by Dave Cook, Hydrogeologist | GIS Analyst
Why am I geeking out about GIS Day? I am a HUGE gadget person! They make the creating process easier and efficient – it also justifies all of the pockets on my cargo pants that my wife would like me to throw out and my Amazon shopping habit. My passion revolves around creating anything: cooking a good meal, growing a healthy garden, building a database structure, or designing an application. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) give us access to a seemingly infinite amount of tools that help build mobile apps and web services. We’re using some new mobile field data collection apps that are saving us time out in the field (it’s starting to get cold out, so this is great!) and back at the office. The implementation of these tool has been techy enough to keep me creatively challenged and busy.
I always take pride in the work I do no matter what it is, and this feeling is intensified when that work is found to be valuable. We are finding new uses for our GIS work every day, with more departments and projects tapping into electronic field data collection, report automation, and web product deliverables. Sometimes all that is needed from a GIS professional is a pretty map, but more often the pretty map is a representation of a rich dataset that helps our teams make better decisions based on data that they might not otherwise have had access to. In the ever-advancing tech world, in which there is a growing need to access BIG data, being able to create something meaningful is a craft I am fortunate to provide.
One of the many reasons I studied to be a hydrogeologist (someone who studies how groundwater moves through soil and rock) is because I like to figure out how things work. But you can’t figure out how things work until you understand the relationships of the subject matter (science, business, engineering, etc.). GIS tools can help spatially represent these relationships, which is a powerful asset when evaluating or describing aspects of a project.
With all the advancements coming out of our GIS group in the last year alone, I look forward to this continuous journey. Progress in this area will help us meet the changing needs of our clients, automate more of our systems, and certainly allow me to buy more cargo pants.
About the Author:
Dave Cook is a Hydrogeologist and GIS Analyst in our Remediation Department. He put GIS Day on our calendars more than eight months ago and, with the collaboration and support of the GIS Group Managers, put us on the map (pun intended) as a leading provider of GIS services.