A new website has been launched featuring 3D images and videos of many of Ireland's most famous heritage sites and ancient monuments.

Over 130 monuments and buildings were scanned and brought together at www.3dicons.ie.

It includes decorated high crosses, the island monastery of Skellig Michael, the passage tombs of Knowth and Newgrange, and the ceremonial landscape of Tara.

The website is part of an EU initiative which aims to create highly accurate 3D models of iconic and internationally important monuments and buildings across Europe.

Ireland's contribution to the project was carried out by The Discovery Programme.

In this interactive video by RTÉ's Philip Bromwell, Gary Devlin and Rob Shaw from The Discovery Programme explain how the data was gathered.

Throughout the video you can follow instructions to click or touch the screen to discover extra content.

The interactivity works best on modern browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE11 on desktop and tablet. The format is compatible with most Android smartphones but will play without interactivity on iPhones.

It is expected the new website will benefit the education, tourism and conservation sectors.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys said the website will make it easier for people to explore heritage sites.

"The technology is so effective it makes it easier to view engravings and other features, which might not otherwise be visible."

She said the project should be a useful resource for the education sector, as well as offering benefits to the tourism sector in terms of promoting Ireland’s "incredible heritage assets".