael Starrett, Heritage Council Chief Executive explained that “the HeritageMaps.ie viewer acts as a “one stop shop” discovery tool, offering an incredible range of heritage data – a lot of which has never been publicly available before. Originally conceived as a tool for planners, we have seen a huge appetite from other sectors (education and tourism) and the general public.
The viewer also brings heritage alive for a much more technologically savvy younger generation, something which the recent Creative Ireland programme talks about - enabling the creative potential of every child. The viewer is constantly being updated and added to and its launch now could not be more timely in helping communities, the length and breadth of Ireland, to realise the potential offered by investing in initiatives that will encourage heritage-led regeneration”.
Explaining how the platform works, Pat Reid of HeritageMaps.ie said “the viewer builds up national coverage of heritage datasets from local authority sources as well as using existing national datasets. It uses web services to access live data where possible, increasing data reliability. Users can also create cross-disciplinary views from hundreds of datasets - crossing over administrative boundaries, subject boundaries, and the land-sea boundary”.
HeritageMaps.ie has been developed by the Heritage Council, working over the past 18 months with local authorities, local Heritage Officers, the National Biodiversity Data Centre, the Discovery Programme and Compass Informatics.