Every Map Ever

I work as a GIS Specialist in Tucson, AZ for a company that does, among other things, cultural resource management. I started as an archaeologist, but I received my masters in GIS a couple years ago because I like using tech to increase efficiency and transitioning archaeology into an increasingly digital world. I like the challenge and I like that I get to be a part of every project on every level. From proposal, to field work, to report I get to see everything. I also get to manage the GIS server and make web applications. I research new technology and attend webinars to keep my skills up. I am the only GIS professional in the company so there are days where I’m very overwhelmed by the workload. Sometimes I get very little accomplished and sometimes I can make hundreds of maps in a day.

Today I worked on 4 archaeological projects. Three of these projects are in Northern New Mexico and have recently concluded their field sessions. The first one was in Santa Fe where some of our sub contractors monitored a busy intersection getting a utilities upgrade. I made 3 project location maps and 2 site plan view maps. The second project was on tribal land to the north east. It is also getting a utility upgrade but in this case it was walking survey. I made 3 project location maps for this one and 5 site plan maps. The third was across North Central New Mexico and I downloaded field data from our Trimble and post processes corrected the data. The correction wasn’t going well because the Trimble was not catching enough signal for correction. I’ll figure that out on Monday.

The last project I worked on is a resurrected data recovery project originating in 2003. This project has been brought to life several times in the last decade. Three weeks ago they approached me and said that they needed every figure from every year brought into the current software and edited. As I have gone through the data I started keeping a list of mapping specialists who worked on the project. I’m up to 7 not including me, so to say that it was frustrating bringing together all of those styles is an understatement. But we keep on and I was able to finish the plan views yesterday. I turned them over yesterday and started today on the profiles. Those should go better since there was not a lot depth for the features of these sites.

After that I worked for about an hour on my time card for the the week. This is a moderate week. Some weeks I have 20+ projects to enter. Beats unemployment by a long shot though.