Geological heritage or ‘geoheritage’ is the term used to describe sites or places with features of geology that have important scientific, educational, cultural, or visual value. There are many types of sites. They are made from past and present geological processes (wearing away and building up of rocks and soils). They are a window into the past and present changes to the earth.
The Geoheritage sites are called ‘county geological sites’ (CGS). The geology is divided into 16 themes (groups). The best sites are chosen from each group by theme experts. After this, each site is checked to make sure it is the best example. Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) does this together with the Heritage Council and Local Authorities.
The data is collected on a county by county basis with detailed site audits. Before each site is visited all known geological data for the county is checked. Next, each site is visited to record: the key geological features; whether the site can be accessed by the public; if the site is suitable to be promoted for tourism or education; and general condition. The site’s key features are recorded, mapped and photographed.
The data shown on the map was collected on paper during each site visit. Afterwards the data was digitised. The site locations were recorded on site using a GPS system.
This Geoheritage audited sites map is to the scale 1:50,000 (1cm on the map relates to a distance of 500m).
It is a vector dataset. Vector data portray the world using points, lines, and polygons (areas). The Geoheritage audited sites are shown as points. Each point holds information on the following fields:
SITECODE (a unique site identification number)
SITENAME (the name of the site)
IGH THEME (the geological theme number under which the site is identified)
COUNTY (the county in which the site is located)
DESCRIPTION (a short description of the site)
GEOLOGICAL (a short description of the qualifying geological features of the site)
DESIGNATION (the geological designation or proposed status of the site)
REPORT (a link to the associated detailed site report)
X_IG, Y_IG (site location using Irish grid reference coordinates)
X_ITM, Y_ITM (site location using Irish Trans Mercator grid coordinates)