This clever mapping tool is a must for An Post Rás enthusiasts

19 May 2017

Cyclists. Image: Huw Fairclough/Shutterstock

A new ‘interactive story map’ has been developed for the upcoming An Post Rás, and it’s an interesting mobile tool for cycle fans.

This year, An Post Rás 2017 (21-28 May) will see cycle teams from all over the world descend on Ireland for eight stages of mountainous riding.

For fans of the sport, it’s one of the only ways to watch high-end cycling in Ireland. But how can you follow the race?

Comfort of your own home

As attending these events can be tricky for some, it was inevitable that digital opportunities would emerge. With that, digital mapping company Esri has developed a clever little tool.

The tool, best viewed on mobile, presents the route and points of interest as a series of interactive maps, layered over a detailed map from Ordnance Survey Ireland.

According to Esri, this allows spectators “to get to the heart of the action and follow the race leaders on each stage of the eight-day race”. In truth, the tool seems pretty useful and gives a decent run-through of what is to come over the next few days.

An Post Rás

Screenshots of the tool. Image: Esri

“The An Post Rás is one of Ireland’s top sporting events, bringing world-class sporting action and a significant economic boost to towns and villages nationwide,” said Eamonn Doyle, CTO of Esri Ireland.

“The open racing style allows amateur county and club riders to pit themselves against domestic and international professionals, and the race has a strong international reputation. This story map allows fans to get up close to the action, and give them an idea of the gruelling challenge facing competitors.”

Company on the up

Last month, it was announced that Esri was expanding, with aims of increasing its Geographic Information Systems software (GIS) from annual revenues of €7m in 2016 to €10m by the end of the decade.

To do that, it revealed plans to up its headcount from its current level of 50 to 85 over the next two years, with a series of technical roles to be created.

Available positions include skilled and specialist roles such as software engineers, GIS consultants and developers, technical support staff as well as sales and marketing people.

Cyclists. Image: Huw Fairclough/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic