Geological Survey Ireland is commited to making our data widely and freely available. Our 1:100k map is freely available on both our viewer and as a download, while our data-rich 1:50k map packages have been available to download and use in geographic information software (GIS). All of our bedrock products have been created in-house using the ESRI ArcGIS software and are distributed as shapefiles with ArcGIS compatible layer files to create the correct colours and symbols.
We have been aware that a number of our stakeholders, particularly in academia and industry, have been using QGIS GIS software. QGIS is a free and open source software that is compatible with multiple operating systems and has large and growing community support. QGIS can open and work with the shapefiles that we produce, but cannot access the layer files and so users have had to produce their own colour systems and symbologies.
This new release of the 1:100k and all 1:50k products includes shapefiles and layerfiles as they always have, but now includes all of our data in a QGIS geopackage and has QGIS compatible .qml files. With this release our data are more widely accessible than before and will look consistent across multiple software options.
As QGIS is free software we have produced a comprehensive guide to downloading and using QGIS with our software, so people with no previous GIS experience can work with and use our data if they wish. The guide is included in each download, and is available in short video form (see links below).
This far more accessible version of our data will provide an invaluable resource for education, in schools and universities, for teaching geology and for increasing awareness of geographical information software.
For more information on this please see our mapping pages.