Mapping Heritage in Ireland - A Journey

Anne-Karoline Distel

Playlists: 'sotm2021' videos starting here / audio

Since moving to Ireland from Germany in December 2016, I have been mapping heritage features on the island increasingly. During lockdown, I started a YouTube channel to enable other people who are interested in Irish history to learn about OpenStreetmap, because it is still quite unknown in those circles.

After moving to Ireland and shortly after becoming a member of a local historical society, I started mapping historical features like ringforts, castles, church ruins and graveyards. As a member of that group, I noticed that the awareness of OpenStreetMap and OpenData is very low in this group and in Ireland in general. One of the excuses often given by these groups is the demographic which is less computer literate than my generation. However, after uploading a few OSM tutorials onto YouTube, I received good feedback and two female acquaintances of that age group started actively contributing to OSM. Motivated by those developments and by looking for something productive to do during the third COVID lockdown, I started a YouTube tutorial series on OSM, uMap, overpass turbo and fieldpapers to show the benefits of OSM to historically interested individuals and groups. Within only a few weeks, I had gathered a small following and continue getting positive feedback from people who discover OpenStreetMap for their personal or group projects. I believe that giving the public concrete application examples of OSM rather than trying to convince them by dropping terms like OpenData and OpenSource into the conversation, is a way to promote OpenStreetMap to an audience that is keen to learn and to apply the knowledge. It is a time consuming process, but necessary for a shift in awareness about OpenStreetmap.