The administrative boundaries that are currently available as Linked Data are: City and County Council, City Council, Civil Parish, County Council, Electoral Division, Local Electoral Area, Municipal District, Rural Area, Barony, County, and Townland. We note that City, County, and City and County Councils are indeed three separate entities.
To demonstrate how the boundary data can be used, we will combine it with the 2011 Census data.Footnote 6. We will look at the number of people in private households by size in “CTY areas in Ireland”Footnote 7. This concept corresponds with the union of City, County, and City and County Councils in the OSi dataset. There are 34 CTYs in the census data. The OSi data has 26 County Councils, 3 City Councils and 2 City and County Councils. These numbers seem not to add up, but it is important to note that the data was collected in 2011 and the counties of Tipperary North and Tipperary South were merged into County Tipperary in 2014. The census has also split the city and county of the 2 City and County Councils considered as administrative boundaries by the OSi.
The CSO dataset contains observations for each area. One type of observation collected is the number of people living in households of different sizes. By retrieving those with the query below and asserting owl:sameAs statements between the correspondences, one can formulate, for instance a query to retrieve the total numbers of people living households of 8 people or more. These can then be plotted on a map using OSi’s boundary data, as shown in Fig. 2.
This demonstrates that OSi’s authoritative boundary data can be easily combined with other datasets and add a spatial component for scholars to explore. While not demonstrated in this paper, the geospatial infrastructure allows one also to retrieve information via the geometries (e.g., “retrieve all civil parishes in this square”).