Meet GoGeomatics’ Newest Social Leader: Tristan Forward
GoGeomatics Canada would like to extend a warm welcome to Tristan Forward, our newest social group leader in Calgary, Alberta. Over the past few months, Calgary has become one of our strongest social groups in Canada, and we’re happy to have Tristan to help out, alongside long-time Calgary social leader Aubrey Downie.
Our social leaders are all passionate about geomatics, and have a range of experiences to offer anyone who stops by a monthly social. Below, Tristan shares his own experiences about his education, choosing GIS as a career path, the big move out West, and his involvement with GoGeomatics socials. Tristan will be at the next Calgary GoGeomatics Social, taking place November 26 (6:00) at the Libertine Public House. Stop by and say hello!
Tristan Forward, GIS Analyst and GoGeomatics Group Leader
I was first introduced to GIS during university, when I took an Introduction to GIS course at Carleton University with Dan Patterson. The course was a great introduction to GIS, and it was really Dan who really made me like GIS. He has a passion for teaching and he was the one who showed me the many applications of GIS and how it could be used across many disciplines.
After university, I decided to revisit GIS as a career choice, furthering my studies at Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario. After finishing that program, I returned to my hometown of Ottawa to look for work. This was also the time when I first started attending the GoGeomatics socials.
At the socials, I met Jon Murphy of GoGeomatics. He gave me good advice on job hunting, and I briefly volunteered with GoGeomatics, helping out where I could. Soon after, I landed a job in GIS with a company in Ottawa doing LiDAR processing. I was happy to have a job in my field, but it was not challenging enough, so I started looking again.
After some searching, I was offered a job in Fort St. John, North Eastern B.C., with a small surveying company called Vector Geomatics. It was more what I was looking for career-wise, and it was a new adventure. So I packed up everything I could into my car and a small trailer and drove across Canada. Which is something every Canadian should do! Mind you, maybe not in December, as I did.
I worked at Vector for almost two years, and gained a lot of experience in GIS working on a small team. Also during my time there, I taught myself how to program in Python for GIS, and applied it to my daily work where I could. However, I began to miss the big city, and wanted a new challenge. So I started applying for jobs again, and got an offer from Matrix Solutions Inc, an Environmental and Consulting Company in Calgary.
So again I loaded up my car and trailer and set out for Calgary. I have been working at Matrix Solutions for over a year, and it’s a great team. This past year I’ve been through a lot of transitions. I began mainly working on the production side of GIS, producing maps and desktop analysis. Now, I’ve moved more and more into the solutions programming side of GIS, and mostly recently have taken on some business development work.
Being more settled in Calgary, I noticed the GoGeomatics socials here are being hosted by Aubrey, who I had met at the GoGeomatics socials in Ottawa. I offered to help out again as a way of giving back to the help I got when I was first looking for work. I know first-hand that these socials are a great place to network, get tips for graduating students, and meet like-minded people within the industry.