2nd Year Trip to Ordinance Survey Ireland

Thanks to Mr. Tony Murphy, Market Development Manager at OSI the 2nd years had a wonderful visit to their beautiful offices in the Phoenix Park.

Accompanied by Ms. Tara Mallon Doyle and Mr. Daniel Flynn the group set out on the school bus by 1.15 to arrive at the park right on time at 2pm, thanks to Eddie Bond. We were greeted by a very pleasant Tony Murphy who showed us into the O’ Donovan Room, which is a lovely space for presentations and holds several artefacts from the history of mapping in Ireland and information boards.

We were surprised to find an array of biscuits, teas, coffees, capri-suns and even cupcakes waiting for us inside. Needless to say the students were delighted, and even the teachers.

During the presentation, a wealth of information was shared ranging from the origins of maps by the Babylonians; the history of mapping in Ireland and Colby’s triangulation points; uses for mapping in boundary data, planning permission, phone location software, postcodes, water meters and much more. The presentation was accompanied by several very interesting and entertaining videos, such as the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to map a 3D model of the Matterhorn and a very funny, French video portraying paper maps as the “new technology”: unbreakable, portable, durable and sustainable without power. The students seemed very engaged and asked a variety of questions at the end, all of which Mr. Murphy answered to their satisfaction.

The students filled in sheets on the visit detailing what they found interesting and what they learnt, here are some of their points:

  • OSI is 190 years old, established in 1824.
  • All staff came from the Army until the 1970’s.
  • Thomas Colby’s triangulation measurement of Ireland in 1846 were only 2 inches off!
  • Colby’s mapping made Ireland the first country in the world, at the time, to be mapped at such detail.
  • GPS is based on a system of triangulation.
  • LiDAR uses light pulses (over 1,000 per second) shot from planes, owned by OSI, to give a sense of height.
  • Using maps and aerial photographs can determine how at risk a house is of being destroyed by a forest fire in California.
  • Obama used mapping to locate voters who were on the margins and targeted them to help become elected.
  • Original map scales were 6 inches to 1 mile.
  • 90% of smart phones users use location services on their phones.
  • OSI provides maps for the emergency services to aid them in their rescues.
  • GPS was invented by the American Military.

All in all this was a very successful trip and the students enjoyed and learnt a lot. A special thanks to Ms .Tara Mallon Doyle for organising the trip.


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