Tara Seitz – GIS Quality Manager and Facilitator at GiQ Inc.
To continue celebrating women in GIS/Geomatics we would like to introduce Tara Seitz, a GIS Quality Manager and Facilitator at GiQ Inc….
GoGeomatics: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did your interest in Geomatics start?
Tara: I have always loved the outdoors and never wanted to be confined to an office. So, I made the world my office. I grew up in remote Northern Ontario and my initial passion was mining. My part-time jobs were forestry, mining and camps; all of which included maps and data collection. It was my natural curiosity that drove me to question how other types of maps could help in my projects and how we can better collect data. That curiosity lead me to a formal education in GIS.
GoGeomatics: How are you using Geomatics in your current position?
Tara: I used to design mapping systems for large energy companies. Regardless of how clever the design, the benefits weren’t realized if the GIS wasn’t deployed effectively. So I concentrated my efforts on the deployment of GISs. I studied quality management processes, system designs, management of change, records management, policies and procedures. I used everything I learned (and even got my certificate in Technical Documentation) and applied it to mapping systems. At the time there wasn’t any one job description that needed a GIS designer, with System Quality Management, and technical documentation so I started my own business.
GoGeomatics: What skill types have you gained in this field and are they transferable to other types of industries?
Tara: I mostly deal with GISs that support pipeline operations, maintenance and risk but that’s because I like pipelines. GIS is just the medium upon which any industry can ask their location-based questions. A well-administered GIS should be able to answer those questions. Understanding how to create and use a GIS is a transferable skill to nearly every industry. In fact, I can’t think of any industry that couldn’t use it.
GoGeomatics: What do you find rewarding/challenging in your GIS career?
Tara: I love how GIS is so flexible. You can take a weekend course and start making maps and managing data right away, or you can get a doctorate degree and the sky is the limit. We see GIS in Google, Facebook, and Twitter. GIS directs your pizza delivery through traffic and helps neurosurgeons guide their instruments. GIS maps animals patterns, urban growth, smoke plumes, continental drift, air traffic control, oil sand remediation, community sustainability, grow ops, pine beetle destruction, the best location for the next Tim Hortons, the nearest camping spot, how far I jogged this morning and where to find the best diamonds in the world. If you can ask it, GIS can probably answer it. That’s was makes it great to be the one who can build it!