Ireland Mapping – HIStory or Visual Reality


As a project assignment “Google Fusion tables” we created map of Ireland with counties boundaries and population density accordingly. The first step was to get data in a Fusion Table-friendly format. Statistical data of Census population 2011 was used. Some data cleaning was made to match with data of Ireland county boundaries that was downloaded in KML format.

Both tables with geographic boundary information and Census population data was uploaded to Google drive account. Fusion Tables within a Google Docs account were created by clicking Create –> More –> Fusion Table. Afterwards two tables was merged and new map of Ireland ready to see.

To customise the map, few more steps were made. Be clicking “Configure styles” and then choosing “Fill colour” under “Polygons” we were able to regulate visible density of population and actual colour of the map. The final map with legend shows an interesting story…

map link

Storytelling with Data

The larger towns Dublin, Cork, Galway are service centres but, in addition, usually have industrial, administrative and commercial functions. The main concentration of towns is in the east and south of the country and all of the larger centres grew up as ports. Dublin, the focus of the roads and railways, is situated where the central lowland reaches eastwards to the Irish Sea. It is the chief commercial, industrial, administrative, educational and cultural centre.

Cork city has traditionally been associated with the processing and marketing of agricultural products but it benefits also from the presence of large-scale industrial development around its outer harbour and the use of natural gas from the offshore Kinsale field.

On the west coast, the main city is Limerick, which is located at the lowest crossing place on the river Shannon. It shares in the prosperity of the Shannon Industrial Estate but its harbour facilities are now little used, though significant port and industrial activities are developing westwards along the Shannon estuary. Other significant western urban centre is Galway.

Contrasts and Consequences

Regional imbalances in population trends, employment, income and related social conditions have for long been a feature of Ireland. The most striking traditional contrast is between the more prosperous east and the less developed west, though this twofold distinction is a simplification of a more complex regional pattern. T

The less developed character of the west can be explained mainly in terms of its more difficult physical environment, its remoteness from external influences, markets and financial sources, its heavy dependence on small-farm agriculture and its lower levels of urbanisation and infrastructural provision. The result has been low incomes, high unemployment and underemployment and heavy migration from the area with its social consequences. In recent times inner Dublin and the central districts of other cities have been recognised as problem areas also.

Progress Facilitator: Incentives & Policies

Attempts have been made to counteract regional imbalance since the 1950s, at first focusing exclusively on the west but later promoting western development within a broader regional planning framework. The Irish-speaking Gaeltacht areas have been particularly favoured in welfare promotion. The major initial incentive was the allocation of direct state grants to manufacturing firms locating in the west, and although grant provision was later extended to all parts, a differential was maintained in favour of western areas.

The largest manufacturing concentration of this type is at Shannon, where an industrial estate was developed as part of a plan to promote traffic through the airport. While manufacturing remained the spearhead of regional policy, development efforts in other sectors assumed an increasing regional dimension, as in agriculture, forestry, fishing and tourism. Some decentralisation of government administration has been introduced. In recent years there has been a growing realisation of the role which service industries could play in regional development.

Transition Initiatives

Smart Infrastructure and Smart Cities are key elements of both the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Irish Government’s plan for economic recovery. In addition to the opportunity around job creation and service revenue, there are also wider benefits to the economy.

According to the report “The Global Technology Hub” published by ICT:

Key recommendations for Government:

“Meet the target of doubling the annual output of honours degree ICT undergraduate programmes by 2018”

Key recommendations for industry:

“Support Skillnets programmes and encourage the up-skilling of existing staff”

Key recommendations for academia:

“Increase number of places available for tech-conversion programmes”


Prospective PlansDeveloping a Digital Society

The use of technology throughout society can greatly improve a country’s overall economic performance. Work is on-going to increase the level of Government activity using technology as an enabler in a wide range of areas – from our education system to services for citizens. Notably, Government recently published its Digital Strategy to focus on enhancing the digital and online capabilities of the business community and general public.

Ireland have the goal of making Ireland the most attractive location in the world for ICT Skills availability. Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation published a report for 2014 – 2018 years with the action plan to make Ireland a global leader in ICT talent. One of the main objective of this plan is the increase output of high-level graduates, enhance ICT capacity and awareness in the education system.

This Action Plan is a collaborative effort by Government, the education system and industry to meet the goal of making Ireland the most attractive location in the world for ICT Skills availability. There are a number of challenges faced by the technology industry under the umbrella of education and skills. Ireland is addressing each of these challenges and the below examples demonstrate the improvements to date:

  1. Improving the standard of education in Ireland and increasing the uptake of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at all levels in the education system.
  2. Increasing the output of honours level graduates from college level ICT courses.
  3. Maintaining the provision of effective technology conversion courses for those from other disciplines and fields.
  4. The up-skilling of current employees in the technology sector through formal continuous professional development.
  5. The availability of language skills and the ability to attract skilled workers from outside Ireland.

Taking all these actions together, and by working in a collaborative way across Government, State agencies, the education sector and industry, they will ensure that the ICT sector in Ireland continues to thrive with benefits for everyone in our society.


The most densely populated areas have the largest Irish towns Dublin, Cork, Galway as their centres. They are the main commercial, industrial, administrative, educational and cultural places. From the education map of Ireland we can see that most of higher education system are concentrated in Dublin and other deeply populated places on the map. One of the reason why more people live in these places are Colleges and Universities.

data legend

education map


private college data mg college

However, as we can see from the map, Private Higher Education Institutions only situated in Dublin.


Irish Government continues to develop areas and sectors that is critical to the on-going recovery and growth of the Irish economy. National Digital Strategy and enhancing ICT capacity are key priorities and outlined in the Action Plan.

From this perspective private colleges and DBS in particular have a potential opportunity to grow in other deeply populated counties of Ireland in upcoming years. High Dublin rents is a contributing factor for local education.



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