María Arias de Reyna

María Arias de Reyna

Open Source Geospatial Foundation

The Road to Geospatial: How did it all start for you? What was your first geospatial undertaking?

“I was working at a software company when they decided to create a GIS department. I was on the initial setup of that department and have loved GIS since. My first geospatial undertaking was just making sure a webmap was working correctly, more than ten years ago. Then I was involved in a fleet control management system for emergencies.”

Conference experiences: Why should one come to FOSS4G and not go to another geo-event? What was your significant conference experience that helped you carve your career?

“FOSS4G is the main event. Smaller events are cool and good to keep in touch with people from your nearby community. But if you really want to see all the state of the art technologies in GIS, you have to come to Bucharest. If I hadn’t gone to the conferences I have gone, I wouldn’t have learned as fast as I did. And I wouldn’t have made all the network and relationships that are now so helpful in my career. Coming to conferences put a human face to technology.”

What is your advice for students and young professionals at the beginning of their journey?

“Don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t be afraid to interact with senior professionals. We are all here because we like GIS and we like to see our community grow. And junior professionals are the future of that community.”