How do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a map?
They say if you follow your passion, you’ll never work a day in your life. For Robin Glatley, following a lifelong passion for maps and geography has led to a fulfilling career in a highly specialized field.
“If you ask either of my parents, I was obsessed with maps as a kid,” says Glatley, GIS Mapping Specialist with Lauren Services. “I had atlases underneath my bed and maps all over the wall, so it kind of makes sense that I fell into this career.”
GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems, a highly specialized discipline vital to many industries, including engineering, technology, mining, transportation, aviation, and even space exploration. At Lauren Services, Glatley employs cutting-edge platforms to help her bring projects and site locations to life for the project engineers and ultimately, the client and project stakeholders. Every new project requires her to gather multiple data points to ensure the team has a 3D view of the landscape they’ll be working in.
“Mapping and GIS is a very technically heavy field. It’s constantly changing since technology changes,” Glatley says, adding she likely has the biggest hard drive on the team in order to process and store so much data. “Everyone uses maps now whether they know it or not. It’s in your smart phones, it’s in your computers, and a lot of the back end comes from GIS.”
While technology continues to evolve at a blinding pace, mapping still requires an experienced human to analyze and interpret the data, and to ensure issues or challenges are proactively identified and addressed. Since no two projects are alike, it’s the ability to create a first map that is still greatly appealing for someone who used to keep atlases under her bed.
“Every project I have to start fresh and that’s also an exciting thing,” she says. “You get a fresh plate to start something new.”
With offices in Calgary and Vancouver, Lauren Services delivers dynamic performance and intelligent design across the entire suite of engineering services.