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Map Collections at UCD and on the Web: Tailte Éireann Data - Help & Information

Find, access and purchase maps at UCD Library. Lists of map resources and suppliers on the web. Examples of map symbols and scales. Copyright and booking forms.

What Maps and Data are Available to Request?

Would you like to use a map in your classwork, essay, research project or thesis?

Maps can both enhance your work and enlighten your reader. A map can help you present research findings visually on a map, add a new dimension to your work, make your essay more accessible or appealing for the reader or show information in a different way.

Tailte Éireann - National Mapping Division (formerly Ordnance Survey Ireland) has agreed to provide a range of data for educational and academic research purposes. This data is for the use of third level students, teaching and academic staff and researchers in their teaching, coursework and research only. The data is provided at no cost at the point of delivery.


Historical maps can help explain a story or event and bring a former era to life. You can apply for historical maps in either PDF or TIFF format.

Ordnance Survey Ireland has produced a variety of historical maps from 6inch to 1 mile maps dating from the 1840s to 25inch maps dating from the early 20th century. You can find samples of the historical PDF maps on this page:  

Some of the historical mapping series area available as raster data (in TIFF format) you can find information about applying for this data here:  look in the section named HISTORICAL RASTER DATA IN TIFF FORMAT


With aerial imagery you can view changes in the landscape and see the layout of towns or villages from above. The aerial imagery is ortho-rectified which means distortions caused by camera tilt and topographical features are removed in order to produce a scale accurate image.

The aerial mapping is available in colour from either 2005 or 2011-2013. You can find sample PDF aerial maps as well as the application form on this page:

For other aerial mapping collections see:


This is available for the whole country whether the area is urban or rural. Data is supplied in a DWG format and can be used in software such as AutoCad or ArcGIS. 


Discovery Series Vector:

For Discovery series vector data at scale 1:50,000 and accompanying contour lines you can see a sample and request this data here:

see the section Discovery Series Vector Tiles



To apply for large scale (1:1000 OR 1:2500 OR 1:5000) vector data see the section VECTOR DATA on

On this page you can look at samples and get the link to the application form.


Current maps are maps which have been created / surveyed within the past 6 to 24 months.

They can be requested in PDF format ranging from A4 size up to A0 size. There are various options to choose from - large scale maps at 1:1000 1:2500 or 1:5000 scale, and Discovery series maps at 1:50,000 scale. 

To apply for current PDF maps see On this page you can also look at samples and get the link to the application form.


Requesting OSI Maps for Your Research

Printing a PDF Map

Click on this image to see correct settings to use for printing your PDF map



My PDF Won't Open

What to do if the PDF map won't open


The map files are in PDF X/1-A format and cannot be edited. The PDF map will not open if software that has the ability to edit PDFs is installed.

Therefore, the files need to be opened in a standard PDF Reader.

The most common PDF Reader software comes from Adobe. OSI suggest that a package available from Foxit will also work.

This is the link to the Adobe Reader:

This is the link to the Foxit product:

Include your PDF Map in a Document

How to use a PDF map in a document


Open the PDF map and on the Toolbar click on View, then Zoom, then Actual Size

On your laptop / PC keyboard press the PrtScn (Print Screen) button

Now, open Paint (if you can't see this listed in your laptop / PC programs, type Paint into the Search programs and files searchbox to find it)

In Paint, click on Home, then click on Paste. The image of the map should appear. To view the entire image you may need to click on the small rectangle shown near the top right corner of the Paint window.

At the top of the Paint toolbar, left click on Home, then left click on Crop.

This gives you a cross shaped cursor to draw with. Left click on the map and drag the cross shape around the area you wish to select. When you release the mouse the shape will be created / finished.

On the Paint toolbar left click on Cut - this will cut out the area you have just selected.

Left click on New to open a New Paint window from the pull down menu - 

In this new Paint window, left click on Home, then left click on Paste.  Now, left click on Save as to name your map and in Save as Type choose PNG or JPEG. You can import either format into your document. Ensure that you have the OSi credit accompanying your map.

© Ordnance Survey Ireland [2019] All rights reserved


Can I Open a PDF map in PhotoShop?

Map PDFs won't open in any software which has editing facilities, including PhotoShop -  this is a security feature applied by Ordnance Survey Ireland.


Students / Researchers in Other Irish Third Level Institutions

Can I get vector data if I am not in UCD?


The UCD Library maps service is for UCD staff and students only.

For Tailte Éireann data for academic / educational use in universities and higher education institutions in Ireland, you should contact for advice.

They will assist with requests for vector data which is required for educational purposes. 


Urban / Rural Maps

How to tell if an area is defined as urban or rural by Tailte Éireann
Tailte Éireann (formerly Ordnance Survey Ireland) and Central Statistics Office (CSO) use the same criteria to define a town / city / urban area
Anywhere that has a population of approx 1,500 or more is deemed NOT rural
See the CSO interactive map on their website where you can see the different categories
When you type a place into the search box you can see what colour is applied on the interactive map. The legend shows the colours for these categories : Cities, Satellite Urban Towns, Independent Urban Towns , Rural areas with high urban influence, Rural areas with moderate urban influence, Highly rural/remote areas
Census 2022 Small Area Population Statistics are available via the Census 2022 interactive map


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act of 2018 

Our GDPR statement on data collection, storage and use:

To receive maps from the Educational Maps service you provide your name, UCD e-mail address, UCD student / staff number in a completed application form. We use the personal information you submit to operate, maintain, and provide to you maps / data requested.

Application requests are stored in a LibWizard form created and maintained by the Springshare company (which is GDPR compliant) and accessed through a password by UCD Library staff providing the educational maps service.

The completed forms are retained as they may be required upon request by Tailte Éireann - National Mapping Division. Tailte Éireann auditors will need to be able to trace map orders made via the National Mapping Agreement.
These will be retained for a period of 6 years to comply with Irish Revenue Office rules. Application forms will be deleted after this time.

Non-personal information will be downloaded from the application forms for statistical purposes. This information will be stored in an Excel spreadsheet on a password protected shared drive. Information collected will relate to the type and extent of product requested / the date supplied, the status of the requestor, i.e., undergrad / postgrad / staff and their UCD school / unit.

Personal information including name, e-mail address, student / staff number will not be collected for statistical purposes.