Since its inception in 2013, ThinkSpatial, has seen over 30 employees come and go. In the first interview of our alumni spotlight series we caught up with Allison Erickson to hear about her experience as a student employee and where her GIS career has gone since.
Q: When and how did you first get involved with ThinkSpatial? How long did you work here?
I first learned about ThinkSpatial while working in the GIS Lab on a class project, a few of my classmates were already members and they would discuss the projects they were working on in the same lab. I was hired early December 2014 and left after I graduated late April 2016, so just shy of a year and a half.
Q: What projects do you remember? Did you have a favorite?
3D Mummy Gravesites in Fag el Gamous, Sex & World Peace/WomanStats maps, Hawaiian Historical Travel Guide maps, Bahamian Island maps, HBLL Tabletop maps, among other historical church-related sites and family history maps. Specifically, the Hawaiian Historial Travel Guide maps and the Travels of John Volker through the Netherlands were my favorite projects.
Q: What was your biggest take away from your experience with ThinkSpatial?
Most people believe making a map is quick and easy (like magic) but often times it takes a lot of hard work, communication, and time!
Q: Did you face any challenges here that were particularly rewarding?
Yes! In order to fulfill the demand that the Bahamian Island Project required our group tripled in size (from 4 to 12), we had to train ourselves to use an open source mapping software, and we had only a semester to complete the project. I believe it was the largest project ThinkSpatial had taken on at that point. Ultimately we were unable to fulfill the contract (only mapping half of the inventory) and we had a lack of work the following semester. I was a hard experience with a lot of lessons learned!
Q: Where have you worked since finishing here? What has your favorite project been in your career since ThinkSpatial?
I currently work for Sunrise Engineering for the past year and before that I worked for J-U-B Engineering/Gateway Mapping, Inc for just over 2 years. When I worked for Gateway Mapping, Inc. I loved working with Lindon and Vineyard City but my favorite project was mapping all the street signs for Provo City.
Q: What's the most interesting thing you see out your home/office window or on your commute?
I live in Las Vegas now so it is different having the skyline defined by tall hotels and casinos instead of mountains. I often see a lot of new construction sites and road work on my commute to work.
Q: What is the most moving/compelling email subject line you have seen come through your inbox?
Can't say that I have had any moving/compelling email subject lines but there are the occasional spam/scam messages that are funny to see.
Q: What hobbies do you have/what do you do with your free time?
I love to go on road trips, visit family, and eat delicious foods when I have free time.
Meet and Greet with Backstreet Boys at Planet Hollywood Butter cake at Mastros Ocean Club👌
Q: If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?
Sleeping, I would win at least a bronze medal!
Q: What's your favorite place you have visited? What fictional place you would visit if you could?
Glow-worm caves in New Zealand and Vancouver Island in British Columbia (both areas are beautiful)!
Allison at Hobbiton in the New Zealand graze lands Glow worm cave (source: flickr)