The Road to Geospatial: How did it all start for you? What was your first geospatial undertaking?
“My story may not be typical – I was in my mid 40’s and looking for a new career after “an event” a friend asked me to help him in his small geospatial consultancy, that subsequently became an early geo dot com called whereonearth.com which built the first ever global geocoder. A few years later when whereonearth was struggling I and a group of colleagues bought out the old fashioned GIS consultancy side of the business just before the beginning of e-government initiatives, that proved to be very fortunate timing. Subsequently we sold our business to MapInfo and a after a couple of years I left MapInfo and have been working in Open Source geo for nearly a decade.”
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?
“My first FOSS4G was Nottingham in 2013 when I was the chair of the LOC, I’d never been to a FOSS4G before! It was an amazing experience and opened my eyes to a whole community of like minded geo-geeks who became my friends not just my colleagues. FOSS4G will help you to learn, teach, discuss and most importantly make friends and contacts that will help you to develop your career in geospatial.”
What is your advice for students and young professionals at the beginning of their journey?
“Find people to mentor and advise you, you will save time and get further. How do you do that? Volunteer – whether you are a coder, a consultant or a business person, you will get more exposure and more opportunity if you volunteer within the OSGeo community”