2017 Through the Rearview Mirror

The year 2017 has been one of the most eventful of my career, but changes and developments were not limited to the professional sphere for me.

  • I left my job at Zekiah Technologies after 15 years and started a new one at Spatial Networks, Inc. I was very fortunate to be able to leave behind one great situation and join another.
  • I gave the keynote presentation at TUGIS, Maryland’s state GIS conference. I still owe it to myself to post the text of my talk. The text of my talk can be found here. I wasn’t necessarily kind to GIS, but I was, and remain, bullish about geography and geographers.
  • My blogging ramped down precipitously. This was due to a couple of factors: First, my previous role as a federal contractor had left me with little I felt compelled to write about. Second, my new role had me consumed with learning a new platform, getting to know a new team, and getting my feet under me from a leadership perspective. I expect to blog more in 2018, though my activity will be split between this site and the Spatial Networks site, depending upon content.
  • In addition to TUGIS, I attended FOSS4G in Boston and Geography 2050 in New York. Both were great experiences in different ways. Geography 2050 got me thinking again about infrastructure in ways I hadn’t for several years. FOSS4G gave me the opportunity to reconnect with that community and a few old friends.
  • I worked with members of the Spatial Networks team to help volunteers use Fulcrum Community in response to Hurricane Harvey. As a result, I learned that Fulcrum is the platform we needed during the decade or so I supported infrastructure protection and disaster response efforts.
  • I took the first fully non-working vacation I’ve had in years. I spent the week with family, kept my feet in the Gulf of Mexico as much as I could, and got in some fishing. This will become more of a habit.

  • I got more in touch with my health. Those who follow me on Twitter have probably not been able to avoid my strained “war on cubicle body” metaphor. My renewed focus on fitness resulted from a diagnosis of asthma and a separate indication that my cardiac health was not where I wanted it to be. The process of integrating regular exercise into my routine has required intense self-honesty that is showing benefits across all aspects of life. I am not where I want to be, yet, but the work continues.

If I get into looking ahead to 2018, that will probably be a separate post. I’m not really big on resolutions, since I don’t think they are particularly effective at changing behavior. In general, I’ll be getting deeper into the technical platforms at Spatial Networks, evangelizing Fulcrum a lot more, continuing to build our data/analytics line of business, and trying to sort through the rapidly-changing technology landscape. If I have any “resolution” for next year, it will be to wear out at least two pairs of running shoes.

Happy 2018 to you all, and thank your for your continued interest in this blog.