Expert Workshops at the National Library of Ireland 2016, Brian Hollinshead, Mapping townlands and other boundaries old and new.


Brian will describe the OpenStreetMap Resource with particular reference to the related task, now complete, of tracing by hand the 60,000+ Townlands, by dedicated volunteers and the useful townland database with individual maps. He will give an overview of the OpenStreetMap Project including: 

  • What is OpenStreetMap, who makes it and how, 
  • Who uses it, for what and why. 
  • Details of some of the 10 types of boundaries presently ‘work in progress’. 
  • Irish historic features and place names in Irish. 
  • Cycle and transport layers as well as historic map layers from the 1910s, 1930s and 40s from the British War Office and others. 
  • The Irish contribution to overseas mapping.

He will also show how to view the map, search for features, print a map image and download a link to share the image you are viewing with a colleague. 


Brian has had an interest in local maps for many years including using and later drawing orienteering maps. In 2006 he co-ordinated the Irish orienteering clubs, to collect over 1,000 paper Irish orienteering maps, subsequently donated to the Glucksman map Library in Trinity College.

Nine years ago he became a mapping contributor to the volunteer driven OpenStreetMap resource. From this he has developed a particular interest in researching and mapping historic and modern boundaries of many kinds as well as used and disused burial grounds. 

By Laura Carroll


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