'I can use my GIS skills to help a huge range of different industries...'
Bachelor of Science in Geography
Consultant, Interpret Geospatial Solutions
* Now offered as the Postgraduate Diploma in Geospatial Science and Technology.
Hamish’s work with Interpret Geospatial Solutions began with an internship role while studying, where he is now a Consultant mapping data for projects.
‘As a consultant I work with a range of clients on various jobs,’ he says. ‘My main area of work is in development – I build and develop custom web applications to solve clients’ problems. I also perform a range of analytical tasks to compliment the web applications.’
His favourite thing about his work is how different each project can be, bringing a new set of challenges and knowledge to his role.
One particular area Hamish has received recognition for is his project calculating transportation routes based on road safety data, which earned him a number of awards for such an innovative project – including the 2015 NZ ESRI Young Scholar Award (which included attending the Esri International GIS Conference in San Diego), and the NZ Spatial Excellence Awards Undergraduate of the Year title.
Most recently, Hamish also received the 3M Traffic Safety Young Professional Award and the Best Young Professional Award from IPENZ Transportation Group.
‘Working as a consultant opens me up to a huge range of different clients,’ he says. ‘As a result I can use my GIS skills to help a huge range of different industries. GIS is a widely applicable discipline that can be used in industries ranging from health to Geology to social sciences and more.’
Hamish’s latest project is work with the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Rebuild (NCTIR) alliance, as part of the Kaikōura earthquake recovery.
‘In that team we are supporting daily operations of the Geotech and Environmental teams, as well as the designers and engineers. This ranges from simple map creations through to developing 3D scenes viewable on web browsers, tablets and phones.’
Enrolling at UC with a UC Merit Scholarship, Hamish had initially gone into university studies with his two interests Geography and Computer Science.
‘UC rates highly in both these departments and because I’m a Cantab through and through, it was an easy decision to remain in Christchurch,’ he says. ‘I really enjoyed the campus, student lifestyle, Christchurch, the range of courses and the lecturers and my fellow students who encouraged me to perform to my best.’
By far his favourite memories from UC were the field trips he took within the South Island.
‘I took numerous Geology papers – including two week-long field trip based papers. These papers had us stationed at one of UC’s various field stations. A lot of hard work and a lot of fun was had on these trips. I also went on a number of day and overnight field trips with the Geography department.’
Geographic Information Science was a perfect combination of both of these subjects at postgrad level. Having now achieved his first GIS professional industry certification, Hamish hopes he can pursue more diverse projects in the GIS industry.
‘My study has given me a broad background in various topics. As I’ve entered the workforce I have discovered areas that further interest me and used my existing skills to help expand my knowledge in these new areas,’ he says. ‘You can chose to use GIS in conjunction with a range of other skills. It is both a tool and a discipline – and extremely versatile.’