13 Nov

Steve Gillotte I Am Geo

I am Geography

My little brother still frequently complains, some 30 years later, about the hours-long road trip where my father passed the time by chatting with me about map accuracy, projections, the art of cartography, and techniques cartographers use to protect their copyright data from theft. My brother was bored out of his mind; I was fascinated.

My interest in “maps” began earlier than my desire to code software. In early grade school, I remember playing with my parents’ AAA travel maps after the long road trips which were a staple of my youth. I would spend hours playing with the map – the route the clerk highlighted for my parents, the legend, the map folds, and the associated information found in the volumes of travel books.

Geography, and my love of travel, continues to be prominent in my life. I have a deep passion for travelling for work and pleasure to experience the world. Over the years, I have spent hours, if not months, preparing for new destinations by drawing maps that create an understanding, or story, of our travels. Every time I experience a new geography, I consciously and subconsciously examine my own life through a new lens: seeing how the similarities and differences expand my mind. It’s amazing what geography can do.

After graduating college, I found a career that combines two of my passions – geography and software engineering. I began supporting various US government organizations with systems engineering & integration supporting their mission-critical geospatial needs. I work across the geospatial intelligence cycle, but have specialized in two areas: visualization of geospatial data & information and dissemination of geospatial content across the enterprise. We ultimately founded Reinventing Geospatial®, Inc. (RGi®) under the premise that our nation’s Soldiers and analysts deserve the very best C3I capabilities our nation can provide. Reinventing means we must continually strive to do better through innovation, expediency of delivery, and efficiency of use…we cannot, and do not, accept the status quo as a limiter; we must have an immediate impact.

Today, we are conducting research exploring Cyber Terrain and Cyber Situational Awareness & Understanding – in other words, how do we apply the principles of geography to a new domain with quasi physical geospatial relationships. If we define the primary function of a historic “map” as an understanding of movement (time, ease of travel, etc.) between two or more points, then this raises the question: What is the primary function of a cyber map when the number of routes between two points is (or will soon be) infinity, and the time to travel between two points is (or will soon be) zero. How do we instead visualize the affect any node has (or can have) on a human?

Become a member of the AGS, and let us feature you as part of our “I AM GEOGRAPHY” campaign which will light the path for all of you closet geographers to get involved in making our world a better place through Geography.

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