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I am looking for data on castles, preferably UK, although I won't object if it extends to Europe.

Must be mappable, so lat/long is necessary. Any data beyond that is a bonus. E.g date of con/de-struction (and by whom), famous sieges, battles, photos, other descriptive data - the more, the merrier.

I am honing my mapping skills, so this is more of a coding exercise, but I think that castles could be interesting.


[Update] So far, I have found lat/long/name of 181 castles "outside of USA/Canada". However, there are no further details. I could doa lot of research, but , as I said, it's more about coding fancy map features than castles. So, unless someone can come up with better, then I will find another topic. Hope this helped someone, though.

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The UK has separate heritage organisations for each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so the easiest way to do this is probably to get the data from Open Street Map. Features on OSM can be tagged as 'historic=castle' so you can download only features that have that tag. However, I'd suggest reading the documentation page that I've linked to because you might also need to look at some related tags that are listed there.

OSM data is obviously limited by being crowd-sourced, so you have to accept the data quality for what it is (although in the UK it's generally very high). You may want to distinguish between castles that are still standing, ruined castles and castles where only the earthworks remain without buildings.

You don't say what mapping software you're using but there are tutorials for accessing OSM data in QGIS or in R using the osmdata package.

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  • Thanks, Matt (+1). I am using LeafletJs, since I am aware of nothing (free and) better for the browser. As I mentioned in the question, I have the lat/long of 181 castles (wonder how that compares with OSM), but just bare lat/long is not very informative. I was hoping that someone else had put some flesh on the those bones and made it available ... – Mawg says reinstate Monica Apr 15 at 7:22
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The website kasteleninnederland.nl has a database of all Dutch castles, including coordinates, photos, paintings, and more information. Note that everything is in Dutch, but for the coordinates that shouldn't be a problem.

The search page has a search option, if you select "intact" under "Toestand" it will give you a list of all 244 castles that are still intact. The

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