Evaluate Your Perfect House Location with GeoHive

Make an informed decision on your ideal house location by using GeoHive and making the most of publically available mapping data and GIS datasets from OSi.

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Advancements in information and communication technology have given many Irish workers the possibility to carry out their job through remote working. No longer must these workers live in a location just to be physically closer to a jobs market as their home and office can be anywhere. For this group of workers and other demographics in the market for a new home, there has never been a more accessible way to locate your ideal site thanks to GeoHive.

By navigating GeoHive and reviewing data from the Property Price Register, potential house buyers can put together a detailed portfolio of information that will help them settle in the location most suitable for their needs.

What is GeoHive?

GeoHive is a national platform for accessing authoritative Irish geospatial information from multiple providers, including Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) and many more.

This helpful tool can be enjoyed for free by anyone with online access and allows users to view detailed mapping data and overlay it with a diverse range of important data sets. This includes Nature and Environment data sets containing information on Agriculture, Environment, Conservation and Heritage, Geology and Hydrography. Furthermore, the Population and Economy data sets provides geo-targets resources related to the sub categories of Education, Health, Planning and Development, Population Statistics, Public Government, Services and Transport. More information on these data sets can be viewed on the GeoHive Data Catalogue.

Getting Started

Open GeoHive on a desktop computer, smart phone or tablet and click Make My Map. Now pick the underlying mapping information you desire. You can choose from the GeoHive Map, aerial photography and even historical mapping sets. Now you’re ready to overlay and pinpoint local amenities, social activities, transport networks and even areas that are subject to flooding on your map. Each time you add a layer you can adjust the transparency of each layer so that your map doesn’t get too cluttered.

Here’s some examples of the type of information you can put together using GeoHive and the solutions that GeoHive can provide to ordinary people everyday.

Find your house location with GeoHive

Find your house location with GeoHive

Example 1: Downsizing and Returning to Education

Pamela and Dave are a couple on the verge of retirement that are looking to downsize from their home in Dublin and move somewhere more quiet in The Midlands.

The couple are looking for a two or three bedroom property with a garden in Roscommon or maybe Leitrim, but they are unsure where to focus their search. As well as peace and quiet, the couple have put together a wish list of places, features and services that they would like nearby.

Pamela is considering a return to education and is interested in living in an area near a third level institution where grants are available. Pamela will use the University Grant, Higher Education data set to see which universities have a large number of students who were successful in obtaining a grant.

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Although Dave is excited to be moving to the countryside, he still wants to be able to travel back to Dublin for sports events. It’s important for him to have access to public transport.

He’ll use the Bus Eireann Stops data set from the National Transport Authority to suss out if the area they choose to settle down in is well served by coaches.

As Dave and Pamela begin to narrow their search and centre in on Roscommon, they find themselves selecting other data sets to learn more about the area. After choosing the Arts Facilities data set provided by Roscommon County Council, they are able to locate a number of sources of entertainment and culture near their desired location. After visiting the Property Price Register, they are able to determine how much properties in the area have sold for in the last year, thus helping them determine how much money they will have left when they sell their home in Dublin.

Example 2: Remote Working and a Fresh Start

Barry and Anne Marie are two IT professionals that want to set up their own software business in a new home. They have decided that they would like to source a site and build a house. They are willing to buy a house that has an existing structure on the property, but they want to know if there would be any restrictions on developing the land. They look at the Architectural Conservation data set that’s provided by a local County Council.

Barry and Anne Marie have two young children who will be finishing off their last few years in primary school in the new area in which they locate. They won’t always be able to drive the children to and from school and are hoping that there are some public transport routes available in the area. With this in mind, they activate the Travel to Work/Education data set. This lets them see the most recent Census information related to the commute to work or education by car, broken into small areas. They determine from the high percentage of car users in the area they are studying that the locality might not be well served by public transport.

The couple’s new business will require them to purchase specialised equipment that is likely to be quite expensive. Although they plan on installing an alarm and getting everything insured, for peace of mind they factor in the Crime Rates 2014 Per Population data set, from the CSO/AIRO into their decision making process.

Although both Barry and Anne Marie are involved in the new business, Barry will still need to travel across the country four days out of the month, while he winds down his old IT consultancy business. He activates the Roads data set from OSi to ensure that any new home he picks for him and his family is accessible from the major road networks.

After some searching they settle upon Carlow as a suitable area for their family and business needs. They look at local property listings and find a site for sale that looks like a good fit. They enter the address of the property into the GeoHive search bar and are able to overlay all their datasets over that exact property.

Example 3: Natural Interests

John is looking to set up a sustainable home in the West of Ireland that is ideally located to harness the energy potential from a number of renewable resources.  If things go OK with this residential plan, he wants to build an ecology centre in his back garden to teach school groups about conservation, horticulture and renewable energy.

John chooses aerial photography mapping to help him identify by sight, the areas that would be big enough for his ambitions.

Having done his own research and found a three-bedroom house sitting on an acre of garden, he types the address into GeoHive and applies the Contours data set from OSi to see if his property is at the bottom of a slope. He also uses the Flood Maps data set from the OSi to see if the property is typically hit by flooding.

Two of the most important data sets for John are the Geothermal and Windspeed data sets from the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland). These data sets will inform John’s decision as to whether or not his chosen property would benefit from the necessary wind speeds or geothermal energy to effectively power his sustainable home.

If the time came for John to focus on developing his ecology centre idea he could look at the Population data from the most recent Census. By determining if the population density is high enough in the area, he can get an idea where he should focus his advertisement efforts in order to attract the most customers.

To learn more about GeoHive click here. When you’re ready to have a go yourself simply click the Make your Map button on GeoHive.ie.

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