Corine Landcover Dataseries

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What does this data show me?

Corine is a pan-European dataseries which maps landcover across 37 European countries. It is organised by the European Environment Agency under the Copernicus earth observation programme. The dataset maps 'landcover' which is a means of organising and describing the bio-geophysical surface of the earth into defined categories (e.g. pasture, water, broadleaved forest) so that environmental status and change can be assessed over time.

Landcover data has many applications including environmental monitoring, modelling, assesment and research. As the only current landcover dataset for Ireland, Corine is therefore an important source of data for the Irish geo-environmental community. Each Corine update contains a 25ha landcover 'status' map and a 5ha landcover 'change' dataset which maps all landcover change >5ha in between the update reference years e.g. 2006-2012.

For more information please see Corine Landcover Mapping.

What is the data quality and/or fitness for use?

As the minimum mapping unit of Corine is 25ha, the dataset is more suited to regional or national scale studies than local or small-scale applications. As the dataset is designed to be compatable across Europe, the classification system does not exhaustivley descirbe the particulars of the Irish landscape. Corine is a land cover map, and land cover is not always equal to land use so it is not appropriate to use Corine as a land use map.

For more quality information please see Uses and Limitations of CLC data.

How up to date is it?

There have been four releases of Corine to date: 1990, 2000, 2006 and the latest 2012 release which has been released in Q4 of 2014.

Where can I get this data?

You can view the data using our WebGIS on the Map link, under the Land group.

You can download the data from the EPA Database option of the Get data page. Documents about Corine are available under the Common data – Corine documents option. Shapefiles and legends can be downloaded under the Corine Landcover option. Shapefiles are presented on a county by county basis for Corine Landcover 2006, 2000, 1990 and Corine Landcover Changes 1990 to 2000. Corine 2012 is presented as a National dataset.

 The latest release of this dataseries - CORINE 2012 - was released in November 2014.

Soils and subsoils

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What does this data show me?

The national soils and subsoils maps were created by Teagasc in 2006, under a project funded by the EPA and DECLG, with input from the Geological Survey of Ireland.

The subsoils map classifies Ireland’s subsoils into 16 themes and the soils map classifies soils into 25 classes, both at a scale equivalent to 1:50,000.

What is the data quality and/or fitness for use?

Teagasc completed a detail final report on this project which is available to download from the soils and subsoils section of our data download page

How up to date is it?

The project was completed in 2006: the main differences therefore can be expected to be related to new construction where existing soils/subsoils are sealed over (this would place them in the “made land” soil class).

Where can I get this data?

You can view the data using our WebGIS on the Map link, under the Land group.

You can download the data from the EPA Database option of the Get data page. Documents and shapefiles are available under Soils and Subsoils option. Shapefiles are presented county by county for quick download but we can send a national file to you if you request this using the Contact Us link.

This data is not being updated but data errors can be reported via Contact Us for resolution.

EPA Licenced Facilities

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What does this data show me?

The EPA has a licensing and permitting function to control potentially harmful emissions to the environment. More information about licensing and permitting is available here.

Shapefiles of point locations of EPA licensed IPPC, waste and urban waste water treatment facilities can be downloaded from the Get data page.

The shapefiles include the name, easting, northing and EPA registration code of each facility. The registration code can be used to search for the facility on the EPA license search to see the most recent activity and license status for this site.

For IPPC and waste the address and principal activity codes are supplied. The principal activity codes relate to the EPA license search. For waste, the facility type is also included (e.g. landfill, transfer station etc.)

For urban waste water, a spreadsheet of the compliance of the agglomeration or plant as per the most recent Urban Waste Water Treatment report is supplied.

What is the data quality and/or fitness for use?

Use this data to track where an EPA licensed facility exists now or may have been in operation in the past.

Data Completeness: The data is considered to be >95% complete, if a license application has been received the facility is mapped within 2 months of that application being received.

Data Precision: The locations are supplied by licensees in the first instance, but are validated by the EPA GIS team using one or all of the following sources: An Post GeoDirectory, OSI orthoimgery, OSI Large Scale maps, EPA Inspector approval.

Data Accuracy: All facilities are given a license registration code which uniquely identifies them within the EPA licensing and enforcement databases and the license search on www.epa.ie.

While facility type, names and addresses are supplied they have been supplied by the licensee and may also change over time: the EPA License search represents the best source for this data and should be considered the most up to date.

Data Consistency: All facilities are represented as points and the An Post Geodirectory is the primary source of validation of this location.

How up to date is it?

The point locations are digitised when a licence application is received and this varies depending on the new licence applications presented at any particular time. The data on the download site is updated quarterly but the date of the update is included with the name of the file on the download site for clarity. Compliance results for urban waste water treatment are updated annually.

Where can I get this data?

You can view the data using our WebGIS on the Map link, under the Licenses and Enforcement group and UWWT group.

You can download the data from the EPA Database option of the Get data page. The national shapefiles are available under the EPA Licensed Facilities option.

This data is updated every quarter. Check the “notify me for updates” option when you download this data to receive an email when the new data is available.

Water Data

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As part of work done for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, Ireland’s waters have been mapped in GIS format. This data is freely available to download: in full for OSI vector data license holders and as a generalised less detailed set for those who don’t hold the OSI license.

INSPIRE metadata files have been created for all this data which can be used with this user information to help get the most from this valuable data resource.

Rivers

What does this data show me?

Mapping of Ireland’s rivers in GIS format was started in 2002 using the Ordnance Survey of Ireland Discovery Series water lines as the starting point. These lines were joined together to create complete river stretches and each stretch was given a name either from the Discovery Series map or from the EPA river monitoring program.

Three key datasets make up the Rivers data package:

  1. A geometric river network, which can be used with network analysis tools such as ESRI’s utility network analyst, to trace upstream and downstream. The river network is stored as an ArcGIS 10.2 file geodatabase where it is presented via hydrometric area. This file geodatabase is only available to OSI vector data license holders.
  2. A river routes shapefile of Ireland’s rivers at a scale of 1:50,000 showing rivers as complete lines attributed with name and Strahler river order. This lines shapefile is built from the river network areas. The full version is available to OSI vector data license holders and a generalised version is available for all users.
  3. Water Framework Directive (WFD) river water bodies, which are the management and reporting units for the WFD. River stretches are grouped together based on common quality status and physical characteristics to form units. This data is formed from the river routes shapefile.

    The first river water bodies file created in 2004 has been substantially revised. During the first River Basin Management Planning cycle it became apparent that the link between water bodies and WFD status was not optimal. Long stretches of channel were being inappropriately assigned bad or poor status based on the one out all out rule. There were also stretches of channel that had the same status along their length so could be treated as a single RWB unit. New RWB originate from a defining monitoring station. The monitoring station was used as the location from which an immediate watershed (RWB polygon) for the river was generated. The rivers within this watershed together make the new river waterbody unit. For cycle 1, small tributaries were omitted. In cycle 2, all streams that appear on the 1:50,000 Discovery Series have been included.

If this data is not what you are looking for, or you require larger scale data, you should contact the Ordnance Survey of Ireland.

What is the data quality and/or fitness for purpose?

This data is mapped at a scale of 1:50,000 and is considered fit for purpose at this scale. Network analysis of the river network will provide accurate results at this scale but will not represent smaller streams and drains visible at larger scales and so should not be used for very detailed studies of smaller catchment areas.

Data Completeness: The data is considered to be >95% complete at a scale of 1:50,000: if a river is visible at this scale it is appears in the EPA rivers files. At larger scales the data is less complete: while some small streams and drains are included this is done where they occur on the EPA river monitoring programme or have been identified as significant for other reasons (e.g. licensed emissions, changing the flow direction of rivers etc.). No formal survey of small streams and drains has been undertaken so the data should be considered fit for purpose at 1:50,000.

Data Precision: The data was gathered from the OSI Discovery series vector data product (1:50,000 scale). This data was gathered pre-2000, some small lakes have been added using either OSI orthoimagery (2005) or OSI large scale maps as a source. Lakes have been checked against rivers data to ensure that all lakes are properly connected to the river network where they occur along it.

Data Accuracy: Lake areas are calculated in ArcGIS. Lake segment codes are unique. 37% of the records have been attributed with a name, approximately 35% or more is taken directly from the OSI Discovery series but the remaining names were taken from local features such as townlands or larger rivers downstream and so represent a logically assigned name rather than the name that may be used locally.

Data Consistency: All lakes are represented as polygons, all lakes in the lake water bodies shape file are validated by EPA Scientists as being freshwater lakes rather than estuarine water (this has not been done for the complete lake segment file).

How up to date is it?

The data was generated from the OSI Discovery Series source, dated 2000. A low number of small lakes have been added since then from more recent sources (OSI 2005 images and/or field observations by EPA scientists).

Where can I get this data?

You can view the data using our WebGIS on the Map link, under the Water Features group and WFD Status 2010 – 2012 group.

You can download the data from the EPA Database option on the Get Data page.


Lakes

Mapping of Ireland’s lakes in GIS format was started in 2002 using the Ordnance Survey of Ireland Discovery Series water polygons as the starting point. Polygons were closed and each polygon was given a name either from the Discovery Series map or from the EPA river monitoring program: 37% of the records have a name.

What does this data show me?

Two datasets make up the lakes data package:

  1. Lake segments: a file of polygons showing lakes that appear on the 1:50,000 Discovery Series map, with some smaller lakes included where they have been identified as significant (e.g. drinking water abstraction, protected site etc.). This shapefile has <12,000 records. The full version is available to OSI vector data license holders and a generalised version is available for all users.
  2. Water Framework Directive (WFD) lake water bodies, which are the management and reporting units for the WFD. About 800 lakes are identified as WFD lakes either due to their size or their significance as a habitat, drinking water source, use as recreational water or other reason. This data is available to all users.

If this data is not what you are looking for, or you require larger scale data, you should contact the Ordnance Survey of Ireland.

What is the data quality and/or fitness for purpose?

This data is mapped at a scale of 1:50,000 and is considered fit for purpose at this scale: it should not be used for very detailed studies of smaller catchment areas.

Data Completeness: The data is considered to be >98% complete at a scale of 1:50,000: if a lake is visible at this scale it is appears in the EPA lake segments file. At larger scales the data is less complete: while some small lakes are included this is done where they occur on the EPA lake monitoring programme or have been identified as significant for other reasons. Some but not all turloughs appear so the data is not complete for these types of lake. No formal survey of small lakes has been undertaken so the data should be considered fit for purpose at 1:50,000.

Data Precision: The data was gathered from the OSI Discovery series vector data product (1:50,000 scale). This data was gathered pre-2000, some small lakes have been added using either OSI orthoimagery (2005) or OSI large scale maps as a source. Lakes have been checked against rivers data to ensure that all lakes are properly connected to the river network where they occur along it.

Data Accuracy: Lake areas are calculated in ArcGIS. Lake segment codes are unique. 37% of the records have been attributed with a name, approximately 35% or more is taken directly from the OSI Discovery series but the remaining names were taken from local features such as townlands or larger rivers downstream and so represent a logically assigned name rather than the name that may be used locally.

Data Consistency: All lakes are represented as polygons, all lakes in the lake water bodies shape file are validated by EPA Scientists as being freshwater lakes rather than estuarine water (this has not been done for the complete lake segment file).

How up to date is it?

The data was generated from the OSI Discovery Series source, dated 2000. A low number of small lakes have been added since then from more recent sources (OSI 2005 images and/or field observations by EPA scientists).

Where can I get this data?

You can view the data using our WebGIS on the Map link, under the Water Features group and WFD Status 2007 – 2009 group.

You can download the data from the EPA Database option on the Get Data page.


Groundwater

Mapping of Ireland’s groundwater in GIS format was completed in 2004 after collaboration between the Geological Survey of Ireland and the groundwater team of the EPA. The starting point was an aquifer map of Ireland which showed the hydraulic boundaries of flow.

What does this data show me?

Groundwater bodies are determined from this starting point: an aquifer must be classed as a waterbody if it is capable of serving 10m3/day of abstraction or if significant abstraction from the aquifer would damage a related terrestrial or surface water ecosystem (either by the impact of removing the water directly or by the changes in the chemical status of the water brought about by the abstraction).

What is the data quality and/or fitness for purpose?

This data is a representation of water bodies designated for the Water Framework Directive and it is intended to be used within this remit.

Data Completeness: The data is considered to be >95% complete: if a groundwater body is capable of serving 10m3/day of abstraction, or has other significance, it is designated as a groundwater body.

Data Accuracy and Precision: Aquifer mapping and classification was based on Geological Survey of Ireland source data. See http://www.gsi.ie/Programmes/Groundwater/Aquifer+Classification.htm to access details of how aquifers were classified.

Data Consistency: All groundwater bodies are represented as polygons, all groundwater bodies in the shapefile are validated by scientists in the Geological Survey or Ireland and the EPA Scientists as meeting the criteria for a Water Framework Directive groundwater body.

How up to date is it?

The data was generated from GSI geology source material in 2004. In 2015 it has been substantially revised.

During the first River Basin Management Planning cycle it became apparent that the link between water bodies and WFD status was not optimal. This has been addressed by a full assessment of all GWB pressures in Ireland. The EPA and Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) led a joint project to review the physical characteristics and produced updated groundwater bodies. The EPA instigated projects to assess and delineate groundwater bodies based on updated information on pressures and groundwater dependent wetlands in Ireland. The GWB boundaries were updated based on this assessment. A second horizon has been added to represent sand and gravel GWB. Where they exist, sand and gravel GWB overlay bedrock GWB as horizon 1 features, with the bedrock beneath being assigned horizon 2.

Where can I get this data?

You can view the data using our WebGIS on the Map link, under the Water Features group and WFD Status 2007 – 2012 group.

You can download the data from the EPA Database option of the Get data page. The national shapefiles are available under the Water option.


Transitional and Coastal

Transitional waters are bodies of water near the coast that are partially saline but still strongly influenced by freshwater flow. Coastal water bodies commence at the high water mark or at the boundaries of transitional water bodies and extend 1 nautical mile out to sea.

What does this data show me?

Transitional and coastal water body polygons fit with the lakes and rivers GIS layers to give a complete national picture of water from river sources through lakes and right out off the coast. The transitional and coastal water polygon shapefiles show the areas of water that EPA Scientists have assessed to have hydrological and ecological characteristics that make them discrete areas of water.

What is the data quality and/or fitness for purpose?

This data is a representation of water bodies designated for the Water Framework Directive and it is intended to be used within this remit.

Data Completeness: Coastal water bodies extend out to the 1 nautical mile limit from either the high water mark or the transitional water boundary and so represent complete coverage of the assigned coastal water area. Transitional water body boundaries extend from either tidal limits of rivers or high water marks but in some cases the exact boundary between the river and the transitional water has been assigned based on expert opinion and may be revised as a result of field studies.

Data Precision: The high water mark was generated from OSI six inch mapping. Outward boundaries of 1 nautical mile are generated from this line. Internal water body boundaries were delineated based on the assessment of EPA Scientists following WFD guidance material prepared at European level on the delineation of water bodies.

Data Accuracy: Names and codes are unique and all water bodies have been assigned these attributes. Type and salinity attributes were assigned by EPA Scientists on the basis of field surveys and scientific models.

Data Consistency: All water bodies are represented as polygons, transitional and coastal water bodies share boundaries and do not intersect. All names and codes are unique across both datasets so that they can be used as a single data resource.

How up to date is it?

The data was generated from OSI source material in 2004. The boundaries were last reviewed and updated in 2012.

Where can I get this data?

You can view the data using our WebGIS on the Map link, under the Water Features group and WFD Status 2007 – 2009 group.

You can download the data from the EPA Database option of the Get data page. The national shapefiles are available under the Water option.

This data doesn’t have a regular update schedule, but may be amended from time to time. Check the “notify me for updates” option when you download this data to receive an email when the new data is available.

Water Quality and Monitoring

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What does this data show me?

Ecological assessments of rivers are rated using the EPA Q Value system. This is a five point system ranging from Bad through Poor, Moderate, Good to High quality. These assessments have been ongoing since 1971. The river station locations are presented as shapefiles and the QValue scores are presented as a Microsoft Excel table which can be linked to the stations shapefile via the station number.

For more information on river quality monitoring please see our Ireland's environment water pages.

What is the data quality and/or fitness for purpose?

The stations and data are intended to show the changes in ecological river quality over time, as assessed by EPA Scientists from field observations.

Data Completeness: The data is considered to be >99% complete: if a river station had a valid Q Value assessment completed since 1971 it is included in the station file and the results file.

Data Precision: Station points are located at bridges, with the OSI Discovery Series 1:50,000 maps used as the source. The station is generally positioned in the centre of the bridge as shown on the map, the actual sample access point may be either side of the bridge. In 2010 a data quality project was run to capture all station locations accurately: where the co-ordinates did not map on a river the station location information was used to place the station at the correct location. Station numbers get larger downstream so station locations occur in the correct order upstream and downstream but for stations that have not been visited in a long time this location may not always be the exact point where the sample was taken.

Data Accuracy: All stations are snapped to a river line via the river routes shapefile. Station numbers are all unique. Station location information is generally entered by field scientists relative to the location as shown on the OSI Discovery Series 1:50,000 map but for older stations it may refer to features shown on larger scale maps.

Data Consistency: All stations are represented as points, all station locations are unique and station points were checked in 2010 to ensure that 2 differently coded stations do not appear in the same location.

How up to date is it?

River ecological surveys commenced in 1971. The field survey season runs from May to October annually. Ecological assessment data is validated during this season and then after the end of the fieldwork season. Data validated in the ecological assessment database is updated on the EPA Maps WebGIS overnight and so visible the next day.

Where can I get this data?

You can view the data using our WebGIS on the Map link, under the Surface Water Quality group.

You can download the data from the EPA Database option of the Get data page. The national shapefile and results table are available under the Water Quality and Monitoring option.

This data is updated every year. Check the “notify me for updates” option when you download this data to receive an email when the new data is available.

Mines

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In 2009 the EPA and Geological Survey of Ireland completed a study of Ireland’s historic mine sites. Each site was studied in detail to provide a risk assessment: the locations, boundaries and features identified in the mine site were mapped and captured as a set of shapefiles.

What does this data show me?

The shapefiles show mine boundaries, locations (centroids of the boundaries), features such as buildings, chimneys etc., chemical analysis locations and results, water features such as sinkholes and drains, waste features such as discharges, drains and waste heaps for the 28 mine districts studied.

What is the data quality and/or fitness for purpose?

This data was collected as part of a study to assess the risk of historic mines to human health. The shapefiles are intended as a resource for any remediation works that are planned for these sites.

Data Completeness: The data is considered to be >99% complete for the 28 districts studied. If a feature was present on the site, within the boundary of the mine, it was mapped as part of the study.

Data Precision: Features were mapped as a result of field study using OSI data to assist in mapping them as shapefiles.

Data Accuracy: Features were captured and classified by Geological Survey of Ireland field staff.

Data Consistency: Features are presented in the appropriate geometry type (boundaries as polygons, linear features such as drains as polylines and structures such as chimneys and adits as points). The shapefiles are logically grouped according to the features mapped.

How up to date is it?

The project was completed in 2009 and represents features found on site before that date.

Where can I get this data?

You can view the data using our WebGIS on the Map link, under the Mines group.

You can download the data from the EPA Database option of the Get data page. The shapefiles are available under the Mines option.

This data is not being updated but data errors can be reported via Contact Us for resolution.

Noise

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What is a Noise map?

A noise map is a graphical representation of the predicted situation with regards to noise in a particular area with different colours representing different noise levels in decibels [dB(A)].

To develop a noise map a number of variables must be determined in order to correctly represent the amount of noise generated at the source, i.e. by traffic driving on the road. The noise level at the source is primarily influenced by the speed at which traffic is travelling at, the overall quantity of vehicles in the traffic flow, the proportion of heavy commercial vehicles (HCVs) in the flow and the type of road surface in the area.

The manner in which the noise propagates away from the source must then be calculated which involves determining the reduction in noise level as it propagates from the source. Distance, ground cover and the presence of barriers such as walls, noise barriers, etc. will all influence the level of noise attenuation.

All noise maps are presented in terms of two noise indicators: Lden and Lnight.

  • Lden is the day-evening-night noise indicator and it represents the noise indicator for overall annoyance. It is ‘weighted’ to account for extra annoyance in the evening and night periods.
  • Lnight is the night time noise indicator and is used in the assessment of sleep disturbance.

These indicators are based on year long averages of the day (07:00-19:00), evening (19:00-23:00) and night (23:00-07:00) time periods.

What does this data show me?

Air: This is a polygon dataset of the strategic noise mapping of air, in the form of noise contours, for the Lden (day) and Lnight (night) periods for Dublin and Cork agglomerations airports for the 2012 phase of noise mapping. The strategic noise mapping of the major agglomeration airports in Ireland, Dublin International Airport and Cork International Airport, was undertaken by Dublin Airport Authority.

Rail: This is a polygon dataset of the strategic noise mapping of rail, which were identified as those rail exceeding the flow threshold of 30,000 vehicle passages per year, in the form of noise contours, for the Lden (day) and Lnight (night) periods for Dublin and Cork agglomerations and the major roads outside of the agglomerations for the 2012 phase of noise mapping. The strategic noise mapping of the major heavy rail network across Ireland was undertaken by the Irish Rail, with support from the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) who are responsible for mapping noise emissions associated with operational Luas light rail lines in Dublin.

Road: This is a polygon dataset of the strategic noise mapping of roads, which were identified as those roads exceeding the flow threshold of 3 million passages per year, in the form of noise contours, for the Lden (day) and Lnight (night) periods for Dublin and Cork agglomerations and the major roads outside of the agglomerations for the 2012 phase of noise mapping. The strategic noise mapping of the major roads across Ireland was undertaken by the National Roads Authority with the support of the local authorities within whose functional areas the major roads were located.

What is the data quality and/or fitness for purpose?

The data is considered to be complete as part of the second round of the implementation of the EC Directive 2002/49/EC. The Directive was transposed in Ireland as Statutory Instrument, S.I. 1401 of 2006, Environmental Noise Regulation 2006.

The Environmental Protection Agency prepared guidance for the Action Planning Authorities to use in the preparation of their Noise Action Plans. This Guidance included and recommended the use of a decision/selection matrix chart, to be used to identify, analyse and rate the strength of relationships between different locations, time of day and sound sources. This approach enables a number of different factors to be examined and facilitates the assessment of the relative importance of each.

For this Action Plan it was proposed that the higher the number achieved in the decision matrix process, the higher the priority for action. A value of 17 or more was suggested as the point where priority action would be considered either to reduce noise levels, or to preserve low noise levels where they exist.

The strategic noise mapping results for the major airport will be processed through the decision support matrix during the first phase of the implementation of the noise action plan.

A copy of the Guidance Document “EPA Guidance Note for Noise Action Planning” can be found here.

How up to date is it?

The Directive requires Member States to prepare and publish, every 5 years, noise maps and noise management action plans.These data represent the 2012 phase of noise mapping.

Where can I get this data?

You can view the data using our WebGIS on the Map link, under the Noise group.

You can download the data from the EPA Database option of the Get data page, including Metadata and style files (.lyr).

This data is updated every 5 years. Check the “notify me for updates” option when you download this data to receive an email when the new data is 	available.