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Frequently Asked Questions

What is, in a nutshell?

MapAlerter is a communications service available across Ireland. Alerts are mainly issued by Irish local authorities for a variety of topics. There are currently 21 Councils using the service to alert public subscribers for a variety of topics such as water outages, road closures, planning activity, severe weather, floods/hazards and much more. If you want to get SMS text, email and app notifications for Council events that may impact you then you can signup for a free account at any time. There's no cost to register and there is no cost to receive alerts.

MapAlerter also issues alerts from a number of automated data sources such as river sensor heights and bathing water quality updates. These additional alert categories are available nationwide and the alerts are offered independent of the local authorities using the service.

Wexford County Council was the first local authority to subscribe to the service (March 2011), while Cork City Council is the most recent Council to opt into MapAlerter as their public-facing alert service (June 2023).

How does MapAlerter know which alerts to send me?

When you subscribe you must add a mapped location. This can be your home, workplace or somewhere else that is relevant to you. Meanwhile, each alert thats issued by the Council is mapped. MapAlerter's job is to compare the list of subscriber locations with the alert boundary and decide who should receive each alert. The main benefit here is that you should only receive alerts that are locally relevant to you.

What is the "Live Map"?

MapAlerter includes an up-to-date interactive map of all the latest alerts across the country. The map is desgined with simplicity in mind and it largely mimics the Google Maps approach of using pops on a map which include additional information when you tap over them. The Live Map includes a feed of near realtime information from Council alerts, bathing water quality results, river height sensors and property price register updates. Each map "pop-up" allows users to take an action such as "sign up for alerts on this location", "sign up for river height alerts", and other similar actions. Try it out here!

Is free?

If you are a subscriber and you want to receive alerts then MapAlerter is 100% free. You can create an account and there is no charge at any stage of the process. The service launched during 2011 and years later there is no plan to introduce any subscription fee. The alerts you receive are also free - this include SMS text messages, emails and app notifications.

What channels are used for alert?

When you subscribe you must provide your mobile number and email address. These are used to validate your new account and also to deliver alerts to you as SMS text messages and emails. It's also possible to use the free MapAlerter app for Android and iOS to get your alerts as push notifications. To keep the running costs down, not all alerts are issued by SMS text message to the app and email are great alternatives.

What types of Council alert can I receive?

Council Alerts are issued across six core categories: Water, Roads, Floods, Planning, Severe Weather and Miscellaneous. When you create your account you can set up which alerts are relevant to you. For example, if your water supply is from a private well then you will not be interested in public water supply alerts. Each Council decides the alert categories that it wants to use. You can visit the Coverage page to check if your local authority issued alerts for each of the six core categories.

What are Water Service Alerts?

Many Councils use MapAlerter to issue water service alerts. These are typically related to scheduled works where there is a temporary loss of water supply. The alert content will advise the subscriber of the issue, the start time, end time and additional information. Boil Water Notices are also issued to advise subscribers if they shouldn't drink the public water supply without first boiling the water.

What are Road Alerts?

Road Alerts advise subscribers if road works are scheduled to take place. Alert content (SMS, email and app notifications) typically include the reason for the road works along with the scheduled start and end time. MapAlerter is occasionally used by Councils to advise of fuel spills or road traffic accidents and to advise subscribers to avoid an area for a period of time.

What are severe weather warnings?

MapAlerter uses an automated feed from Met Eireann to learn about Level Yellow, Orange and Red severe weather warnings across the country. Once a new weather alert is detected, MapAlerter will compare the impacted county and determine who is subscribed for weather alerts within it. The alert content includes details of the weather event (wind, rain, etc) and the colour coded severity. The Council determines if SMS text messages are used or not. For example, a Level Yellow wind warning will not include SMS text messages to help reduce costs but a Level Orange or Level Red wind warning will use SMS. Each Council sets its own alert rules for the various weather alert categories.

Can you summarise the data protection component of MapAlerter?

MapAlerter has always taken data protection seriously since the service was launched in 2011. Over the years the service has grown to incorporate robust data protection procedures, especially since GDPR was enacted during May 2018. Detailed information about how MapAlerter manages data protection are included in these links:

Here's a summary of the main points from these documents:

  • Pin Point Alerts Ltd is the Data Controller and Data Processor for The company is based in Kilkenny City. Our staff include certified data protection (GDPR) practitioners. Contact with any queries.
  • MapAlerter does not track your location at any stage. To create an account you must provide a fixed location and this can be as accurate or vague as you like. The MapAlerterwebsite or app has no ability to track your "current location" at any stage.
  • The extent of personal information stored by MapAlerter is your mobile number, email address and your stored locations. MapAlerter does not store your Name as it is not required for us to offer this service.
  • The MapAlerter website does not use any 3rd party cookies to track your movement across this website. Any cookie used on this website is to offer a functional web offering at all time. External cookies include tools to load the various web map code as well as avoid bots/spam attacks on certain pages. There is no embedded cookie code from any ad network or social media site. You do not need to accept cookies on this site - all cookies used are required for the service to operate successfully.

What are weekly planning alerts?

MapAlerter issues a weekly digest email to subscribers if there is any planning activity near their mapped location. New and Decided status updates are issued in a single email and links back to the Council website (applicant and scanned documents) are included on the emails. The subscriber can set their area of interest as a buffer around their stored MapAlerter location from 0.5km to 5km, depending on the preferred area of interest.