- Qualification and GIS component: PhD in Geography (research in land cover mapping using GIS data fusion techniques), PG Dip in GeoInformatics, MSc Environment Science (GIS papers)
- Tertiary Institute: The University of Auckland
- Work role: Senior Specialist (Geospatial Platform and Support) at Auckland Council. Previously Senior GIS Analyst at Auckland Transport; GIS Analyst at Tauranga City Council
Why did you choose to study GIS?
I came across GIS as an introductory paper while studying for my Masters in Environmental Science in India, and became interested in the tremendous analytical capabilities of GIS. I decided to pursue my interest in GIS further, and I studied for an advanced diploma in Geoinformatics in India. By then I realised that GIS offers a broad range of employment opportunities in corporate, research or academics.
What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced from studying GIS?
I think that an understanding of GIS provides you with a unique spatial perspective in understanding various real life problems. From a study and work perspective, I’ve been really interested in how the application of GIS can vastly alter the way information is presented to people – for example location enabled smartphones apply various GIS techniques such as location analytics for house hunting, or travel time and routing concepts for finding out best possible route to take. I’m excited to be a part of it.
How important is GIS for your existing and future career options, and why?
I started learning GIS to help my work in Environment Science, but the enormous scope of GIS changed my focus from core environment science to GIS applications. With the evolution of mobile, internet and cloud technology, the face of GIS is rapidly changing and it is positively impacting our lives. I think this trend is likely to accelerate in future as the boundaries of core GIS, location based services and other applications merge.
I believe there are huge opportunities in the geospatial industry in the future, so developing my skills in GIS continues to be a career goal for me. I’m currently working on expanding my skills and knowledge base for web and cloud based GIS solutions and 3D mapping.
What advice would you give to future students considering adding a GIS component to their studies?
Taking some GIS papers at an early stage in your studies provides great exposure to the variety of information resources available in GIS. It’s a vast applied field with many components including cartography, analysis, programming, web mapping, database management and many more. I’d encourage anyone to take some GIS papers and broaden the focus of their studies.