Ryan announces free online access to Departmental spatial data

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2007 - 12:34 GMT Jump to Comments

Minister Eamon Ryan today announced that he would be making the bulk of the digital data held in the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources available to people freely and easily online.

More than 5Tb of spatial data will now be made available for free download. These services will be made available via the Department’s website and the University sector’s internet backbone, the HEAnet.

Commenting on the announcement Minister Ryan said, “The free dissemination of this data is intended to stimulate the environmental, exploration, construction, and geoscience sectors. Some of the data could prove very useful for companies exploring for oil and gas resources for example. It will also provide important data for planners in achieving sustainable and responsible development and assist in the planning of major infrastructure projects.”

The bulk of the Department’s spatial data is within the Natural Resources sector, and initial datasets available will include licence boundaries and drill hole locations from the Petroleum Affairs Division, significant deposit locations and prospecting licence areas from Exploration and Mining Division and a wide range of marine, bedrock geology, soil, groundwater, mineral and geotechnical data from the Geological Survey of Ireland as well as the Marine Institute.

Additional spatial datasets will come from the Department’s Engineering Division, whose coastal photos are collected for coastal protections work. The offshore datasets collected by the Department’s and Marine Institute’s joint sea bed mapping projects, the Irish National Seabed Survey, and its successor INFOMAR will also be made available.

“This project is an important component of an overall plan to make Ireland an internationally renowned destination for geoscience research. The Government has committed to investing a total of €43 million over the next seven years in the geoscience sector and I hope to soon see many more exciting new geoscience projects that could potentially transform our lives,” concluded Minister Ryan.

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