Wednesday, February 19, 2003

To Use my Degree or Not to Use my Degree, That is the Question

Tonight I am going to a meeting that may very well determine my future with my current employer. If I can convince someone I'm meeting tonight that my Geography degree is worth something, I will still have a job at the end of next week. If not, I'm not really sure what's going to happen.

Ominous, yes?

I'm actually really excited about this opportunity. It's a brand spankin' new Geographical Information Systems (GIS) practice. GIS takes a digital representation of the earth's surface, a map, and applies qualitative and quantitative values to various points or areas on the representation. It's like a map that tells a story about how that land is used or how different spatial variables interact with one another today, showing any patterns that may emerge. And with any luck, it will give us the information we need to decide how we should be using that land in the future.

Mapping has always been something that I have enjoyed. Right from when I was a kid, I imagined-up entire planets' worth of oceans, lakes, mountains, forests, cities, and political borders, complete with their indigenous cultures and creatures. In high school, I used to get lost in atlases and road maps, taking pride in navigating my parents through new territory on family vacations. And through university, I was forced to explain that getting a geography degree wasn't only reading maps, but was much much more...yet I couldn't help admitting that maps were probably my favourite part about studying Geography. And now....well, I've gotten lost along the way for a while. Maybe after this meeting tonight, I'll be back on track.

Wish me luck.


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