Dublin City Culture Audit and Map:
Culture Near You

Auditing and mapping Dublin’s cultural assets

Cultural heritage is the legacy of society, inherited and preserved over decades and even centuries of generations. Culture can be tangible, in the form of buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, artwork, and artifacts. It can also be intangible, in the form of folklore, traditions, language, and knowledge.

Preserving cultural heritage enriches the individual lives of citizens, is a driving force for the cultural and creative sectors and plays a role in creating and enhancing Dublin’s social capital. It is also an important resource for economic growth, employment, and social cohesion, offering the potential to revitalise urban and rural areas and promote sustainable tourism.

Public Engagement:

It was a priority for the Dublin City Council Culture Company that the voices of the people that call Dublin home, were central to this project.

Submissions were invited from local Dublin groups, organisations, and individuals to provide information that gives cultural choices to city residents and visitors, while also encouraging a relationship between the city decision-makers and the people they represent. 

Creating the Cultural Map:

Dublin City Council Culture Company was incorporated in March 2018, to plan and run a calendar of cultural initiatives with and for the people of Dublin.

As part of their strategy, Dublin City Council asked the Dublin City Council Culture Company to locate and catalogue the city’s cultural assets in a map. The map was to include places where culture happens (its buildings, public spaces, and locations) as well as people who make culture happen (its festivals, organisations, groups, and informal networks).

The overall objective of the project was to increase cultural access and therefore cultural participation throughout Dublin’s neighbourhoods and provide valuable data for City Planners.

IMGS were contracted to design the solution, which incorporated 2 main components:

  • Data Integration with FME from Safe Software
  • Mapping and Workflow management from Hexagon Geospatial, using M.App Enterprise

The IMGS solution involved configuring the database and developing a web-based cultural map viewer for agency staff.  In addition, IMGS developed a workflow for the public to submit data, an internal moderator workflow, and a public-facing website.

IMGS worked closely with McCann Dublin, who were responsible for delivering front end design and development for the website.

This project has 3 categories of beneficiaries:

  • City residents and visitors have relevant information to help them answer:
    • What can my family and I do in this neighbourhood?
    • What’s at the heart of our community?
  • City Council planners, strategists, and decision makers have a comprehensive dataset to help them make evidence-based decisions about culture.
  • Providers of cultural activities can easily find new collaborators, promote their enterprises, and recruit new members.

“Rather than seek innovation for its own sake, the Dublin City Council Culture Company took a citizen centric approach to this project.  They saw digital platforms such as social media and smart applications, like M.App Enterprise, as a means of encouraging citizens to engage and make their voices heard. This approach of weaving a digital solution into the cultural fabric of the Dublin City Council Culture Company, was one of the most innovative I’ve seen in my time at IMGS.” Garrett Cronin, Commercial Manager, IMGS.

 

The Culture Map in Action:

Using a mobile app, city residents and visitors can submit cultural opportunities such as festivals, monuments, parks, community groups, and even food producers. Users can add descriptions and pin locations before sending information directly to the moderator.

Submissions through mobile apps appear in a common database. City planners will be able to generate reports through an interactive dashboard and map view of the city. This holistic display helps planners decide how best to move forward with related initiatives.

City planners can view relevant cultural data plotted on a map alongside charts and graphs that answer their specific location intelligence questions. By viewing this data on charts and maps, city planners can see where and when cultural opportunities are available for city residents and visitors, and plan for them accordingly.

“The Dublin Cultural Audit and Map is an ambitious intelligence project. We knew from the outset that we needed a technical solution that would link to the existing technologies within the local authority at the same time as being usable for city residents. We are delighted with the dynamic database that has been created by working closely with IMGS (alongside creative agency McCann, our team at the Culture Company and our partners in Dublin City Council). This daily updated data gives city planners current cultural information while they make strategic decisions about Dublin’s future, and gives residents a user-friendly way to find cultural things to do in their local area”.  Iseult Byrne, CEO Dublin City Council Culture Company.

Expanding the Solutions to other Cities:

The cultural audit and mapping system is highly customisable and easy to adapt for use in other cities and councils across Ireland and overseas.

If you would like to discuss this solution further, please fill our ONLINE FORM and a member of the team will be in touch.

IMGS:

At IMGS, data intelligence and information are at the core of what we do.  We provide solutions to automate data flows, visualise information and power data insights for a wide variety of customers including local authorities, government agencies, utilities, and communication organisations.

The Dublin City Cultural Audit and Map / Culture Near You is made by Dublin City Council Culture Company in partnership with Dublin City Council to deliver Priority 2(4) and 3(1) of the Dublin City Cultural Strategy (2016-2021).