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ESRGC Fall Spotlight 2021

Updated: Sep 14



"I believe ESRGC gave me a good understanding of the professional standards and demeanor I will need in the workforce. I feel more prepared to hit the ground running and produce excellent results for my organization."

Name:

Kevin Bedwell


Graduation date/ School:

Salisbury University, Spring 2019


Hometown:

Elkton, MD


When did you first use GIS?

Geog 219 with Dr. Harris during my Sophomore year, Spring 2017. I created my first map, a reference map of UK population centers, in ArcMap. It still hangs over my desk today.


What is something you wish everyone knew about GIS?

When explaining GIS to people who are unaware of the field, I love detailing just how much it affects their daily lives. Everything from GPS systems to infographics to bus lines and subway maps, all tied into GIS. It is this artistry of information visualization that makes the field such an impactful profession for society.


What interested you in working with the ESRGC?

I heard good word of the ESRGC from students and professors in the Geography Department. One student, who had already worked here as a summer intern, told me that this organization offered a fun and educational first experience in the GIS industry performing work with desktop software and GPS field equipment. When the ESRGC reached out to our department for a new summer intern in 2020, I jumped on the opportunity.


What task(s) did you work on at ESRGC?

For one month I worked remotely performing quality checks and updates on the building footprints of Caroline County, MD in ArcGIS Pro. This included identifying all primary buildings associated with addresses, secondary buildings such as sheds, and pools, and ensuring the footprint layer properly matched each building’s base outline. My second month was spent traveling to Pocomoke City, MD and Snow Hill, MD, where a fellow intern and I surveyed and imaged all buildings in the municipal boundaries for signs of degradation using the Collector App. This data was used for the Building Blight Survey in support of the Tri-County Council.


While working with the ESRGC what is something that you learned?

As this position was my first foray into the GIS industry, I was able to glimpse some of the possible tasks and expectations of a GIS professional. Tasks ranged from building footprint quality checks, which are repetitive and require strong focus and productive fortitude, to the building survey, which is more physically demanding and dynamic. I learned a lot about the need for accurate data and well-crafted map layers, as well as the inter-connectivity of GI products, from the Collector app to ArcGIS Portal.


What was your last major project?

I recently obtained my Master of Science for GIS Management from Salisbury University. My final project for this degree was the creation of a design document for the walking tour service of Parsons Cemetery in Salisbury, MD. The document details how to create walking tours using mobile tour applications. It includes written and recorded guides that teach cemetery volunteers how to identify specific gravestones via satellite imagery in ArcGIS Pro and QGIS, how to add and organize relevant attribute data, and how to display that information in the tour software. Other guides give detailed walkthroughs of the user interfaces for the applications. The document ends with recommendations for the physical implementation of the project, marketing options, and risk identification.


Where would you like to work and what projects would you feel well suited to work on?

I would like to stay in the Mid-Atlantic region for at least the next 2-3 years. Ideally, I will be in Annapolis or the greater DC-Baltimore area, but I am also open to work in Philadelphia, New Jersey, or the New York area. I do not have a particular preference between public and private sector but would like to find a position that challenges me to increase my skills with web mapping and programming. I feel well suited for a project that involves geoprocessing, cartographic design, or database design with SQL.


How has working with ESRGC prepared you for your current position, or the workforce at large?

I believe ESRGC gave me a good understanding of the professional standards and demeanor I will need in the workforce. I feel more prepared to hit the ground running and produce excellent results for my organization.


Have you gone to any GIS conferences?

I attended the 2021 ESRI User Conference.


Dream job?

I enjoy travel and the beach. Any job that allows me to see more of the world and live near the sea is well suited to my needs.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to longboard, run, play video games, workout, and go to the beach.


Do you have a LinkedIn?

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-bedwell/


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