on the job front
So, uh, what do you do for a living? Do you make maps? Is that all? Hehe I get this this question a lot from family and some Tumblr folk. I’m a manager…of data =P My day-to-day tasks are heavy on the geodatabase management side. I have worked for a public safety agency for 6 years. With the databases I manage, I create maps and reports for different departments. My job is to make sure all the information is correct bc this gets used in the field by emergency personnel. Los Angeles County is one of largest counties in the country n its changes keep me busy. Recently, I’ve been getting more involved with emergency operations and disaster mapping. I’m taking a 3 day incident management course next week. That’ll put me on a team that goes out on large incidents requiring maps, mostly fires. After a number of incidents, I can choose to go on a federal team, sending me all over the country!
So how did I get into this? I took an intro GIS course at a community college and I was hooked! I switched my major to geography, went on to get my BA, MA, and certification in GIS. I worked as an intern for a while, then I worked for a utility company, and moved to a local government agency. When I was going through the GIS program, I wanted to pursue crime mapping and teaching in the future. It’s the future now! I’m getting into teaching GIS and diggin’ emergency mapping! I work well under pressure and stress. Remember the time I got lost in the Yosemite Wilderness? And in Mexico City?? Ok, I flipped out in Yosemite but kept my cool in Mexico. Anyways, hope this gives ya an idea of what I do. On the side, I’ve made maps for a paranormal group (mapped haunted hospital), business location maps for a person running for city council, and residential parcel maps for my friends non-profit. That same friend published a book and asked ME to make maps for it. McLovin’ level cool.
It’s a neat technology that can be applied to any industry or business. Location matters, more than you think. Have you ever been asked for your zip code at a store? Or received those suspicious Target ads that happen to give you coupons on exactly what you need/buy? GIS. That’s how Sears kept themselves from going bankrupt. There’s been serial killers caught with the aid of GIS, adding a visual component to their crimes.
SO, if ya wanna get into GIS, look for classes in your area. Hit me up if you need any advice or help w that :)