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UAS Mapping 2016 – Palm Springs, Sept 12-14

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If you're interested in or exploring the application of UAS (drones) in your mapping efforts, join us at the 3rd Annual UAS Mapping Symposium this Sept. www.uasmapping.org
Keynote by Lawrie Jordan from Esri will highlight the link between UAS and GIS mapping.

LA County GIS exams opening next week

gis examsThe County of Los Angeles is opening GIS exams for the recruitment of talented staff to fill a number of vacant GIS positions within the County and to support its GIS recruitment and retention efforts.  There are limitations on the number of applications that we will process, so be ready to apply when the exams open July 18th at 8 AM.

Download the flyer here, which links to salary and to the positions: GIS announcement 7-12-16.pdf

Important information

Some of the exams will close after the first 100 applications are received - I anticipate them filling very very fast!

These exams do not come around often - so if you are interested in working in the GIS profession with LA County, this is your best opportunity for the next year or so.  Don't miss this chance!

More information here

 

Member Survey

Dear CGIA members,

The Board has developed a survey and I hope you take this time and opportunity to communicate your thoughts about CGIA as well as help develop GIS events for the upcoming 2016-17 year.

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WTFNPZT

2016 CGIA Awards Annouced at CalGIS 2016

CGIA announced the winners of the 2016 Awards last month at the CalGIS Conference in Anaheim.

The winners were:

  • Advancement of Collaboration: Christina Boggs, California Department of Water Resources
  • Chair's Award: Eric Kauffman, California Department of Technology
  • Excellence in Education: Ming-Hsiang Tsou, San Diego State University
  • Exemplary Systems: City of Rancho Cucamonga Executive Dashboard Mobile App
  • Outstanding Internet Application: Lewis Rowley, County of Napa

Click here for full award details

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2016 CGIA Award Winners

CGIA announced the winners of the 2016 Awards last month at the CalGIS Conference in Anaheim.

Advancement of Collaboration Award

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Christina Boggs, winner of Advancement of Collaboration Award

Granted for outstanding application of GIS technology representing innovative, elegant, or creative techniques. The technology may be transparent to the end user and is not required to display map output.

Winner: Christina Boggs, California Department of Water Resources

Nomination description: Christina Boggs has been instrumental in facilitating, organizing, assisting and insuring the success of the California GIS Council and California State GIS User Group. Besides her own significant work load, she goes out of her way to ensure those outside the Sacramento GIS community can establish partnerships, networks and access important data. She has taken time out of her busy schedule on multiple occasions to answer my questions about who might have data I'm seeking or who would be an important contact in terms of establishing a partnership. She is an exemplary example of someone who advances collaboration in the realm of GIS.

Chair's Award

Granted to honor a person who has made outstanding contributions in the promotion, innovation, and/or use of GIS technology. The recipient should show continued, exemplary contributions over the course of a prolonged period of time.

Winner: Eric Kauffman, California Department of Technology 

Nomination description: Eric Kauffman is a leader in GIS application development for the state of California, where he has worked for over 15 years.  Eric currently leads GIS development for California Department of Technology and has written and maintains several geocoding services using public domain TIGER data, ESRI data and Bing data for public use and government use. This service can geocode millions of addresses in batch in a short period of time. He wrote several applications for the California Board of Equalization including the Find a Sales and Use Tax Rate application - https://maps.gis.ca.gov/boe/TaxRates, and a soon to be released a tax rate API (Application Programming Interface) to provide sales and use tax rates for retailers.

Above all else Eric is great to work with and provides excellent support, all with a sense of humor. Eric currently works as a GIS Programmer for the Office of Digital Innovation and Technology Engagement at the California Department of Technology. In the past Eric has worked for the California Resources Agency, the California Department of Fish and Game, and has taught GIS classes at American River College.

Excellence in Education Award

Ming-Hsiang Tsou (right) accepted award for Excellence in Education with Mary Hurley (Chair, left)

Ming-Hsiang Tsou (right) accepts award for Excellence in Education with Mary Hurley (Chair, left)

Granted to the educational institution that displays extraordinary approach, contribution, development or commitment to GIS education in California.

Winner: Ming-Hsiang Tsou, San Diego State University

Nomination description: Ming has an impressive array of funded research and projects happening at SDSU, and he is a global leader in mobile GIS applications and social media data mining. But the reason for this nomination is his commitment to supporting K-12 education. He is Geospatial Technology Coordinator for the California Geographic Alliance, has contributed to the development of GIS courses in San Diego City Schools,  and has volunteered to serve on the committee for the new AAP course in GIS.

Exemplary Systems Award

Granted for outstanding application of GIS technology representing innovative, elegant, or creative techniques. The technology may be transparent to the end user and is not required to display map output.

Winner: City of Rancho Cucamonga Executive Dashboard Mobile App

City of Rancho Cucamonga accepts award for Exemplary Systems Award for the Executive Dashboard Mobile App

City of Rancho Cucamonga accepts award for Exemplary Systems Award for the Executive Dashboard Mobile App

Nomination description: The executive dashboard mobile app built on the Esri technology by the Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) team provides situational awareness of all incidents for both fire, police departments and other departments to the city executive staff. The app provides the sends notification of critical incidents with pictures to city executives aimed at providing supporting effective communication with elected officials should they call about a particular incident. The app provides the ability to pull up various information from different city departments. The app also put key information into the hands of decision makers as they are able to answer concerns from residents effectively. The app works on both iOS and android platforms and provides some analytics on call for services.

Outstanding Internet Application Award

Granted to the outstanding integration of GIS and web technologies demonstrating excellence in aesthetic presentation, functionality, ease of use, and overall user experience.

Filed Map Search Tool

Winner: Lewis Rowley, County of Napa

Lewis Rowley accepts Outstanding Internet Application Award

Lewis Rowley (right) accepts Outstanding Internet Application Award

Nomination description: The Filed Map Search Tool is a web-based application that combines the functionality of 11 separate internal and public-facing applications into one easy-to-use interface. It allows County staff to index new Filed Maps (Records of Survey, Parcel Maps, Assessor Map Pages, Corner Records, etc) and associated Certificates of Correction. Once the data has been entered, County staff and citizens have a variety of tools to search for maps. This includes attribute searches by title, book & page or surveyor name, as well as, spatial searches by address and parcel number.

All the search results return a thumbnail view of the map. This allows external customers to preview the map before committing to viewing it. Only external customers who have a subscription account can view the full-size maps and they are charged for each page they view. The preview allows them to skip over index pages and cover sheets they may not need. The search also lists out all related documents and corrections.

The County’s first feedback and customer rating app is integrated with the Filed Map Search Tool so users can provide direct input to the developers. There is also a mobile-friendly version of the application for users with tablets or smartphones.

The Filed Map Search Tool was built using C# and MVC 5 and leverages the spatial SQL functionality of SQL Server 2008. The internal version was released in February, 2016 and the external version goes live on March 28, 2016.

2016-17 Chair’s Message

I am honored and looking forward to serving you as Chair of the California Geographic Information Association (CGIA). I have been a board member for the past two years and am a Senior GIS Analyst at the County of Los Angeles Enterprise GIS (eGIS) Group in the Internal Services Department.christine1_resized

The Board of Directors have worked diligently the past few years to make the CGIA website a valuable resource for the geospatial community (e.g. collection and dissemination of GIS documents, map of California GIS contacts) and to build a close partnership with the California GIS Council. I would like to put the focus back on our members and my goals for the 2016-2017 year are to:

  • Expand our outreach to our members
  • Engage our members in additional activities and events organized by CGIA
  • Continue to promote the effective use of GIS across the state of California as outlined in our mission statement (http://cgia.org/about-cgia/mission)

You, as a CGIA member, are valuable in helping us continue our efforts to provide more opportunities in serving the geospatial community in California. We have developed a survey and I hope you take this time and opportunity to communicate your thoughts about CGIA as well as help develop GIS events for the upcoming 2016-17 year.

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WTFNPZT

You have a dedicated group of elected Board of Directors that are ready to serve you (http://cgia.org/about-cgia/board-of-directors). Please feel free to share any ideas you have by emailing me at chair@cgia.org.

 

Christine Lam
2016-17 CGIA Chair

CGIA Pizza Night at 2016 Esri User Conference

Hello Everyone,

In conjunction with Geospatial LA and Geospatial San Diego, CGIA is hosting another “pizza night” for CGIA members and those interested in joining. It should be fun and lively! CGIA will be providing the pizza, you need to provide your own drinks.2016EsriPizzaImage

Feel free to bring a friend and introduce them to the CGIA family, we hope they will all want to join us.

Here is the flyer for the event and location (click here to download flyer).

Event details:

Monday, June 27th
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Basic Urban Kitchen
410 10th Ave
San Diego, CA

Please RSVP just so we can get a count: http://cgia.org/events/rsvp/ .

Hope to see you there.

 

Women in GIS at the ESRI User Conference

ESRI's UC

Are you going to ESRI's User Conference in San Diego?

We are!

And we hope you get a chance to join us. There are two opportunities to hobnob with all the ladies:

Lunch Meeting

The first is during the conference. Join us for a lunch meeting that will be sure to fire up your spirit. Ruthanne Harbison (GISP with the City of Merced), Danielle Bram (Director for the Center of Geographical Studies at Cal State - Northridge), and Christina Boggs (with the California Department of Water Resources) will lead a discussion about WiGIS. Please bring your lunch to Room 26 B at San Diego Convention Center on Tuesday the 28th at 12pm.

Evening Social

Or join us for cocktails and dinner at the Union and Kitchen and Tap on Wednesday the 29th at 5pm. The restaurant is walking distance from the San Diego Convention Center and offers happy hour until 6pm. There's plenty of space for us all with patio seating, so don't be shy! Join us!
If you are not going to the conference, please feel free to respond to this newsletter with any concerns or suggestions.

GIS Coordinator – City of Merced

Under general direction, performs responsible professional, technical, and administrative work to plan, organize, manage, and promote the citywide Geographic Information System (GIS). Plans, coordinates, and manages data used by GIS, including GIS data structure, system design, and user training.  Provides leadership role in development and implementation of GIS technology to support the analytical, statistical, and mapping needs of the City. Works closely with department administrators and users to plan and coordinate citywide GIS program development, system maintenance, training, and support.

City of Merced GIS Coordinator

 

CGIA Member Spotlight: Han Chu

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Job: Vice President / Director of Spatial Technology Solutions, Psomas

Bio: I have been serving the geospatial industry for over 25 years, and currently focusing on program oversight, project management, and consulting services in technology planning, development, implementation, and sustained operations. My passion and strength is in exploring opportunities for GIS and technology-driven improvements that will enhance operational efficiency, implement technology, and promote positive cultural changes within an organization.

I am a registered civil engineer, licensed surveyor, and real estate broker, which really helps me to understand the issues and needs of the technology user community. And because I started out my career as an engineer and a surveyor for the City of LA, Water and Power, I have gained a unique perspective that bridges between public agencies and private sector.

I have BS in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly, and MBA from UCI, and currently serving on the Board of CGIA.

Project(s): Because of my background, experience, and expertise, my favorite GIS projects are enterprise GIS strategic planning. As boring as they may sound, I truly enjoy the experience of interacting with the entire organization, learn about their business, and discovering true GIS drivers that will improve how they do business on a daily basis. And ultimately being able to witness implementations of these plans, and seeing how GIS does make our lives better, for both the GIS practitioners and the citizens we serve.

What is the best career advice you received? This one is not as specific to GIS career advice but has kept me and my career on track:

“Do the right thing the right way, and everything else will take care of themselves”

Anything About Yourself: Living in California, I grew up enjoying water sports (surfing, scuba diving, and although not on water, snowboarding.) But with my body not as athletic as my mind anymore, I am now a perpetually struggling golfer, but thoroughly enjoying every painful minute I get to be out on the course.

Deadline Extended for 2016 CGIA Award Nominations

DEADLINE EXTENDED to FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2016

Six awards are available to bring recognition to a colleague, project, or program for outstanding achievements in various aspects of GIS:

- Best Student Project or Paper (NEW): Granted to the outstanding quality of work using GIS technology
- Chair's Award: Honor a person for his/her contributions in GIS technology
- Exemplary Systems Award: For outstanding application of GIS technology
- Advancement of Collaboration Award: For outstanding inter-organization collaborative efforts
- Outstanding Internet Application Award: For outstanding integration of GIS and web technologies
- Excellence in Education Award: For an educational institution's commitment to GIS education

For full details and to submit your nomination, go to http://cgia.org/2016/01/2016-cgia-awards-nominations-open/

 

CGIA Member Spotlight: Nick Franchino

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Job: GIS Manager, Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

Bio: I’ve worked in GIS for nearly 20 years – all with this same agency. I started as a GIS technician, doing everything from digitizing plans to editing data, including plenty of annotation placement! I have worked on many planning projects through the years, including creating land use and zoning maps for all of the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County (68 maps at various sizes and scales) to support the decision-making process. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on the web as well. My team has created very complex GIS web mapping applications over the years to provide self help services for County staff, other agencies, and the public. I’ve also worked on five aerial imagery projects since 1998, serving as the Project Manager for the Los Angeles Region Imagery Acquisition Consortium (LARIAC) from 2006 to 2010. I’m a certified GIS Professional (GISP) and a certified planner with the American Institute of Planners (AICP).

Most of my current work includes managing a great team of GIS analysts and specialists as well as providing support for the County’s Enterprise GIS Steering Committee. Our goal is to provide excellent customer service as it relates to geospatial applications and products

Project(s): The LARIAC is my favorite project. The County is concluding its fourth iteration of the program, having acquired aerial imagery and related products in 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2014. I have been the LARIAC Outreach Manager since 2011 and strive to get as many cities and agencies to join (there are 88 cities in Los Angeles County – all with various capacities as it relates to GIS) as possible, which brings down costs and enables us to expand the types of products we acquire. My former mentor and boss, Milan Svitek, was the driving force behind the LARIAC (he conceived it and brought it to fruition) and he believed that we could acquire imagery countywide and work with all public agencies within Los Angeles County to share in the costs and spread GIS knowledge. While the program used to be primarily about acquiring aerial imagery and digital terrain datasets (and delivering it to participants on hard drives), the program has transitioned into a service delivery program for online access to these great information products. In addition to aerial imagery, LARIAC now includes building footprints, landcover analyses, viewers/analytical tools, and other specialty items.

Anything About Yourself: I like to golf and spend time with my kids – it’s pretty cool when my son wants to make a 3D map of his school in SketchUp and use some of our GIS tools in his work. I’m on LinkedIn. My department’s website has a Map Catalog, link to our Interactive Mapping Applications and to our GIS Data Portal at http://planning.lacounty.gov/gis.  Information about the LARIAC Program can be found on the project website at http://egis3.lacounty.gov/dataportal/lariac/.

 

 

GeoSummit at UC Merced

"Discover the Power of GIS" Map Your Future.  The 5th annual GeoSummit at UC Merced, on Friday, April 8th  will feature amazing speakers:  Jessica Touchard of GeoSearch, Inc., Dr. Jared Rutledge, Epidemiologist for Fresno County, Liz van Wagtendonk of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Jinger Zeng of Dronesmith Technologies3DR Robotics.  In the afternoon there will be interesting presentations from various research centers on campus sharing their important work.   Each year this event brings together speakers from the GIS Community, student presentations, and map displays.  The event is free to attend, registration is required, and on campus parking for non-UC Merced students is $6.00.  Plan on attending this day all about GIS on the beautiful UC Merced Campus.  The event flyer is attached with information on the speakers and presentations, as well as the link to registration.

GeoSummit 2016 Flyer

GeoSummit at UC Merced

2016 CGIA Awards – Nominations Open

Nominations for the 2016 CGIA Awards are open: http://cgia.org/cgia-award-nominations/

Awards are open to any person in the State of California, and will be announced at the California GIS Conference (CalGIS), May 10-12, in Anaheim, CA: http://www.urisa.org/education-events/calgis-conference/

Bring recognition to a colleague, project, or program. The visibility that goes with winning an award can be an important component to building credibility, gaining exposure, promoting a program, or garnering funding. Each year the California Geographic Information Association recognizes outstanding achievements in various aspects of GIS within California through its awards program. CGIA seeks nominations for outstanding individuals and organizations in the following categories:

  • Best Student Project or Paper (NEW!): Granted to the outstanding quality of work using GIS technology. A travel award (up to $500) to the 2016 CalGIS conference will be given to the recipient of this award. The travel award can be used toward the registration fee (a must), hotel, and/or flight/gas. Receipts are required. The recipient must provide a written summary of his/her overall experience of the CalGIS conference along with a brief review of the sessions attended (due no later than May 31, 2016).
  • Chairman's Award: Granted to honor a person who has made outstanding contributions in the promotion, innovation, and/or use of GIS technology.
  • Exemplary Systems Award: Granted for outstanding application of GIS technology representing innovative, elegant, or creative techniques.
  • Advancement of Collaboration Award: Granted for outstanding inter-organization collaborative efforts in GIS.
  • Outstanding Internet Application Award: Granted to the outstanding integration of GIS and web technologies demonstrating excellence in aesthetic presentation, functionality, ease of use, and overall user experience.
  • Excellence in Education Award: Granted to the educational institution that displays extraordinary approach, contribution, development or commitment to GIS education in California.

An award is a pat on the back for the project team. It’s always an amazing thing when a project is completed, and an award is a good way of acknowledging everyone’s efforts from top to bottom. Nominate a colleague, project, or program for a CGIA award by going to the CGIA Nomination Page.

Deadline for nominations has been extended to Friday, March 25, 2016.

If you have any questions, please contact Christine Lam, CGIA Vice-Chair, at CLam2@isd.lacounty.gov

CIRGIS Meeting dates for 2016

The Channel Islands Regional GIS Collaborative (CIRGIS - website) has posted its meeting dates for 2016.

Meeting Schedule for 2016

  • January 21, 2:00 - 5:00 pm at Ventura College
  • March 17, 2:00 - 5:00 pm at Santa Barbara EOC
  • May 19, 2:00 - 5:00 pm at Ventura College
  • June 7, at Spatial@UCSB event (time tba)
  • July 21, 2:00 - 5:00 pm at Ventura College
  • September 22, 2:00 - 5:00 pm at Santa Barbara EOC
  • November 18, GIS Day at Ventura College (time tba)

Ventura College

Health Science Center Conference Room HSC 211

4667 Telegraph Road, Ventura, CA 93003

 

Santa Barbara EOC

4408 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara, CA  93110

 

 

Far North Regional GIS Council Meeting Notice – January 20, 2016

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Agenda

FNRGC Meeting 1/20/2016

10:00 –2:00pm

Redding City Hall, River Conference Room

777 Cypress Ave., Redding, CA 96001

  • 10:00 – 10:10 Introductions
  • 10:10 – 11:00 Old Business
    • CGC Update – Dave Powers
    • CGIA Update – Terri Webster
    • RAGU announcements/updates – Mel/Marcus
    • FarNorCalGIS Platform announcements/updates – Sean T
    • GIS Day 2015 Summary – Terri/Dave/Devon

 

  • 11:00 – 12:00 New Business
    • Orthoimagery Subcommittee – Devon/Jen/Dave
    • GIS Data Clean-Up Efforts/Public Safety GIS – Dave/Devon
    • Historical Society to launch digital tours – Marcus/Dave

 

  • Lunch 12:00 – 1:00p
  • Knowledge Faire 1:00p – 2:00pm

Building template based mobile map apps’

By Marcus Harner

Save the Date! – SoCal Marine GIS Users Group

Save the Date!

Following a very successful inaugural meeting at the Long Beach Aquarium last fall, the Southern California Marine GIS User Group will hold its Spring Meeting on March 2, 2016 at the SCCWRP office in Costa Mesa, CA from 1:00-4:00pm.

The meeting is free and open to all members of the Marine GIS community – additional details about the planned speakers, agenda and how to register will be available in February.

 

About the SoCal Marine GIS Users Group

The Southern California Marine GIS is a welcoming group of GIS professionals and aficionados doing work in and about the Southern California marine and maritime community. Our goal is to create connections and foster innovation to improve and accelerate marine and maritime GIS in the local area.

Visit us on Facebook

GIS Aide – City of Thousand Oaks

The City of Thousand Oaks is currently accepting applications for a part-time, hourly Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Aide in the Public Works Department.

See full listing here

Salary: $18.36 per hour

This hourly, at-will position involves working approximately 15 – 18 hours per week, and will not exceed 1,000 hours per fiscal year (July 1st to June 30th).

The ideal candidate shall:

  • Have experience using ArcMap(.mxd files), to create maps analyze spatial data, and edit feature locations, attributes and annotations;
  • Possess experience in georeferencing (.tiff files) to create digitized data, preferably with experience digitizing utility data from engineering drawings;
  • Be detail oriented and responsible for data accuracy;
  • Have experience answering questions and supporting decisions regarding maps;
  • Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing; and,
  • Be a team player who works well with others, is motivated, and provides excellent customer service.

CalGIS 2016 – The Magic of GIS

CalGIS2016Logo_Red300dpi

Join your peers in Anaheim, May 10-12, 2016 for essential workshops and education, important keynote presenters, unmatched networking, and a packed vendor hall.

Preconference Workshops:  Consider registering for one of the optional preconference workshops that will be presented on Tuesday May 10, most require an additional fee and seating is limited, so register soon.

  • Deploying Mobile GIS:  Full-day training 8:30am-5:00pm.
  • NG9-1-1 and the GIS Workflow:  Half-day training 8:30am-12 noon.
  • Open Source GIS:  Full-day training 8:30am-5:00pm.
  • Esri Story Maps workshop:  Half-day, 1:00-5:00 pm.

We're especially please to welcome our conference Keynote Speakers:

  • Clint Brown, Director of Product Engineering, Esri
    • The Human Era of GIS
  • Benjamin Tuttle, PhD, Geographer, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
    • Delivering GEOINT in the Open

Nearly sixty presentations on a variety of essential topics will be presented on Wednesday and Thursday (May 11th & 12th) including:

  • Precision Mapping from Street Level Imagery for Asset Management
  • Comprehensive Tsunami Evacuation Modeling to Inform Emergency Management:  A Case Study of Balboa Island, California
  • Social Media, Big Data, and GIS:  A Case of Predictive Crime Analysis
  • Big County NG9-1-1 Implementation:  What Will It Take?
  • GIS as Centerpiece to Public Works Strategy-City of Anaheim Case Study
  • Maps and Database Design as Communication Tools.

Check them all out on the conference website as well as information about the venue.  Hope to see you there!

      CalGIS2016

 

 

CGIA Member Spotlight: Jeff Orton

**CGIA has created a member spotlight corner located on the top right panel of our main home page. If you want to be next, please send us the following information (see example below) along with a photo.**

Job: Director of GIS, Wonderful Citrus, Delano CA

Bio: I have been working in digital mapping and GIS since at least 1990.  I have worked as a data editor for a photogrammetric mapping company, a GIS Technician for the City of Provo, the GIS Administrator for the Utah Transit Authority, and the GIS Coordinator for the County of Kern.  I currently work in the agriculture industry helping map and analyze data for over 90,000 acres of citrus in California, Texas, and Mexico.  Each different job has been a different application of my geography training (CSU Fresno, BYU, and University of Utah) and my interest in GIS.  Along the way I have done everything from (very) local mapping projects to working on the development of federal transportation data standards.

I love that GIS brings me in contact with a wide variety of disciplines and is constantly challenging me to learn and develop new skills.   As I have entered the second half of my working years, I have come to realize that while my accomplishments at work are a great source of gratification, the greatest pleasure of my years in GIS has been the quality of people with whom I have had the opportunity to interact.

Project(s): While at the Utah Transit Authority I was able to work on several national standards efforts (NCHRP 20-27 (3), Transit Communications Interface Profiles, Bus Stop Inventory Best Practices).  Each of these presented its own challenge and had its own unique connection to my interest in spatial data.

At the County of Kern, I had the great privilege of being the first GIS Coordinator/Manager that the County hired.  What followed was almost 9 years of rolling out new tools, building data repositories and helping enhance the spatial awareness of county employees and residents.  Along the way we built up a good team of talented people who continue to provide great service to the community.

Wonderful Citrus has been an enormous change from the wide multidisciplinary interactions of local government to the deep focused work of agribusiness.  The speed at which a large company moves coupled with the rapid change of technology, particularly in the mobile environment, has challenged me and provided great opportunities for GIS to shine.

Anything About Yourself: One of my first interests in GIS (and my dissertation topic) was the coupling of GIS with Family History (genealogy) data.  I still work on Family History and find the challenge of data exploration and the thrill of discovery interesting after all these years.