Teammate Spotlight: Kyle McBride

October 23, 2018

Position: Lead Project Technician

Length of Employment with GIS Workshop: 4 years

What brought you to GIS Workshop?

I was drawn to GIS Workshop through my passion for geography. During college, I was most interested in a variety of subjects that all fell under the umbrella of GIS, although I wasn’t aware of it at the time. Subjects like Remote Sensing, Cartography, Environmental Geology, and Urban Geography just to name a few; all of which can be used within GIS to further convey a message or to enact change. The various projects we do at GIS Workshop span all of these subjects as well. From GPS data collection in the field to the land type and use based assessments our tools help the county Assessors perform, everything we do here at GIS Workshop helps our communities solve real-world issues and provides technological solutions to help them become stronger and smarter.

What is your favorite part of working at GIS Workshop?

What I appreciate the most is the variety of projects and clients that we’re able to work with on a regular basis. In many other companies, a GIS technician may only work with one client or one database for the entire year. Here at GIS Workshop, we deal with hundreds of different clients and databases. On any given day I can be working with anywhere from 1 to 20 different clients or projects. Having this variety keeps things interesting and always provides new challenges.

What do you enjoy most about your role as Lead Project Technician and why?

The thing I enjoy most about being the Lead GIS Technician is being able to assist my team members with any GIS issues they come across and ensure they are providing the best possible solutions so that we always hit our target. Ultimately, I really enjoy the unique challenges the team brings to me on a regular basis and being able to work together to create new and effective solutions to real-world problems. Leading the team isn’t without its challenges, but when your team excels you feel a great sense of accomplishment.

What has been your favorite project at GISW and why?

To date, my favorite project while working at GISW has been the opportunity to help the City of McCook, Nebraska with their Utilities Asset Management through our GPS Data Collection process. Using our Trimble MX7 roof mounted mobile collection unit, we were able to quickly and accurately collect assets within their Water, Storm, and Sanitary Sewer departments. We drove the entire city street by street and alley by alley until we had completed data collection for the entire city. We then extracted all of the locations of these features back in our office and created a unique spatial database containing all the city’s assets so they could locate them and track maintenance going forward. To me, this is one of my favorite ways to show the power of what GIS can accomplish.

What made you want a career in GIS?

It all started on the first day of my sophomore year after my “Intro to GIS & Cartography” class at UNL. Prior to this course, I had never heard the words GIS uttered before and, needless to say, after the semester it sparked my interest in the subject and ultimately led to my career path. The multitude of different ways you can integrate data with some aspect of a spatial component to reflect your vision was what made me gravitate towards the realm of geospatial systems. GIS is constantly changing. With advancements in technology and the development of new ideas, the opportunities for GIS seem endless and this is why I love GIS. Watching this progress unfold keeps me captivated in this emerging field. After studying GIS, I came to realize that what I thought was just a simple map-making program is so much more. It’s a process that takes complex information and simplifies it to make sense of the world. From making population density maps for one region to mapping out potential building locations for a new business, GIS is an awe-inspiring tool that can help solve real problems for so many different people and organizations.

What’s your favorite Client Story

Working with so many clients, it’s difficult to pinpoint a favorite story. I can say that my favorite type of story is when we get done with a new SimpleCity and GPS collection project and how excited the city is to start using our platform to actively manage their assets. Consistently during the SimpleCity program training we have for every new project, our clients will express new ways they can use the system that they previously hadn’t thought of and how much it will positively affect their daily workflow. Hearing that the solutions we provide will make their jobs easier is what makes it a meaningful endeavor.