Digital Counties Initiative

Project Name

Digital Counties Initiative

Project Date

2015 - Present

Team

Gary Dempsey - Orla-Peach Power

Castlestrange Stone - Sketch and Photogrammetry

Castlestrange Stone - Sketch and Photogrammetry

The Digital County Initiative is one of the flagship DH_Age projects in Ireland. Building from the success of individual digital heritage workshops in Roscommon and Galway ‘Digital Counties’ grew as an idea. Based on the Irish principle of 'Meitheal ', the coming together of communities, to share workloads. this project aims to create a locally curated digital museum for each Irish County. The project aims to train both professionals and heritage communities with the skills to develop their own digital heritage projects. The project began as series of free training days which were held in Roscommon County Library in spring 2015. Participants learned how to conduct a photogrammetry surveys and use the associated computer programs, along with traditional survey skills, which were put into practice through field trips.  The training was funded by Roscommon County Council as an action of the County Roscommon Heritage Plan 2012-2016.  

The project has since grown to include several other Irish counties including Galway City and County, Cavan, Down, Donegal, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Mayo, Longford, and Limerick. Local communities are a key focus of the project. Local heritage is just as important as national heritage sites, and we are proud to support and promote local heritage sites throughout the country.

During our fieldwork, and local workshops local communities have learned how to develop and mange their own digital projects. Learning new skills such as photogrammetry and improving photography skills. DH_Age also encourage best practice in heritage management and reporting. We have worked with the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland to develop CPD workshops in photogrammetry and laser scanning. This has led to an increase in Irish archaeological companies adding photogrammetry to their services. Several discoveries made during workshops and field work with communities have been reported to the National Monuments Service, using 3D models to demonstrate newly discovered features.

3D is allowing DH_Age to create online virtual museums of lesser known sites and artifacts which helps us to generate a local pride in cultural heritage, and hopefully promote tourism for Counties such as Roscommon. The Roscommon3D project has continued beyond its initial scope and as we have learned, the quality of 3D models has models and textures has improved. While the ultimate goal will be to reprocess the digital models and improve their presentation on Sketchfab, we will also continue to display older versions as a learning tool for future projects.