What does your day typically consist of?
I get up grab breakfast and get things ready for the day ahead. I became a dad recently so if I’m lucky I get a quick cuddle from my wee boy before I leave, but more often than not he’s still sleeping so I just get to look at him.
When I get to work I usually have a quick look at the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) helpdesk to see what work needs delivered over the next few days to make sure there’s not going to be any problems delivering it all on time. Depending on how busy things are I may need to juggle a few tasks around to make sure everything fits but the team is really great at keeping on top of things so it has to be exceptionally busy for that to happen.
The bulk of my day will be spent on a mix of tasks ranging from developing our corporate GIS strategy to reviewing tenders and trying to resolve various data or technical problems so there is plenty to keep me busy.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Working with maps! A good map is a truly amazing thing – it seamlessly combines an incredible amount of thought, skill and art into something that can easily communicate more information than a book. You can sit and read a good map in the same way people will read a magazine or a newspaper – there’s always interesting things to find, and the fact I get to work with them every day is great!
How did you get into the role in the first place?
I’d worked as a countryside ranger for a few years and I’d seen GIS being used in a number of interesting projects – I really love technology and GIS seemed a natural area to move into. I went back to uni to study GIS and worked as cartographer for a well know mapping company before working for nine years at a GIS consultancy. This gave me a really good understanding of GIS systems from both a user and a development point of view.
What is your degree and /or professional qualification?
I have an undergraduate degree in Ecology in which I used GIS a little bit and a Masters in GIS (which I used GIS a lot!)
What is the most interesting type of work you have done and why?
I’ve actually had quite a varied range of jobs since my first ever official job as a paper boy and it’s tricky to choose the most interesting. Possibly the most unusual work was when I was a countryside ranger in an area that was used for a few big films – I’ve never mingled with Hollywood stars before or since (or told them what they could and couldn’t do on my patch!). It was really interesting being involved in the process of making a film, even if all I really did was keep an eye on things.
What is your biggest achievement at work?
I think my biggest achievement so far has probably been producing an interactive web map for one of our clients to share data within their team and with other stakeholders. It certainly wasn’t the largest piece of work I’ve done but there were a number of challenges in making this available over the internet that made it really interesting. The final product was really well received and we’re looking forward to doing much more of this sort of work in the future.
Any hidden talents?
I can cook a really mean omelette! You may think omelettes are easy to make, and I guess average omelettes are. But my omelettes are certainly not average, and until you’ve tried one you probably won’t understand what all the fuss is about…
What is your favourite hobby?
I love getting outdoors. Pretty much anything that involves being outside makes me happy – my garage is full of boards, bikes and kayaks and it’s impossible to pick a favourite!back to day in the life