Professor Rob Kitchin

ERC Advanced Investigator, Programmable Cities project
PI, All-Island Research Observatory
PI, Digital Repository of Ireland
PI, Dublin Dashboard
PI, International Centre for Local and Regional Development
Iontas Building, 2nd Floor, Room 2.23
Phone: +353 (1) 7083372
Fax: +353 (1) 7086456
University webpage
Rob Kitchin

Rob Kitchin holds an undergraduate degree in Geography from Lancaster University, a MSc in GIS from the University of Leicester, and a PhD from the University of Wales Swansea.  From 1996 to 1998 he worked as a lecturer in Queens University of Belfast before moving to take a post in NUI Maynooth.  In 2002 he was appointed Director of NIRSA, a role he performed until 2013.  He is presently an ERC Advanced Investigator and PI of the Programmable City project. He has published widely across the social sciences, including 23 books and over 140 articles and book chapters. He is editor of the international journals, Progress in Human Geography (ISI rank 2/61) and Dialogues in Human Geography, and for eleven years was the editor of Social and Cultural Geography. He was the editor-in-chief of the 12 volume, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, and edits two book series, Irish Society and Key Concepts in Geography. He has successfully written or been a principal investigator on forty grants, totalling c.€34m, including funding from PRTLI 2, 4, 5, IRC, ERC, SFI, ESRC, NSF, Interreg and RIA. He has undertaken research for a wide range of bodies including government departments, semi-stage agencies, NGOs, and community groups. To date he has organized over 20 conferences and workshops, and been invited to present over 120 talks at conferences and universities in over a dozen countries. His research has been widely covered in national and international media. His book ‘Code/Space’ (with Martin Dodge) won the Association of American Geographers ‘Meridian Book Award’ for the outstanding book in the discipline in 2011 and a ‘CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2011′ award from the American Library Association.  He was the 2013 recipient of the Royal Irish Academy’s Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.  He is also the author of four novels and two collections of short stories.

He blogs at Ireland After NAMA and The View From the Blue House.  Follow him @robkitchin

Google Scholar page

Research Interests

After completing a PhD on the cognition of geographic space, Rob Kitchin became interested in social geography, the geographies of technology, cartography, the communication of geographic scholarship more broadly, and the development of data infrastructures, and he continues to research and publish on these themes.  With respect to social geography, he has worked on questions of disability and sexuality, and more recently on housing, planning and the crisis in Ireland, as well as diaspora strategy policies  His initial work on technology focused on the development and implications of the internet, broadening to examine how software mediates everyday life.  His present ERC grant examines the intersections of ubiquitous computing, big data and software in the context of smart city initiatives.  His work on cartography focused initially on the mapping of cyberspace, before taking a more theoretical turn to conceptualize cartographic through a post-representational lens.  He has written or edited a number of texts that seek to provide synoptic overviews of geographic thought and praxis, as well as provide advice to scholars, including Conducting Research in Human Geography, Key Thinkers on Space and Place, Oxford Dictionary of Human Geography, the International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography, Key Texts in Human Geography, Thinking Geographically, Mapping Worlds, and A Guide to Academic Publishing.  He is a founding and continuing PI of the All-Island Research Observatory, the Irish Qualitative Data Archive, and Digital Repository of Ireland.

Selected Recent publications (2009-14)

Kitchin, R. (2014) The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences.  Sage, London.

Lee, R., Castree, N., Kitchin, R., Lawson, V., Paasi, A., Philo, C., Radcliffe, S., Roberts, S. and Withers, C. (Eds) (2014) SAGE Handbook of Human Geography.  Sage, London. 2 volumes

Kitchin, R. (2014) Thinking critically about and researching algorithms. The Programmable City Working Paper 5 SSRN (OPEN ACCESS)

Kitchin, R. (2014) From a single line of code to an entire city: Reframing thinking on code and the city. The Programmable City Working Paper 4. SSRN (OPEN ACCESS)

Kitchin, R. (2014) Making sense of smart cities: addressing present shortcomings.  Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society online first, doi: 10.1093/cjres/rsu027

Kitchin, R. and Lauriault, T. (2014) Small data in the era of big data.  Geojournal 79, online first

O’Callaghan, C., Boyle, M. and Kitchin, R. (2014) Post-politics, crisis, and Ireland’s ghost estates. Political Geography 42, September: 121–133

Kitchin, R. and Lauriault, T. (2014) Towards critical data studies: Charting and unpacking data assemblages and their work.  SSRN (OPEN ACCESS)

Kitchin, R. O’Callaghan, C. and Gleeson, J. (2014) ‘The new ruins of Ireland? Unfinished estates in the post-Celtic Tiger era. ‘. International Journal of Urban and Regional Studies 38:1069 – 1080.

Kitchin, R. (2014) ‘Big data, new epistemologies and paradigm shifts.’. Big Data and Society 1:1 – 12. OPEN ACCESS

Kitchin, R. (2014) Engaging publics:  Writing as praxis.  Cultural Geographies 21(1): 153-156

Kitchin, R. (2014)  The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism.  GeoJournal 79(1): 1-14.

Dodge, M. and Kitchin, R. (2014)  Barcodes and RFIDs.  In Thrift, N., Tickell, A., Woolgar, S. and Rupp, W.H. (Eds) Globalization in Practice. Oxford University Press. pp. 268-271

Hearne, R., Kitchin, R. and O’Callaghan, C. (2014) Spatial justice and housing in Ireland.  In Kearns, G., Meredith, D. and Morrissey, J. (eds)  Spatial Justice and the Irish Crisis.  Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. pp. 57-77.

Boyle, M. and Kitchin, R. (2014)  ‘Diaspora centred development; Current practice, critical commentaries and research priorities’ in Sahoo S and Pattanaik P K (eds.) Diaspora and Development: Perspectives, issues and practices (Springer, New Delhi) pp. 17-38

Kitchin, R. (2014)  Explanation/Understanding.  In Cloke, P., Crang, P., and Goodwin, M. (Eds)  Introducing Human Geographies.  Arnold, London. pp. 117-129

Kitchin, R. (2013)  Big data and human geography: Opportunities, challenges and risks.  Dialogues in Human Geography 3(3) 262–267

Castree, N., Kitchin, R. and Rogers, A. (2013)  Oxford Dictionary of Human Geography.  Oxford University Press.

Dodge, M. and Kitchin, R. (2013)  Crowdsourced cartography: Mapping experience and knowledge.  Environment and Planning A 45(1) 19 – 36 EPRINTS

Kitchin, R., Linehan, D., O’Callaghan, C. and Lawton, P. (2013)  Public geographies and social media. Dialogues in Human Geography 3(1): 56–72

Boyle, M. and Kitchin, R. (2013) Diaspora for development: In search of a new generation of diaspora strategies.  In Kutnezov, Y. (ed) How Can Talent Abroad Induce Investment at Home? Towards a Pragmatic Diaspora Agenda.  Migration Policy Institute, Washington DC, pp. 315-345

Daly, G. and Kitchin, R. (2012) Shrink Smarter? Planning for Spatial Selectivity in Population Growth in Ireland.  Administration 60(3): 159-186 EPRINTS

Kitchin, R., Gleeson, J. and Dodge, M. (2012) Unfolding Mapping Practices: A New Epistemology for Cartography  Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 38(3): 480–496 EPRINTS

Kitchin, R., O’Callaghan, C., Boyle, M., Gleeson J. and Keaveney, K.  (2012) Placing neoliberalism: The rise and fall of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger.  Environment and Planning A 44: 1302 – 1326 EPRINTS

Dodge, M. and Kitchin, R.  (2012) Towards Touch-Free Spaces: Sensors, Software and the Automatic Production of Shared Public Toilets.  In Dodge, M. and Paterson, M. (eds) Touching Space, Placing Touch.  Routledge.

Dodge, M., Kitchin, R. and Perkins, C. (Eds) (2011)  The Map Reader: Theories of Mapping Practice and Cartographic Representation.  Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester. Winner of the Cantemir Prize 2012, Berendel Foundation

Kitchin, R. and Dodge, M. (2011)  Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life.  MIT Press.  Winner: Meridian Prize by American Association of Geographers for best book in discipline. CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2011 (American Library Association prize).

Kitchin, R. (2011)  The Programmable City.  Environment and Planning B 38: 945-951 EPRINTS

Hubbard, P. and Kitchin, R. (Eds) (2010)  Key Thinkers on Space and Place.  2nd edition.  Sage, being translated into Chinese (Publisher Commercial Press)

Kitchin, R. and Thrift, N. (Co)Editor-in-Chief, International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography (Elsevier, 2005-) 12 volumes, 914 entries, 844 contributors.  CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2010. (American Library Association prize)

Dodge, M., Kitchin, R. and Perkins, C. (Eds) (2009)  Rethinking Maps: New Frontiers in Cartographic Theory.  Routledge, London

Dodge, M. and Kitchin, R. (2009) Code, objects and home spaces.  Environment and Planning A Vol. 41, No. 6, pages 1344-1365. EPRINTS

Dodge, M., Kitchin, R., and Zook, M. (2009) How does software make space? Exploring some geographical dimensions of pervasive computing and software studies.  Environment and Planning A Vol. 41(6): 1283-1293. EPRINTS

Kitchin, R. and Dodge, M.  (2009)  Airport code/spaces.  In Cwerner, S., Kesselring, S. and Urry, U. (eds)  Aeromobilities: Theory and Research.  Routledge, London.

Kitchin, R. (2009) Looking at the present through the future: Science fiction and contingent and recursive, creative geographies.  In Funke, J and Meusburger, P. (eds) Mileaus of Creativity.  Springer: Dordrecht

Selected Recent Research Grants

2013  Real-time city analytics from Science Foundation Ireland €300,000

2012  The programmable city.  European Research Council €2.31m

2012  The Ireland/Northern Ireland Cross-Border Cooperation Observatory II (INICCO) CroSPlaN II  (with Creamer, C., Driscoll, J., Lloyd, G., Pollak, A. Taillon, R.)   INTERREG IVA Priority 2 €1.03m (share €233,924)

2011 Key Indicators for Territorial Cohesion and Spatial Planning KITCASP (with Daly, G., Walsh, C., Gleeson, J.).  ESPON €360,000

2010  National Audio Visual Repository – now Digital Repository Ireland (with S. Schreibman, lead writers) (NUIM, TCD, RIA, DIT, NUIG) Programme for Research for Third Level Institutions, Cycle 5, Higher Education Authority €5.2m (share €1.4m).

Selected recent talks (2013/14)

November 2014.  Critical reflections on developing an open, interactive Dublin Dashboard for citizens and government, Smart City Expo World Congress, Barcelona,

November 2014 – invited discussant.  From Regional Clusters to Knowledge Hubs: Unlocking the Potential. HEA Forward-Look Forum, Nov 26th

November 2014 – Smart cities … Smart Dublin. A talk and a panel. The Web Summit, RDS Dublin

October 2014 - invited talk. Smart urbanism and big data.  FA-University Erlangen-Nürnberg

October 2014 - invited talk. Smart cities and the politics of urban data.  Durham University

October 2014 - invited talk. Housing in Ireland: From Crisis to Crisis, Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, RDS

October 2014 - invited talk. Social Sciences in Ireland, ISSP conference, Maynooth Univ.

September 2014 - invited talk. Housing in Ireland. Working Together to Help Rebuild Ireland, Independents’ Network, Red Cow

September 2014 – Launch of Dublin Dashboard, Wood Quay, DCC

September 2014 - invited talk. Smart cities and the politics of urban data.  LSE Cities, Mediating uncertainty workshop

September 2014 – Kitchin, R. (2014) Code and the city: reframing the conceptual terrain.  Code and the City workshop, Maynooth University

August 2014 – Smart cities and the politics of urban data. RGS/IBG conference, London.

June 2014 - invited talk. The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism.  Euroscience Open Forum, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 26th.

June 2014 - invited panellist. Urban challenges.  JPI Urban session at European Urban Research Association, Paris.

June 2014 - invited talk. The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism.  Regional Studies Association, Izmir, Turkey

June 2014 – invited panellist. The Irish Housing Supply Crisis: What can policymakers do to address the problem?  TCD, Dublin

May 2014 – invited talk. Revising the national spatial strategy.  IBEC spatial planning workshop, May 28th.

May 2014 – Urban indicators, city benchmarking, and real-time dashboards: Knowing and governing cities through open and big data.  Conference of Irish Geographers, UCD, May 8-10

April 2014 – Urban indicators, city benchmarking, and real-time dashboards: Knowing and governing cities through open and big data.  Conference of the Association of American Geographers, Tampa, April 8-12.

March 2014.  The Programmable City.  Programmable City Launch

February 2014 – invited talk.  The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism.  Bellwether Lecture, OII, Oxford University.

January 2014 – invited talk.  Code acts in code/space.  Code Acts in Education, University of Stirling

November 2013 – invited talk.  Smart cities, big data and their consequences.  3rd National Smart Cities Summit, Croke Park, Dublin

October 2013 – invited talk.  Housing and spatial justice.  Housing in Ireland: Past, Present and Future.  Spatial Planning Graduate Network.  DIT

October 2013 – invited talk.  The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism.  Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University

October 2013 – invited talk. The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism. Dept of Geography, Clark University

October 2013 – Plenary panellist.  Next Tech Cities. CityLab, New York

September 2013 – Invited talk. Applying for an ERC grant.  Irish Research Council Annual Symposium.  Dublin Convention Centre

July 2013 – Invited talk.  Applying for an ERC grant.  AESOP/ACSP conference, Dublin

June 2013 – invited talk. Public academia and crisis in Ireland.  International conference of media and communications research.  DCU, Dublin.

June 2013 – invited talk.  The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism.  Smart Urbanism: Utopian Vision or False dawn?  University of Durham

June 2013 – Public geographies of the crisis through social media.  Nordic Geographers Meeting, Reykjavik, Iceland.

May 2013 – Public geography, social media and the media. Conference of Irish Geographers, Galway

May 2013 – invited talk.  The challenges facing HSS in the neoliberal academy. The Role and Contribution of the Humanities and Social Sciences.  Royal Irish Academy

May 2013 – Big data and smart urbanism. Conference of Irish Geographers, Galway

April 2013 – invited talk. Unfinished estates, housing and spatial justice.  Spatial Justice and the Irish Crisis. Royal Irish Academy

April 2013 – invited talk. Public geographies and social media. Geography and Development, University of Arizona

April 2013 – Big data, small data and new paradigms. Association of American Geographers, Los Angeles, April 9-13

March 2013 – invited talk.  Big data and smart urbanism, The New Urban World, Venice

March 2013 – invited talk.  The programmable city.  IxDA, Science Gallery, Dublin

February 2013 – invited talk.  The programmable city. City Intersections, Dublin

February 2013 – The role of evidence-based planning.  ICLRD conference, Newry.

Selected media 2013/14

TV and Radio

Dublin Dashboard.  One & nine o’clock news, RTE1. 19th September 2014

The Web Summit, Drivetime RTE Radio 1, 4th November 2014

New changes to planning acts, Drivetime RTE Radio 1, 2nd October 2014

Dublin Dashboard.  Drivetime, KFM, 22nd Sept, 2014

Dublin Dashboard.  Drivetime, RTE Radio 1, 19th Sept, 2014

Dublin Dashboard.  FM104, 19th Sept, 2014

Housing supply issues.  Drivetime, RTE Radio 1, 6th August 2014.

High density development in towns and cities. News at One, RTE Radio 1, 29 May 2014

Construction 2020 strategy. Drivetime, RTE Radio, 15th May 2014.

The science of transport, Science is Everywhere (episode 5), Newstalk Documentary, 29th March

Dublin as a smart city.  Morning Edition, RTE 1. 25th March, 2014

Dublin as a smart city.  Morning Ireland, RTE Radio, 25th March, 2014

New housing in Dublin.  Pat Kenny, Newstalk, 24th February 2014.

The property crash is over.  Drivetime, RTE Radio 1, 17th January 2014

Ireland’s two speed property market.  This Week, RTE Radio 1, 5th January 2014

Ireland’s property market sees massive oversupply. Chinese CNTV, 27 November 2013,

Demolition of c.40 unfinished estates, Last Word, Today FM, 18 November 2013

Demolition of c.40 unfinished estates, Newstalk, 18 November 2013

Demolition of c.40 unfinished estates, Morning Ireland, RTE1, 18 November 2013

Property prices, housing data, housing strategy.  Drivetime, RTE1, 29 October 2013

Irish housing market.  RTE 1, TV, 20 August 2013, 1, 6 and 9 o’clock news.

Irish housing market.  News at One, RTE Radio 1, 20 August 2013.

Local property tax returns.  Morning Ireland, RTE1, 25 July 2013

Unfinished estates and property tax, Right Hook, Newstalk, 21March 2013

Unfinished estates and property tax, Last Word, TodayFM, 21March 2013

Unfinished estates and property tax, Morning Ireland, RTE1, 21March 2013,

Property tax calculations and mapping tool, Drivetime, RTE 1, 11th March 2012.

National Spatial Strategy scraped Morning Ireland, RTE 1, Feb 13th 2013

ERC grant award, Morning Ireland, RTE 1, Jan 24th 2013

ERC grant award, KFM, Jan 24th 2013

Dublin property market, Today FM, Jan 2nd 2013

Two Irish academics win prestigious grants RTE TV 1, 24th Jan 2013, 6 and 9 o’clock news


Chicago uses big data to save itself from urban ills.  New Scientist, 10 October 2014

Maynooth University’s Dublin dash, Irish Independent. 21st Sept 2014

Data site for Dubs.  The Sun, p.18, Sept 20th 2014

Everything you wanted to know about Dublin on one site.  Irish Times, 19th September 2014

From parking spaces to crime figures: Dublin data at your fingertips.  Irish Times, 19th September 2014

Six ways to break down barriers in our housing market and build more homes.  Irish Independent 20th August 2014

A stroll through Ireland’s ghost estates.  Slate, 10 August 2014

Scaling up sensor based smart cities proves difficult. Government Technology, June 3rd

Why is this house so expensive?, 3rd June 2014

Santander: The Smartest Smart City. Governing Mag, May 2014

It doesn’t set out many concrete actions., 14th May 2014

The smart city: plugging in to better urban living.  Irish Times, 27th March

Boston study shows benefits of smart cities technology.  Irish Times, 26th March

Asuntojen hinnat nousevat jälleen Dublinissa. Ita-Savo, Finland, 20 March 2014 (syndicated across 10 newspapers).

If MH370 was sabotage, look to the organisation for answers. The Conversation, 20 March 2014.

The big build-up. Sunday Business Post, p.12, 18th March 2014

Taoiseach presents medals for major contribution to scientific research: Geographer and physicist honoured in Royal Academy Gold Medal awards, Irish Times 21st February, 2014,

Irish Bankers Vow This Time It’s Different After Bust: Mortgages.  Bloomberg, 28th February 2014

Yearning Buyers in Dublin Find Few Offerings, New York Times, 27 Feb 2014

Irlandeses tentam erradicar os fantasmas da bolha imobiliária destruindo casas NYT Zero Hora,

Irish try to eradicate ghosts of a housing crash.  New York Times. 22nd December 2013

Irish ghost estates face demolition on safety grounds, Scotsman, 19 November 2013

Demolition will not cost big money.  Irish Times, November 19,

Minister will allocate money for demolition of ghost estates, Newstalk, 18 November

State set to pay for demolition of 40 ghost estates. Irish Examiner, 18 November

Ghost estate ‘monuments to skeleton of Celtic Tiger’ to be bulldozed,, 18 November

Just 4pc of Ireland is built on – even after the boom.  The Independent.  26th October.

Are smartphones the answer to urban loneliness. Atlantic Cities, October 7th

Rising prices changes the property game.  RTE News Business Blog, August 20th,

Homeowners given seven-day deadline to pay property tax.  Irish Independent, 25 July 2013.

How not to pay tax (Phil Hogan take note) RTE News Business Blog, June 14th, 2013,

The too-smart city.  Boston Globe. 19th May 2013.

Irish emigrants have headstart in socially networked world, Irish Times, 14 May 2013

Irland behält U2 und verkauft Pink Floyd, um Ziele zu erreichen, Die Welt, 13th May,

Jury still out on NAMA. Irish Examiner, 9th May 2013.

Ireland finds success selling toxic assets, May 9th, National Post.

Irish Keep U2, Sell Pink Floyd to Meet Targets, Bloomberg; Washington Post 8th May 2013

Het Spookt in Ierland, Trends (Belgium), April 25th, 2013

Bot Like Me: Illah Reza Nourbakhsh’s “Robot Futures” LA Review of Books. 14th April.

The great ghost estate tax grab; Nothing has changed… so why must we pay now, ask homeowners.  Irish Daily Mail, 22nd March 2013

Wave of foreclosures risks killing Ireland’s housing recovery, Financial Post, Bloomberg; San Diego Source; 19 March 2013

We’re ready to battle this vile new tax, Irish Daily Mail, 8th March 2013

all in house prices second highest in EU, The Irish Times, 15th February 2013

New spatial development plan ‘must not be a free-for-all’ Irish Examiner, 14 February 2013

Picture of Ireland: Where are our ghost estates, Irish Times, 26th January 2013

2.3m city project fund; university, Irish Daily Mirror, 25th January 2013, p.2

€2.3m funding for research on city technology, Irish Times, 24th January 2013,

Two Irish-based scientists claim major research awards, Irish Times, 24th January 2013,

€2m to tech good look at city life, The Irish Star, 24th January 2013

Ireland’s Ghost Estates. London Review of Books, blog. January 1st 2013

Teaching 2013/14

NIR 601 Theories of Society and Space

NIR 630  Doing Research in the Social Sciences

NIR XXX  Thinking about Technologies and the City

NIR 824 Thinking about research

GSS3  Thesis Completion and Career Development