Richard completed a Master of Geographic Information Science and now works as a GIS and web developer at MetOcean Solutions.
The study of everything
“My college teachers used to say, ‘geography is the study of everything’. I feel this really applies to GIS as a sub-discipline of geography. It runs the gamut from computer science, mathematics and natural language processing to environmental sensors, design (cartography) and user experience.
“The skills are so transferable. I've worked in an econometric research institute, and now I work amongst oceanographers. Almost all data is spatial, and therefore you can find opportunities in any area where data is central.
“GIS is constantly evolving. It’s important to look past the tools that are currently being used, to the principles that underlie them. In a few years most of the tools will be completely different, but the underlying concepts of data management, software architecture, visual design, and statistics (among others) are fundamental and cannot change.”
“Studying at the University has given me a network of people to tap into. The variety of roles my friends have got into is wonderful, and incredibly useful from a professional perspective. Of course, the hard skills I obtained from my degrees are invaluable.”
GIS and web developer
“While still completing my Master's degree, I accepted an offer of a GIS Developer role for MetOcean Solutions, an innovative company based in New Plymouth and Raglan. After the first year, I accepted a permanent role with the company as a GIS and Web Developer.
“Almost all of my work is general web development, both front- and back-end. However my speciality lies in knowledge of libraries that support interaction with spatial data, and how to manage spatial data (APIs, standards, techniques for efficiently slicing and dicing, and overcoming all manner of edge cases).”