Tuesday 10 September 2013

Derry-Londonderry historic town maps go digital

A digital version of the Derry-Londonderry Irish Historic Towns Atlas is to be launched tomorrow as part of the 'UK City of Culture' celebrations.

The ‘Digital Atlas of Derry~Londonderry’ is an experimental web-GIS resource. It uses a selection of content from the Irish Historic Towns Atlas, no 15, by Avril Thomas, which was published in 2005 following the Royal Irish Academy's collaboration with Derry City Council's Heritage & Museum Service. Queen’s University Belfast subsequently joined the team to create a digital version.

A work in progress, the atlas is already freely available.

Mayor Cllr Martin Reilly will officially launch the digital atlas at the Tower Museum on Wednesday, 11 September at 6:30pm. Prior to the launch he welcomed the online resource as a new way of exploring and understanding the historic city of Derry. 'This is a fantastic way to view early plans and maps of key streets and areas within the walled city,' he said.

Dr Keith Lilley, Queen’s University Belfast, will demonstrate the digital atlas at the launch, which includes five early maps of Derry from 1622 overlaid on one another while Professor Attractra Ingram of the Royal Irish Academy said the new online resource makes a contribution to International scholarship: ‘The Digital atlas of Derry~Londonderry is a very useful case-study for the European historic towns atlas scheme because it presents for the first time maps and texts from the printed atlas in an interactive way,' she said.