Congratulations to Michael Resig (first place) and Sam Mull (second place) for winning the Map-Off competition held on 27 March. When interviewed, this is what each had to say about their experience.
“I had the opportunity to apply my GIS skills overseas for three seasons during and following my undergraduate studies. I was the GIS Specialist and Architect Surveyor for the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon (archaeological excavation). This experience for me was, by-far, the most influential aspect of witnessing and integrating the power of GIS and mapping. During this time I realized that the application of GIS was only limited to the imagination and experience of the user. GIS can be used for, and improve, almost any application.
I began working for Northrop Grumman as a Geospatial Engineer/Analyst in 2009. My time as a GIS professional within the defense-contracting world has been a fantastic opportunity to experience more of the GIS world. While working at NG I was introduced to the GGS program at GMU and jumped on the opportunity. I recently finished my Masters in Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence from GMU, and I’d have to say it was a fantastic, essential, educational program regarding my career and interests. Over the years I have gravitated towards open-source solutions, and Open Street Map was a significant discovery for me. I became involved with volunteering for OSM through the Ushahidi Haiti Project in 2010. Ever since then I have periodically contributed towards mapping relief projects, such as MapGive’s Map-a-thon for the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Utilizing and contributing to OSM is an important element to my character and professional outreach. Making geospatial information available to the world and agencies for humanitarian aid is essential. Geospatial information and mapping are incredibly powerful toolsets that can be applied to almost any field. Acquiring even a basic knowledge of the advantages of GIS can improve the relevance and usefulness of a situation.
Thank you for hosting the Map-Off! It was a great chance for a lot of people to contribute towards a good cause, and I look forward to next time.” -Michael Resig, First Place Mapper
“My first experience using open street map was in high school following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. I was a senior enrolled in my first GIS class when the earthquake occurred and my teacher at the time had mentioned that local mappers were convening in Washington DC to assist with mapping the area. While at the conference we were given a workstation with up to date satellite imagery showing the destruction to the countries infrastructure. My task was to look at areas where buildings had fallen into the streets and blocked the roadway and mark those areas online. Since then I have pursued the study of GIS and related fields and I should be graduating next fall.” -Sam Mull, Second Place Mapper