AGI Northern Ireland
AGI Northern Ireland (AGI NI) was officially launched in 2002 to help raise awareness of geographic information and to encourage data and knowledge sharing.
Over the years, our mission has developed to reflect the changing industry, society and environment around us by actively supporting a sustainable future for our geospatial community.
Since our formation, we have established strong partnerships with public and private sector organisations locally as well as further afield. Along with the support of our partners, AGI NI has representation on the AGI Council which helps steer the direction of the Association and the support it offers to Northern Ireland.
AGI NI hosts a yearly conference which brings together keynote speakers, presenters and offers an opportunity to display your geospatial work with the poster exhibition. A call for papers goes out in advance and everyone with an interest in GI is welcome to participate.
Along with the annual conference, AGI NI hosts other events including public seminars in collaboration with our network of partners (e.g. academic and private sector organisations). Traditionally, we hold a networking and information event during GIS week in November. Our events showcase a wide range of interests including environmental sustainability, infrastructure development, future GI developments, healthcare and social developments through greenspaces and access to provisions.
Benefits of joining AGI NI and AGI include:
- Networking opportunities with the NI Geospatial Community
- Continual Professional Development opportunities
- Opportunities to present your projects at Conferences and Seminars
- Career information and job opportunities across the UK
- Knowledge sharing, thought leadership and events sponsored by AGI Council
The current AGI NI Committee comprises 15 active members representing both the public and private sector who coordinate and organise events throughout the year. Our events include the annual conference, seminars and networking which bring the NI geospatial community together. These events offer support for professionals, early career networking, continuing professional development and business related opportunities.
We recognise that our volunteer members and those with an interest in the geospatial industry have played a vital role in the success of AGI NI and we are looking to build upon this further. If you are interested in supporting our mission and joining our growing geospatial community, please do consider AGI membership and we hope to see you at an event soon.
AGI NI Committee
Rico Santiago (AGI NI Chair)
Rico has been Chair of the AGI NI Committee since 2016, and has over 15 years' experience providing GI services in both public and private sectors in the United States and Northern Ireland. He enjoys his current role as the Deputy Head of Business Development at the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland, where he's able to leverage mapping, location data, and GI innovation to support the delivery of government and public services. Graduating from the University of California (UCSB) with a Master's degree in Environmental Science and Management, and a Bachelor's degree in Geography, he has a deep interest in the application of geospatial technologies for the public good.
Rachel Steenson (Deputy), ESRI
Rachel is the Market Engagement Manager for ESRI Ireland. Rachel has overall responsibility for the market development in Northern Ireland and manages a growing portfolio of customer accounts. Rachel first joined ESRI Ireland in 2016 as a Customer Success Manager, during which time she managed a number of large-scale corporate GIS installations for customers such as Northern Ireland Water and Gas Networks Ireland. Prior to this, Rachel garnered over 12 years' experience working in the public sector for Ordnance Survey NI (later Land and Property Services), where she managed a portfolio of mapping systems and supplier contracts. She was Project Manager for the LPIS Project and the PI Project. In September 2016, Rachel was elected to the position of Chair of the Northern Ireland Branch of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Rachel holds an MSc in Computer Science and Applications from Queen's University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Geographic Information Systems from Ulster University.
John Eltham (Secretary) Fibrus
John made extensive use of GI as part of his 27-year career as a public sector town planner, before moving to work full-time in the GI industry in 2018. He is currently the GIS Manager at Fibrus; a Belfast based telecommunications infrastructure company delivering full fibre hyperfast broadband to towns, villages, and rural communities across Northern Ireland. John previously worked for the Department of the Environment in various planner roles in Belfast, Craigavon, Downpatrick and Ballymena, and was the Senior Planning Officer in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Development Plan Team. His GI career has seen him provide freelance and contract work for a range of clients and as a part-time GIS Consultant in the National Trust. In his spare time. he continues to do freelance planning, urban design, and GI work as the PUDSI social enterprise.
Alex Donald Geological Survey Northern Ireland
Alex is a geology graduate from Queen's University, Belfast and has worked at the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland since 2003. He worked on the Tellus project and has been involved in data delivery, data management and information products including the publications A Guide to the Tellus Data and Unearthed . He has a particular interest in urban geology and was involved in the delivery of the EU TU1206 COST Sub-Urban project www.sub-urban.eu .
Patrick McGarry Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Patrick is the Infrastructure Digital Project Manager in Translink, the public transport provider for Northern Ireland. He is responsible for the Asset Information Management Strategy for Translink, which aims to help staff access the highest quality of asset information via innovative applications in order to make more informed, effective decision making, reduce operational costs and improve customer services. This will encompass the implementation, development and integration of applications such as GIS, BIM, Data Analytics and Asset Information Systems.
Previously the Corporate GIS Manager in NIHE, Patrick has 25 years' experience working in the GIS industry in both public and private industries. Qualifications include a Geography degree at Queen's University Belfast and postgraduate qualifications in both Digital Cartography (PG Dip) and GIS (MSc).
Gareth Young Ordnance Survey Northern Ireland
Gareth has worked for Ordnance Survey Northern Ireland (OSNI) for over 10 years and has a wealth of knowledge and experience using geographical information within the public sector. He has managed the development and growth of OSNI’s web mapping platform and currently holds a role advising on the technical integration of OSNI geospatial information within other public sector IT systems. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Geography from Queen’s University Belfast in 2001 followed by an MSc (Distinction) in Geographical Information Systems from Ulster University in 2002. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Chartered Geographer (CGeog) with specialism in GIS and has served on the AGI Northern Ireland committee since 2014.
Malcolm Calvert Department for Infrastructure - Rivers
Malcolm is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the British Computer Society. He has over 20 years experience of working with Geographical Information Systems, and is currently in charge of the Modelling & Mapping Unit within DARD Rivers Agency. The Unit are responsible for river & coastal modelling and production of flood maps; and for corporate GI management within the Agency.
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What AGI NI members say
When completing my Under Graduate Degree at University of Ulster, I struggled to find a placement. After months of searching I found a contact who was chair on the AGI NI board. Only for the AGI NI was I able to secure my placement job in SERC.
Jonny Hardman – Mapping Specialist for OSNI
As a teacher it was very interesting to hear about the careers, research and uses of GIS. I also enjoyed the posters and that format is a great learning experience for my pupils, they loved chatting to people about their poster.
AGI NI Conference Attendee