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Dublin: 12°C Monday 19 October 2020

The Air Corps is helping map every centimetre of our coastline --- and here's how they're doing it


EVER CONSIDERED A job at the national mapping service?

A quiet, predictable gig you might imagine — spending your days quietly poring over charts, and discussing how best to represent Luas tracks as you update the official map of Dublin for the 37th time.

Not so, apparently.

Geographers from Ordnance Survey Ireland have found themselves being winched onto isolated, windswept rocks all over the place as part of a mission to map the exact measurements of the country’s territorial waters.

Case in point…

Source: DFMagazine/YouTube

It’s all part of ‘Operation Baseline’.

Air Corps pilots are dropping the Ordance experts to some of the most  inaccessible headlands and islands around our shores to mark the co-ordinates from which the breadth of our territorial waters are measured.

According to the Defence Forces:

“Currently the island of Ireland itself covers 20,863,360 acres of land and over 220 million acres of marine and undersea territory.

This marine environment is a fantastically valuable resource and, by using the Air Corps, the National Mapping Agency can confirm the size of Ireland’s Territorial sea and EEZ, and the State’s rights over the exploration and use of marine resources of this area.

So yes — essentially it’s all about oil and gas rights.

Source: DFMagazine/YouTube

The first short video was taken aboard an Air Corps Agusta Westland 139 helicopter. The second is mix of footage from a helicopter and an CASA maritime patrol aircraft above the Blasket Islands.

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