GIS & Mapping Update - December 4, 2013

I'm on my way to New York City. I will be living there for the next 9 months, working for Rowan Technologies. You haven't heard of Rowan Technologies, (yet, as of 2013) because they're a brand new LLC that's specializing in the development of an iBook for a major academic university/institution. I'm telling my folks, friends, and colleagues that I'm working for a iBook publishing company. My specific responsibilities within the organization include cartographic design, GIS data management/acquisition, GIS data creation (digitizing), graphic design with assistant editorial purview in respect to all things visual, and other graphic design components like animation/animated graphics, 3D visualization "fly-throughs", and infographics.

This new opportunity came to fruition from mid-November to now. The project will have intense deadlines and deliverables; including a large editorial team spread across the entire east coast of the United States (from upstate New York down to North Carolina). There will be a lot of learning hurdles to cross, and I'm excited to get started. I'm excited and anxious for the challenges, the successes, the rewards, the breakthroughs, the breakdowns, and more.

I will be working on a team of 6 visualization/graphic specialists from our office on Madison Ave in Manhattan. These career changes are welcome so that I can continue to develop my portfolio, technical skills, knowledge portfolio (especially history), and interest in a graduate degree at a respected Geographic Department somewhere in the world.

I know the diversity of people, professional and personal, whilst working in New York City will lead me to my next great opportunity (while continuing my existing business relationships with National Geographic Maps and Rowan Technologies).

Some other highlights to the past two weeks include going to Oakland (Uncle Bruce's house) for Thanksgiving with Dad, Ben, Joanne, and Alex. Once again, we had a great time together in the Bay Area, enjoying one another, watching movies, eating too much food, and running around Lake Merritt. I also enjoyed going to Aman's wedding weekend in Long Beach. Aman is one of my best friends from high school, and we continue to talk today, 9 years since graduating. He married a beautiful and nice woman, Ayushka, in one of the most elaborate weddings I've ever been to. There were over 700 guests at the Long Beach Hyatt Regency, and it felt as if the wedding was plucked out of a bollywood movie. It was grand, spectacular, and dazzling. It was so nice to see my friend so happy, and it makes me happy to know that he has found someone worth committing to for life.  Furthermore, I had a chance to see a Colorado friend, Katy, in Huntington Beach on Sunday after the wedding.


I am disappointed in myself. I wasn't giving a 100% effort, or going out of my way, to make my Mom's birthday (yesterday) one of the most wonderful days for her. I was doing my bare-minimum, and that's not good enough. I feel guilty and have to schedule a time for me to come up with a memorable gift (and flowers and card). I don't want the gift to be generic, expected, mundane, or lazy. I truly want to take the time to give her something from the "bottom of my heart". She means the world to me.

One of the more horrific things that happened in the past 2 weeks was the chickens dying at the Denver house. My (now former) roommate, John, had 3 chickens in his backyard coop, and I was responsible for their health while he was out of town for Thanksgiving. One day, I opened their coop at let them graze about the backyard (like normal). The difference between this nights and all other nights was that I forgot to put them back in their coop and lock their door. The next morning, I found the chicken feathers scattered about their coop and I knew the local neighborhood fox got them. I was so disappointed in myself and sad that the chickens died. I know it's easy to replace with money, but that wasn't the point. I made a big mistake, and it's painful because the previous chickens that John had at his house were killed the first couple of weeks of me living there (though not my responsibility at the time). I somewhat feel as if I bring a curse upon his livestock (in Denver).

The last breakdown that I'll share is that my left-thumb doesn't seem to be significantly progressing from it's sprain a month ago. It's been 5 weeks since it was twisted at the Oklahoma Quidditch Tournament I played in, and it's starting to get annoying. I know it's another injury that will continue to persist over the course of my life if severely twisted or broken again. This mirrors my right thumb that was fractured from a bicycle accident in 2012.

Other (potential) breakdowns over the past 2 weeks include:
---Not making a pros/cons list of moving to New York City, and just jumping in head first
---Not giving Leah a small gift for Hanukkah
---Not giving Ben another gift for Hanukkah
---Not giving Dad a gift for Hanukkah
---Not calling Mark Van Dellen about my trip to LA before Sunday/Monday. (Too little time, too late)
---Not working as hard as possible (remotely) for Rowan and NatGeo (only working sparingly during the holiday weekend in California).
---Not making Aman's wedding gift before the event and then just showing up (mooch moment #3)
---Not paying for my pedicure when with Mom yesterday (mooch moment #4)
---Not working out (running) in the morning before the day got started with others.
---Eating too many sweets and treats on top over over-eating

I can make up for these breakdowns over the next month, and redeem myself. 

Map of the Week!

Mapping Manhattan

Since I will be focusing my work on historical and conservation mapping over the next 9 months, I will share a series of maps (in a book) that I stumbled upon (in my first couple of hours in New York City). The book is called Mapping Manhattan: A Love (And Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers. It is a cool look into perceptual mapping of the urban landscape. I haven't given it a good read, but skimmed through it at the Ted and Honey Café (Cobble Hill, Brooklyn).