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A creative in a geospatial scientist’s world

Jonathan Wagner took time to “Map” the right path for himself

Some people leave high school sure of where they want their lives to go, their career and life path planned out for them.

Others, take some time to land on their path, often taking chances on ventures and trying something new, until they find where they are supposed to be.

Jonathan Wagner, creator of Scribble Maps, is one of those people who took a little extra time to find out where he belonged in life. Originally starting out in business after high school, he quickly learned that the stock market and the financial world wasn’t where he wanted to spend his career.

“I was like, I was really into the stock market, so I went into a bank, and then I sat down with someone and I just said, like, if I wanted to do your job, or I want to do this, what should I do? And they were like, don’t get your MBA, just go get your CSC certification. So, I did that I got my CSC certification. But then I kind of decided I didn’t want to do it,” said Wagner.

From there, he went into coding. Having taught himself flash coding, he played around in that field for sometime, even going so far as to create a short game which was sold for $1,500.

Finally, he created Scribble Maps, a software which lets users create their own maps. Now that he is here, he knows this is where he wants to be.

“It’s definitely where I want to be. I mean, it’s the great thing about mapping is, especially GIS, it’s the best and worst thing about mapping when you’re building a mapping product is just how broad it is. Like, there’s just so much you can do in GIS.”

The program was originally created 13 years ago. It started out small, and it was some time before it took off, however, it wasn’t until last year when members of the geospatial community began to take notice of his mapping software.

“It’s still very early for us. Like we’re kind of scratching the surface. This is not like, we’re not having a wave of people, they’re coming in little bits. They’re not quitting ArcGIS and QGIS. And promoting Scribble Maps on a mass, right? Like, they’re not doing that. It’s, I’m seeing the first glimmers where I saw nothing before, I’m starting to see people come in, and you and using us in parallel.”

While Wagner does hope that Scribble Maps becomes more popular with the GIS community, he says he does not want his product to become another program like others in the industry.

“We kind of, and it was also kind of purposeful that I kind of tried to avoid looking at other GIS platforms like QGIS, and ArcGIS. Because I was always afraid that if I looked at them, I would start leaning that way. And I instead of having something unique, I would just end up with another version of one of those programs,” he added.

To teach people more about his program, Wagner will be appearing at the upcoming SUMSF event running March 22 and 24.

Sign up for the event here.

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