Wednesday, 14 November 2007

A late GIS Day entry...

Here's to GIS Day. It's been a few months since my last post but a lot has happened lately. A month long vacation in July meant a maddening amount of frenzied mapping of ECD trends to do in August & Sept. So much so that I had banked a copious amount of flex time (like 2 weeks).

Nevermind the conference in Ottawa - it was great to hear how CDN GIS professionals are starting to merge health data with spatial analysis tools. Some were basic - from "I mapped SES data according to our local boundaries" to developed spatial multi-variate models of traffic accidents in the Island of Montreal. Professionally, it was great to meet other GIS professionals that I had only e-mailed or heard about through local Health Networks. I even managed to check out Ottawa and scowl at the cheap real estate prices (compared to Vancouver anyway).

But after it was all said and done, I've moved on from working at the Human Early Learning Partnership & UBC. Making maps and cartographically styled posters was great but I felt I needed to get back to municipal GIS and flex my old programming skills, especially in ArcGIS. So I'm now at the City of Surrey in the Engineering GIS Section. (Here's the job description.)

My first 3 weeks have been busy - various sections within Engineering rely on the Section for a lot of maps, mostly for Corporate Reports in their reports. Other times require different custom maps so I've gotten used to using templates again in ArcMap. Due to the nature of the work, there isn't a lot of need to have stylized maps created via the "Export-to-AI" route as I did before at HELP. ArcGIS (9.1, phew!) fits the bill for these quick and simple maps. I doubt I'll have to make a cartogram anytime soon.

Unlike the rapid upkeep of the computer systems at UBC, the corporate IT environment is still running on Windows 2000. And Internet Explorer. Ugh. I soooooo miss my Firefox browser at work.

Thankfully, they are heading to Vista in a few months. Skipping XP entirely. It's going to be a wild ride for the oldtimers in the City. ;)

(Maybe if gets to be too much, we can spend some time devoted to planned next year's Halloween festivities....)