Ireland’s open-access geospatial data hub gets an update

19 Nov 2021

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GeoHive has been updated with new features, maps and easier data access for users.

Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) has launched an update to its web platform, GeoHive, with improvements to its maps and databases.

GeoHive is an online hub where public sector bodies can upload geospatial data, which are datasets in which information is mapped to locations.

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There are various datasets which the public can access through GeoHive, from data on Ireland’s environment and soil, to details on its population and economy. More recently, datasets on Covid-19 have been included, such as vaccination and incidence rates.

The update has enhanced GeoHive’s interactive maps for users, who can search for specific datasets and apply it to any part of the map they zoom in on.

This data catalogue can be used to find information across categories such as housing, energy and health.

GeoHive also includes a historic maps and townland viewer, where historical maps can be laid over current maps to show changes over time.

“It is now much easier for people to find public sector data online, as it is all in one place,” said OSI’s Hugh Mangan. “They can also more easily explore this data on interactive maps, analyse it and gain a deeper understanding of the issues that impact their local communities, the economy and the environment.”

GeoHive was developed by OSI in 2015, after it released a report showing the financial benefits of geospatial technology.

The report showed geospatial information could generate annual savings of €82m in the public sector and time savings with an economic value of €279m.

OSI says it will continue to develop GeoHive to handle any growth it experiences in the future. Over 20 public service bodies took part in a review process and provided feedback, which will be incorporated into the platform’s development roadmap.

General manager for geospatial systems at OSI, Lorraine McNerney, believes the updated GeoHive will help public sector departments in evidence-led decision making “whether they are planning new urban developments, expanding healthcare services or restoring vital natural ecosystems”.

The GeoHive geospatial service is available across Android and iOS, as well as being accessible on desktop computers.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic