Stacey asked me what I do so I thought I would provide the answer here for everyone’s enjoyment. 😀
My career field is in Geographic Information Systems (GIS for short) or just Geography. In simple terms I make maps with the computer, in detailed terms I analyze data and project it spatially in a known coordinate plane (big talk for mapping a point on the globe). Most people in the area I live really don’t know what GIS is so there aren’t many jobs here.
I have been working as a contractor for the State of TN on their Base Mapping Project since 2001. I analyze the imagery for quality and accuracy and the thematic data like roads, creeks, rivers, lakes, etc. to make sure it all lines up correctly over the imagery. We don’t want to look for a road on the imagery only to have the streets theme located in a field next to it, so I verify everything is correct. I am also the Project Manager, so I make sure the subcontractors are doing their jobs correctly, and the client is happy, etc. You can view the TNMAP here and see what I’ve been working on.
Some job titles you may have heard of are your local Property Assessors, County or City Planner, obviously Geography Professors and your local TV Weatherman/woman/person. Real Estate professionals, fire/police departments and some businesses are utilizing GIS for assist them in their analysis needs. The field has been around for a number of years, but mostly in the larger cities. Now that technology has come so far so fast, GIS is one of the fastest growing career fields of the 21st century.
Now you know why I knit at night or in my spare time, so I can escape all the techy stuff and just be creative. Well I can’t really say that either, because GIS is very creative – that’s why I picked it. But more often than not, the techy stuff gets in the way and your creativeness is stifled.