How to use the geolocation tools

Geolocation features on allow users to discover and understand placenames in the context of the user's immediate physical environment. To use these features, your device needs to have geolocation data enabled and you need to use a modern web browser. The geolocation features on are described below and some information is provided as regards enabling geolocation services on your device.

Where am I?

This feature is found on the search page. Pressing the appropriate button will cause to get your current physical location and return a list of placenames from the Placenames Database of Ireland that are within close proximity. Results will be listed in order of proximity, with those locations closest to you listed first. A red target on each map in the result list represents your current location, based on the data obtained from your device. This feature enables users to learn about the placenames present in their immediate physical environment.

Show my current location

This feature is available as part of the interactive maps on Click the crosshairs button, situated below the map zoom controls, to set your current geographic position as the map's centrepoint. A red circle will mark your current location. A smaller circle indicates more accurate geolocation data. This feature allows users to assess results displayed on the map in relation to their own geographic location.

Devices and common issues

In order to make use of the aforementioned tools you must enable geolocation data on the device you are using. Most modern mobile devices, such as smart phones or tablets, have access to global positioning system (GPS) data or to geolocation data obtained from your mobile network. Desktop and laptop computers sometimes have access to geolocation data through WiFi and intranet networks but this is not always the case. When geolocation data are unavailable an error message is displayed, such as 'Your location could not be detected.' This message may also be displayed if geolocation services are disabled on the user device. You are advised to check your device settings and to enable geolocation services if necessary.

Geolocation features on also require the use of a modern web browser. If a browser is unable to interact with the geolocation features on the relevant buttons and controls are hidden from the user interface. Your browser may request that you grant permission to to access your geolocation data. If you do not grant this permission an error message will be displayed: 'Please allow the use of location services.' Communication between your device and the website is encrypted and your location data is not recorded or stored.

Note: If you use the Android operating system and you are having issues with the geolocation tools, it may be helpful to switch the device's geolocation mode from 'Device only' (GPS only) to 'High accuracy' (GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GSM etc.).

Note: If you use the Safari browser on Mac OS and you are having issues with the geolocation tools, it is recommended that you check your device's settings and ensure that Safari is enabled under the 'Location Services' tab.


The accuracy of coordinates obtained from user devices depends on a number of factors: device type, number of nearby wireless networks, data sources (GPS or otherwise) etc. It is recommended that you try the geolocation features more than once in any one location as the results returned may not be identical every time.