My Journey to GIS

Gopher Chauffeur Trip Analysis, 2018

It all started with a map.

But even better than that–it was a map that I didn’t have to make. Using instinct and a bit of Google magic, I whipped up a quick visualization to complement an analysis I was working on. The question was, “Would it be cost effective for the University of Minnesota to add a Coach Bus to the Fleet?” I thought, at the very least, it would add a piece of eye candy to an otherwise dull spreadsheet of columns and pivot tables.

And it did.

As it turns out, data visualization would take over many more of my projects.

One strange request led to another and I found myself buried in maps; fleet fuel heat maps, transit route planning maps, and site selection maps for electric vehicles. Not only was I in a job that needed a mapping skill set, but it encouraged my growth.

It was exhilarating to be an active part of solving a problem and to use the impact of data analysis–spatial or otherwise–to find solutions to unknown problems. There is nothing I like more than illuminating a problem with data.

And, so, I find myself here. Standing atop a mountain of data looking out, wondering how else I can use data analysis and GIS to uncover meaning from the noise.

Outside of working with data, I work on telling stories and teasing out that soul part. I am especially captivated by near-future science fiction, anything fantasy with paranormal influences, and poetry. Please check out my published works.

Finally, all that boring stuff.

I grew up in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. I currently hold a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Minor in Sustainability from the University of Minnesota. I am currently pursuing my Master’s of Science in Geographic Information Science from the same University. Recently, I was promoted to Business Analyst.

You can find me plugging away at my keyboard exhaling magic into the mundane.

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