Rocque spent a good deal of time here mapping every minute detail of the city including back lanes, the positions of trees, the city walls and the shapes of each commercial building
An open information and mapping session for the historic Kilkenny City will take place at New Work Junction, MacDonagh Junction on Saturday.
Local mappers are being asked to gather to map the present-day Kilkenny on www.openstreetmap.org. There will be a wide variety of places to both map and improve and just straight up sightsee.
Between the years 1754 and 1760, there was something of a race on between two map-makers, and the race appears to have had Kilkenny City as a staging post.
John Rocque and Rodger Kendrick both wanted to have the royal appointment to go ahead and map Ireland. Kendrick was from Dublin, Anglo Irish and very well connected, whereas Rocque was a French Huguenot blow-in, who had made maps in London, Paris and Rome. Each man made sample maps to show their prowess, but Kendrick stuck to Dublin.
Rocque, on the other hand, ventured further out to Ireland’s regional towns and cities, and mapped Thurles, Cork, Newry and in 1757 he reached Kilkenny. He spent a good deal of time here mapping every minute detail of the city including back lanes, the positions of trees, the city walls and the shapes of each commercial building on the burgeoning shopping streets in the centre.
The nature of the map, being a sample is given away by its title -‘ A Survey of the City of Kilkenny -To his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales’. The map was well received by the local traders, since there were no recent efforts that showed the contemporary detail of the town. Rocque went on to win the royal appointment for making the map of Ireland.
More than two and a half centuries later, Kilkenny is no less in need of good maps and spatial data for a whole different array of decision makers, including communities and individuals using their smartphones to select service locations or commercial investors deciding on where to locate something. A small community of locals use OpenStreetMap to capture all the details, for unlimited and free use for all.
OpenStreetMap is an opensource solution to map making, and when the features are published OpenStreetMap ensures that this information is available to everyone, for re-use in as many different ways as possible. In many ways the community of mappers are repeating the work of Rocque on an ever changing Kilkenny.
The open event will be held at the New Work Junction, Dublin Road, R95 VP83 on the November 30. The morning session will be an introduction to Openstreetmap Ireland and open-source mapping which will facilitate all levels of either mapping or computer knowledge. Then in the afternoon, weather depending, groups can either go out to get numbers/ names for houses, add businesses, refine road types, etc. Or use local knowledge to add in gaps.
The event starts at 11am and runs until 3pm. No experience is necessary, but it is advised you bring a laptop, mouse and charger. Book early to avoid disappointment at Eventbrite.