Last week NIRSA/NCG launched the All-Island Research Observatory website –

The website is a free resource  for the public sector and civil society organisations and includes a number of different mapping and data modules designed to improve evidence-based decision making.

AIRO makes available a set of multi-scalar (local, county, regional, all-island, European) spatial datasets and a suite of specialist tools to aid their analysis.  These include:

1.  Browse by Theme

Data on 14 key themes including agriculture, demographics, economy, education, health, housing, regional development, transport

  • An inventory of a few hundred pre-prepared maps
  • Direct access to a series of key statistics and datasets
  • Detailed inventory of key publications and organisations

2.  Mapping Modules

  • A set of 95 interactive census mapping modules (one for each partnership areas, local authorities, regions) that allow users to produce thematic maps
  • A set of specialist mapping modules including: housing, Live Register, community, regional economy, social deprivation, unfinished estates
  • Interactive time series data and statistical information

3.  Geographical Profiling

  • Create on-the-fly detailed census profiles of any user defined area on the island of Ireland
  • Create user defined catchments and specific buffer distances; includes the locations of key geo-referenced places such as schools and GPs

4.  News and Events

  • Keep up to date with the latest news and events in relation to spatial data and evidence informed analysis in Ireland

Go to the site to register.  There will be a short delay in being able to use the mapping modules as we’ll need to approve your registration.  We’re looking into access for private industry – the issue is data licenses as these are restricted to non-commercial activity.

Justin Gleeson and Rob Kitchin