AIRO was initially established as a pilot project under INTERREG 111A with the guidance and lead of the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) and the National Centre for Geo-Computation (NCG) based in the National University of Ireland Maynooth. Other partners included Queens University, Belfast and Dundalk Institute of Technology.
AIRO began as a pilot cross-border spatial data project. The aim of the project was to provide reliable cross border information through the collection, analysis and mapping of data relevant to the region. It was aimed to act as a spatial, social and economic databank resource for community, public and private bodies. Following an initial pilot project and subsequent minor development extensions, AIRO secured funding under the HEA Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI4) for the period 2008 to 2011 and broadened the scope of its study area to the entire island.
What are our objectives?
The primary objective of the AIRO project is to improve access to information and data necessary to support evidence-based policy development in Ireland. By doing this AIRO aims to:
- Improve access to data and information
- Provide decision making toolkits to support evidence informed planning
- Work with both public and private sector organisations to improve data collection, management and dissemination
- Undertake research projects to generate new data to help towards a better understanding of the island
What geographical area does AIRO cover?
AIRO provides data and support tools at the local level (Small Areas, Electoral Divisions), Local Authority level, Regional Authority level, national level (both RoI and NI) and at the European level.
Justin Gleeson is manager of the AIRO project and has been involved in the development of the project since its inception. Justin is also the technical manager of spatial projects at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) and is technical lead on a number of other ICLRD and ESPON projects. Justin’s research interests are in demographics; social inclusion; mapping and spatial analysis and improving public data usage and dissemination. Justin has over 10 years experience working within the commercial and research GIS industry in Ireland and the UK. 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. Justin is currently the Vice President of the Irish Organisation for Geographical Information (IRLOGI) and a board member of Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi). Contact: +353 01 7086157 Justin.Gleeson@nuim.ie
Aoife Dowling is a spatial data analyst and is directly responsible for the mapping module section on the AIRO site. Aoife is an expert in the development of IA web mapping toolkits and is the main contact point for our public sector mapping toolkits and lead researcher on the development of area profiles. Aoife is also responsibe for the AIRO DataStore and is our main contact point for INSPIRE and the ISDE. Aoife has expert knowledge of MapInfo, ArcGIS, InstantAtlas and FME and previously worked for a number of years within the public sector GIS sector in Ireland (Kilkenny County Council). Aoife has a BA in Geography and MA in GIS from NUIM. Contact: +353 01 7086688 Aoife.Dowling@nuim.ie
Eoghan McCarthy: A graduate of the Masters in Regional and Urban Planning in UCD, Eoghan arrived at NUI Maynooth following a number of years working in private consultancy in the area of transport planning. Eoghan brings a blend of planning knowledge and technical experience in the area of spatial mapping, demographic analysis and data manipulation. Eoghan is the data management and visualisation coordinator for AIRO. His brief is to maintain and analyse AIROs data systems, explore research opportunities and develop bespoke data visualisations using Tableau and ESRI Viewer for Flex hosted on the AIRO site. Eoghan has expert knowledge in data analysis, ArcGIS, Tableau, ArcGIS Viewer for Flex, Mapinfo and FME. Contact: +353 01 7086688 Eoghan.McCarthy@nuim.ie