Directions Magazine (DM): What is your position in your company and what do you do there?
Kevin Mayall (KM): I am currently an independent senior consultant in Bermuda. I help my clients with two main business areas. I try to spend as much as time as I can on geospatial services, such as analysis, cartography, data collection, data management, server implementation and SDI policy making. But I also provide general technology-based consulting such as business analysis, data analysis, data visualization, project management and development of IT strategies.
DM: What challenges do you face?
KM: My primary challenges center around working in a small market. I have to build the local geospatial market that I would like to work in. So I try to introduce more people to basic GIS and encourage the building of more datasets, so that there will be more demand to go deeper with business integration and spatial analysis. I also have to be skilled in many types and facets of geospatial technologies. I would like to be doing more coding to better implement my ideas. Partnerships are important but it can be hard to get reputable players interested in small markets. Esri has been a good partner in this regard.
DM: What accomplishments have you achieved?
KM: I'm proud to be nurturing a community approach to GIS development where we are empowering people to use GIS in their environments, rather than hiding it in a back office or specialist department. I'm also proud to have helped direct our SDI strategy and to be building out the central infrastructure for the Bermuda Government. A particularly rewarding project was the recent electoral redistricting of Bermuda, in which we interpreted the constitution in terms of our available data, creatively assembled voter data without the benefit of a census, and performed live spatial analysis in front of key political figures as part of the decision making process. It's great to have the opportunity to apply GIS to a project of profound importance to the governing of the country. It is also particularly rewarding to work with a diversity of application areas such as community planning, policing, elections, environment, land administration and facilities management. Before consulting, I completed a Ph.D. focused on geospatial science and technology at the University of Waterloo and more recently completed GISP certification.
DM: What was your career path to your current position?
KM: I found GIS during a master’s degree in planning, and then stayed on to develop my research in GIS at the Ph.D. level. By keeping open communications with my local government, I had a job in the Planning Department when I was ready to return home. I spent several years on IT and data projects, both geospatial and not, and took opportunities to work with as many people as possible from other government departments. I partnered with an overseas software company for five years and led application development projects while building the local GIS market. Then two years ago, the time was ripe to become an independent consultant focused on geospatial technology. I remain on the path of continuous learning and love to read about and apply geospatial data and tools in different environments.
DM: What would you like to be doing in your career in 10 years?
KM: I would like to be able to say that the SDI of my locality is flourishing, key datasets are being actively maintained and incorporated into business processes, and wonderful spatial analysis is routinely performed. I would like to have moved on to international projects of a geospatial nature, particularly with an analytical component. Throughout it all, I would hope that I can remain involved in training or teaching activities.
DM: What are you personal interests and hobbies?
KM: Most of my spare time is spent being a dedicated father, but I do love road running as well. I read a lot of non-fiction. As a Bermudian, I love doing anything on the ocean - swimming, fishing, snorkeling and sailing. I'm very interested in data visualization techniques and dabble with tools when I can.