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Irish Pilot

Enterprises Environmental research

The Irish Pilot is focused on the use of the SmartOpenData infrastructure to provide open data and open INSPIRE-compliant geospatial information (GI) sources for environmental managers and researchers particularly focused on biodiversity and habitats, building on participative social validation and pilots. This is focusing on European protected areas and its National Parks, starting with the Burren National Park in Ireland. The pilot aims to demonstrate the value of SmartOpenData in helping Researchers and Decision Makers to better manage, preserve, sustain and use this unique ecosystem.

The pilot is exploring:

  • Discovery, seamless use and mashing together of sources to address immediate biodiversity research issues.
  • Overcoming the barriers (cultural, political, administrative) to opening up the data
  • Overcoming technical incompatibilities of datasets in terms of technical standards, semantic structuring etc.
  • Validation of the SmartOpenData platform in the aggregation, analysis and visualisation to support decision making of the various research and other stakeholders requirements, and the value-add/impact on their work

The Burren National Park ( of 1,500 hectares, which has been designated the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark (, is located on the west coast of Ireland and is an unique area of high conservation value containing many habitats of international importance including limestone pavement, calcareous grassland, oligotrophic lakes, turloughs, hazel scrub & ash/hazel woodland. It is managed by the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service, and involves many local communities, stakeholders and Europe-wide environmental issues.


Irish Pilot thumbnail


From many meetings and discussions with the various stakeholder groups in the Burren, the following two User Scenarios are being pursued as being  potentially most beneficial to them;

  1. SmartOpenData enabled European Tourism Indicator System (ETIS) Webservice for the Burren and European GeoParks Network (
  2. SmartOpenData enabled App to Ground-Truth potential Protected Monument sites


Tourism for Conservation Scenario

SmartOpenData will enable an European Tourism Indicators System ETIS Webservice and Apps for the Burren and European GeoParks Network. ETIS is a new EU standard (Defined as an Excel Spreadsheet dataset and PDF Guide at, that is a local community led process for monitoring, managing, and enhancing the sustainability of a tourism destination. SmartOpenData will enable streamlining and enhancing the current manual system by transforming the current manual system to Linked Open Geospatial Data. The Burren Geopark has adopted the ETIS for the Sustainable Management of Destinations to monitor and measure performance, and is one of 100 destinations in Europe that are currently piloting this system. In addition, Failte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, has expressed interest in using the Geopark’s work on the ETIS as a pilot for assessing for larger-scale, national projects.

SmartOpenData is enabling the provision of a webservice and mobile Apps for the various stakeholders involved, including:

  1. Public bodies – National Parks Wildlife Service (
  2. Experts – Researchers and management in the Burren GeoPark, European GeoParks Network (
  3. Enterprises, Companies and SMEs – Burren GeoPark
  4. Citizens – visitors to the Burren National Park

It is anticipated that as each destination’s use of the ETIS matures and the indicator data collected becomes more extensive, the ETIS service will enable comparisons of the destination’s progress against international benchmarks. This will give greater context to the achievements and give destination stakeholders motivation to take further actions to improve results. It will also encourage knowledge sharing between destinations. The intention is not to create competition between destinations, but to recognise that the results generated through the process are core to the decision making plans for each destination.

The ETIS GeoPark Management Portaldynamically binds the options chosen by the GeoPark Manager to the user interface

  • Manager selects sections relevant to their Park andthe content is automatically published in the User surveys.
  • The System Dashboard interface shows how the destination is performing as per the ETIS framework.
  • The ETIS data model includes the Response Indicators that are linked depending on the selected options.
    • The surveys are collated and the toolkit algorithms applied.
    • One click deployment of the surveys.
    • The System uses the dynamic links created between elements to show the relevant content based on selection.


ETIS Service


Each of the stakeholders surveys can be accessed with the following urls


Heritage Ground-Truthing Scenario

The SmartOpenData platform is enabling the provision of an App service to mobilise a very motivated community, by enabling visitors and people interested in their local heritage, to seek out and ground truth potentialmonument sites in the Burren and beyond. Verified sightings will be added to the Irish National Monuments Database.

This App will mobilise a very motivated community of stakeholders, including

  1. Public bodies – Heritage Council (, Irish National Monuments Service (, Irish Government Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (
  2. Experts– Field Monuments Advisors and Researchers
  3. Enterprises, Companies, SMEs, Farmers.
  4. Citizens– visitors and people interested in their local heritage

At the end of the project, the Irish Heritage Council and National Monuments Service will decide if the crowd-sourced ground truthing observations (both positive and negative) should be included as a permanent Voluntary Geographic Information (VGI) layer on the Irish National Monuments map on their Mapping Viewer. This process will also initiate a process for the digital preservation of the VGI data concerning the features that were investigated, both those that are validated to be national monument sites, and those that are not, to avoid people wasting their time and resources in investigating them again.

The crowdsource Ground-Truth potential Protected Monument sites smartphone App, enables visitors and people interested in their local heritage, to seek out and ground truth potential Monument sites, as follows:

Once reported the inputs are verified to confirm their status, at the portal at




The service uses the IrishNational Monuments dataset available at This is being transformed to theSmartOpenData Data Model using the Harmonisation Tools proven in other Pilots.