GeoDirectory is integral to the Property Registration Authority’s new state-of-the art, digital map of Ireland’s land holdings. Have you ever wondered about the history of the land you live on? Or considered buying a plot of land? Or wanted to find out more detail about a local landmark?
The first place you’d be likely to turn to would be the Property Registration Authority. Over 90 per cent of land in the Republic is registered there. In total, the organisation holds records of 2.5 million parcels of land - 90 per cent of Ireland’s total land mass.
Each of these pieces of land has its own folio, which provides information such as:
A description of the property
The tenure of the property
The name and address of the owner
The purchase price.
To see the folio, you first need to find a special location mark, which is allocated to each property. Until a few years ago, the only way to find that location mark was to physically visit the Land Registry office and inspect the relevant maps.
These were broken down into 32,000 separate Ordnance Survey sheets, each one square metre in size. That’s a lot of paper - enough to cover the pitch at Croke Park two and a half times over.
That was before the Property Registration Authority launched an ambitious plan to convert its paper map base into electronic format. This would enable customers to conduct map searches via the Internet, and view the details from their own home or workplace.
To create a user-friendly search facility on the planned digital map, the location marks had to be associated with a familiar postal address. This would allow a customer to type in the address of the property which they were interested in (e.g. 19 Church Street), along with the name of the townland and county.
But to put this plan into practice, the organisation needed an authoritative, comprehensive database of addresses and geographical locations. The organisation did have a basic address register for cross-referencing, but required a fully-fledged, flexible, electronic database covering all buildings across the Republic.
GeoDirectory provided the perfect solution. Its database was incorporated into the award - winning new website, landdirect.ie, which was launched in mid-2006.
Now it’s a simple procedure to investigate the details of land and property in Ireland.
Visitors, once registered on to landdirect.ie can:
Go to the address tab
Key in or select the elements of the address they are aware of
View the map and zoom in to the location mark associated with that address
Inspect the folio for the property.
Greg McDermott, the Information Systems Programme Manager for the Property Registration Authority says that the digital search facility made possible by GeoDirectory has been a resounding success.