Justin Gleeson

Director of AIRO

Justin Gleeson is the Director of the All-Island Research Observatory (AIRO) and Technical Manager of spatial projects at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA). Justin has a BA and MA in Economic Geography from the National University of Ireland, Galway and an MSc in GIS from the University of Leeds. Following a 5 year term in the commercial GIS industry in the UK, Justin joined NIRSA as Technical Manager of spatial projects in 2006. Justin has been leading the development of the All-Island Research Observatory project for the past number of years and has secured its status as a key part in the national data infrastructure of Ireland. Justin is also involved in a wide range of other projects with the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) and well as Europe wide spatial planning projects.

Justin’s main research areas are in geographical information systems (GIS), spatial planning, demographics, social inclusion, mapping and spatial analysis and improving public data usage and dissemination.

Justin is also currently a Board Member of Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) and Vice President of the Irish Organisation for Geographical Information (IRLOGI).


Contact Justin

+353 87 9700828

Aoife Dowling

Senior Data Analyst

Aoife Dowling graduated with an honours degree in Geography and also holds a Higher Diploma in Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing from NUI Maynooth. Since graduation Aoife was employed as a GIS technician within the Local Authority sector in Ireland and was appointed as a Data Analyst with the All-Island Research Observatory (AIRO) project in early 2010.

Aoife is an expert in the design and development of AIRO Instant Atlas web mapping census toolkits and acts as the primary contact point for all AIRO public sector clients. Aoife is responsible for the delivery of our 'Data for Decisions' workshops, the development of the AIRO Data Store and is also our main contact point for both INSPIRE and the ISDE.

Aoife's main research areas are in the development of interactive mapping and visualisation systems to aid the improvement of evidence informed planning in Ireland. A key aspect of Aoife's current work is focused on the development of a new AIRO DataStore containing a national set of open data. Aoife has expert knowledge in a series of key data and mapping software's: Instant Atlas, ESRI ArcGIS, ArcGIS Viewer for Flex, ArcGIS for Server, QGIS, Mapinfo, Tableau and FME. 

Contact Aoife

+353 1 708 6688

Eoghan McCarthy

Senior Data Analyst

A graduate of the Masters in Regional and Urban Planning programme in UCD, Eoghan joined AIRO following a number of years working as a consultant in transport planning sector in Ireland and the UK. With a strong background of planning knowledge combined with expertise in the area of spatial data analysis, Eoghan is currently the data management and visualisation coordinator for AIRO. His brief is to develop and maintain spatial planning data systems for AIRO, undertake research projects in the area of spatial planning and to develop bespoke data visualisations using the latest off the shelf and open source mapping and visualisation software.

Eoghan's main research areas are in the development of interactive mapping and visualisation systems to aid the improvement of evidence informed planning in Ireland. A key aspect of Eoghan's current work is focused on the integration of cross border datasets to develop an all-island spatial planning toolkit.

Eoghan has expert knowledge in a series of key data and mapping software's: ESRI ArcGIS, ArcGIS Viewer for Flex, ArcGIS for Server, QGIS, Mapinfo, Tableau and FME.


Contact Eoghan

+353 1 708 6688

Dr Ainhoa González

Senior Environmental Analyst

Ainhoa González graduated with a first class honours degree in Agricultural Engineering from Pamplona University in 1997, a first class honours Masters in Environmental Resource Management from University College Dublin in 2001, and a PhD in Environmental Planning from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2008. She has complemented her studies with a Diploma in Environmental Impact Assessment Management from University College Dublin in 2000, and a Higher Diploma in Environmental Engineering from Trinity College Dublin in 2004. In 2009 she took a research officer position at Trinity College Dublin, and led a work package on a European FP-7 funded project BRIDGE that developed a pragmatic GIS-based decision-support system for assessing the sustainability of urban planning alternatives. In 2012 she became a part-time teaching assistant at Trinity College Dublin, where she coordinates a number of MSc course modules, and a part-time researcher at NIRSA where she has contributed to European and national research projects. She is a board member of the International Association for Impact Assessment’s UK-Ireland branch, and the regional delegate of the Spanish Association for Impact Assessment. She is also a member of the international editorial review board of the Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management (JEAPM) and the International Journal of Information Systems and Social Change (IJISSC).

Ainhoa’s research focuses on the contribution of spatial data and GIS to environmental planning and sustainable development. This includes the development of pragmatic methodologies in support of sustainable development, and geographically-explicit indicators to assist assessment and monitoring processes associated with land-use planning and decision-making. The focal point of her research has been physical geography and, in particular, spatial examination of environmental aspects. However, environmental policy implementation and public participation are of significant interest to her. Her research has always strived to bring science and practice together through the development of practical methods and research findings that can be used and applied by practitioners.

Contact Ainhoa

Rob Kitchin

Principal Investigator (PI) of AIRO

Rob Kitchin is a professor and ERC Advanced Investigator in NIRSA, for which he was director between 2002 and 2013. He has published widely across the social sciences, including 23 books and over 130 articles and book chapters. He is editor of the international journals, Progress in Human Geography and Dialogues in Human Geography.  He is currently a PI on the Programmable City project, the Digitial Repository of Ireland, and the All-Island Research Observatory.  He has delivered over 100 invited talks at conferences and universities in over a dozen countries and his research has been cited over 600 times in local, national and international media. His latest book is The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences. He was the 2013 recipient of the Royal Irish Academy's Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.

Contact Rob

Dr Gavin McArdle

Lead designer on Dublin Dashboard

Gavin McArdle is developing the Dublin Dashboard with AIRO.  The dashboard will provide citizens, government workers and companies with real-time information, urban indicator and benchmarking data, and other forms of data about all aspects of the city – transport, environment, economy, housing, culture, population, health, etc. – through a series of web-based interactive graphs, maps and apps. The dashboard will complement the existing work of AIRO in these areas.  Gavin’s background is in computer science with both a BSc and PhD from UCD. Gavin has worked on a variety of research projects, including map personalisation, geo-visual analysis, human mobility analysis and Human Computer Interaction for spatial interfaces. Through his research Gavin has gained expertise in spatial data analysis techniques and has developed many useful applications and tools for the domain.

Gavin is currently a researcher in the National Centre for Geocomputation at NUI Maynooth on the European Research Council (ERC) funded project, The Programmable City, where he is interested in understanding how dashboards and indicators are developed and used. Gavin is also a Science Foundation Ireland funded Industry Fellow at the IBM Smarter Cities Research lab in Dublin where he is involved in cutting-edge projects in the intelligent transport domain.

Contact Gavin

Alan Campbell

Data Analyst

Alan Campbell is a junior Data Analyst at the All-Island Research Observatory and joined the AIRO team as a student intern in 2013. Alan has recently completed a MSc in GIS and Remote Sensing from Maynooth University and is currently working on a series of demographic projects for Local Authorities. Alan has extensive knowledge in a wide range of GIS technology such as ArcGIS, MapInfo, QGIS and Instant Atlas.

Contact Alan