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Digital Westport leads the way

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Hubert Schoendorfer with Eugune Coyne and Enda Egan of AMT3D.
DIGITAL AGE Hubert Schoendorfer demonstrates the AMT3D Laser Scanner to Eugune Coyne and Enda Egan of AMT3D. 

Digital Westport leads the way


Padraig Burns

A project is underway that when completed will result in the Westport becoming the first town in Ireland to have a digital map.
Commissioned by the Town Council and carried out by local company, AMT 3D, work started last week and the project is expected to be completed by the end of November. Using the latest long distance laser scanning technology and high resolution digital photography AMT 3D are currently collecting the many millions of data reference points that are required. 
This data will be processed using AMT3D’s advanced 3D visualisation software to create a high quality interactive reconstruction of the Town Centre. This digital model can be made available both as a stand alone CD, on-line as a Web link and embedded within the Google Earth global map.
When the first phase is completed, the architecturally accurate and photo-realistic model will cover the core heritage area of the town bordered by The Mall, Bridge Street, James Street and The Octagon. Future phases will include the strategic housing and industrial development sites on the fringes of Westport.
The Town Council will use this unique digital computer model to show how proposed buildings will impact the existing environment enabling significant improvements to the initial design, public consultation and overall planning process.
Mr Brendan Hafferty of AMT 3D told The Mayo News that the benefits of the project for the future development of Westport are extensive.
“For example, if sometime in the future, the Town Council want to develop a by-pass for the town, the model we’re creating will allow them see exactly how it will look. Similarly, for public consultation, the advantages will be immense and the public will be able to see what impact any developments are likely to have.
“I think it’s fantastic that Westport is the first town in Ireland to go with this project and I genuinely believe that the town will benefit enormously from it,’’ he said.
Mr Hafferty added that when completed people will be able to view the model on the web.
“What that means is that you’ll have people taking virtual tours of Westport from anywhere in the world. Imagine the benefits that will have for tourism when people can have such information when they’re planning their holidays,’’ he said.
The development has also been welcomed by the Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council, Tereasa McGuire.
“I am very pleased that Westport will be the first town in Ireland to be modelled using this exciting new technology and I  look forward with great anticipation to the first public viewing of what will become the largest town model of its type anywhere in the world.”
Peter Hynes, Westport Town Manager said that Westport was in a phase of rapid development and part of the challenge was to protect the uniqueness of the town while ensuring that it grows and develops into the future.
“Westport is not a museum piece and we need to ensure that it continues to grow in a sustainable way built on the very solid foundation which we have inherited from past generations” he said.