International Lidar Mapping Forum Day 1

March 4th, 2010

2010 ILMF

2010 ILMF

GeoSearch, Inc. is exhibiting at the ILMF along with 56 other companies that are exhibiting with us. It has had great traffic and has attracted attendance from professionals that have come from all over the world. After spending some time in the Exhibit Hall the Welcoming and Opening Address kicked things off and it previewed that the presentation will cover several aspects of LiDAR as it relates to the end-user. LiDAR uses and applications will be front and center in this forum.
Booth 123

Booth 123

The ASPRS Hot Topics Session went first but the first presentation GeoSearch attended was the Data Collection break out session given and presented by Jamie Young General Manager – LiDAR services team at The Sanborn Map Company. The considerations of new LiDAR sensor technology presentation covered area’s like the learning curve and other challenges inevitable with each update and upgrade in Optech and Leica sensors. However, Sanborn gets great support from both manufactures and they work together to make improvements. It covered Reflectivity. Drop outs due to fresh tar, saturated area’s, and roof pitch among other factors. This presentation also highlighted that new LiDAR sensor technology also provides much better data. Much better. It has lower cost and allows for more applications. The full presentation will be posted later here:

James Young

James Young

The other session was called How low can you go: Maximum depths achieved with HawkEye II during projects in 2009 presented by Dan Schnurr, Director, Blom Aerofilms Ltd,. Recent advances in Wetland Vegetation Mapping using Green, Waveform LiDAR Amar Nayegandhi, Project Manager, Remote Sensing Specialist, Jacobs-U.S Geological Survey.. Successful delivery of International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) Order 1B specification coastal survey data using Bathymetric LiDAR presented by Dr Jerry Wilson, Commercial Manager, Fugro-Pelagos, Inc.
In the hall.

In the hall.

We ended the day with the cocktail reception in the Exhibit Hall. Most conversations centered around optimism. Each and every company seemed to have a difficult 2009 and it seems that everyone we talked with, has had an uptick in business and a pipeline of opportunities. 2010 looks like it will be a terrific rebound year. More this this forum later…

Geospatial Career Leader, GeoSearch, Inc. Publishes 2010 Wage and Salary Survey

February 26th, 2010

GeoSearch, Inc. has compiled an annual wage and salary survey specific to the geospatial career market since 1991. The survey originated in an attempt to measure job categories that couldn’t be found in other surveys. Unique GeoSearch access to geospatial employers allowed data to be collected from commercial companies and public agencies responsible for evaluating compensable factors and paying fair market wages.  Each year, GeoSearch is able to collect data, from geospatial employers, that reports wage and salary information in various categories and classifications.

This year’s numbers compared to a decade ago shows some interesting data. For example, in the 2000 survey, a GIS Manager averaged $58,026 in annual wages reported from 170 participating employers.  In the 2010 survey, a GIS Manager averaged 73,888 in annual wages reported from 140 participating employers.  In this example, a GIS Manager is described as: Manages the GIS department; supervises GIS Specialists and Technicians; develops action plan for GIS development; acts as central communication point; acts as public information source; assists with integration of GIS into existing systems; prepares newsletters and makes presentations.  Typically reports to agency Director or Operations Manager. Typically requires B.S. degree in related field and five or more years experience.

The 2010 Wage and Salary Survey includes a measure of 9 geospatial job categories reported from 140 employers with an average of 244 employees.  The survey is conducted on-line providing an efficient way of collecting information from a large number of respondents.  Participants in the survey receive results for free and the results are available for purchase for non-participants.  All employer identifying responses are confidential. Names of organizations or individuals are not shared, sold, or rented for any purpose.  This is a survey of organizations, not individuals. The numbers represent the wage not the total rewards such as bonus, incentives, commissions, or other compensable factors for each job category.

Although this data is believed to be reliable and accurate, GeoSearch cannot claim statistical validity.  While the GeoSearch Wage and Salary Survey is a valuable tool, it is strongly suggested that this information be used in conjunction with other known data sources and that local and community cost-of-living, competition from other industries, and related matters be factored in to the interpretation of any wage and salary data, including this survey.

GeoSearch and Equiom Team Up to Offer Staffing Services

January 19th, 2010

Strategic partnership to offer full service staffing to the geospatial sciences industry

BOULDER – January 19, 2010 – Combining their complementary capabilities, GeoSearch and Equiom announced today the formation of GeoSearch Staffing, a resource placement and staff augmentation service for the geospatial sciences and GIS employer community. This new partnership offers contract personnel recruitment and staffing services using GeoSearch’s access to top geospatial and GIS talent and customer relationships, and Equiom’s world-class employment capabilities. Equiom’s talent placement solution optimizes an organization’s talent supply and streamlines the hiring cycle, while GeoSearch brings its 21 years of experience with the geospatial community to serve as the single point of contact for GeoSearch Staffing services.

“We are very excited to be aligning with Equiom, an experienced leader in providing sustainable teams to technology organizations large and small,” said GeoSearch President Richard Serby. “We have identified the perfect compliment in Equiom and, together, we have assembled an invaluable service to offer employers an efficient and cost-effective option to tap the brightest geospatial resources available.”

“The alliance between Equiom and GeoSearch was a simple decision, one that allows our staff augmentation model to be powered by the GeoSearch recruiting prowess,” said Bassam Saliba, CEO of Equiom. “We are pleased to be teaming with the leading geospatial career source, GeoSearch, Inc. and we are excited to offer this integration to geospatial businesses.”

Personnel hired by GeoSearch Staffing enjoy competitive wages, salaries, and benefits and are assigned to commercial companies and public agencies for specific projects. GeoSearch Staffing employees receive health/medical, 401K, paid time off, and other benefits associated with permanent full-time employment.

About GeoSearch

GeoSearch, Inc. ( is a personnel recruitment firm specializing in the geospatial sciences and technologies operating since 1989. We offer a wide range of cost-effective and efficient recruitment products and services in geospatial sciences, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), photogrammetry, and many other related sciences. We recruit technical, management, sales and marketing professionals. Our highly targeted candidate database and long history in the geospatial sciences allow immediate access to qualified professionals.

About Equiom

Equiom, Inc. (, a software consultancy and intellectual property development firm established in 2001, delivers innovation through an integrated set of services that include talent placement, project outsourcing, business technology consulting, and application & infrastructure security. Our practice helps startups and major corporations identify, plan, develop, and deploy effective technology solutions and services to specific business problems. Equiom’s ability to innovate, as well as execute and deliver, is built on a careful balance between the drive to advance technology, and the need to achieve business goals. We have a proven track record of consistently developing and delivering successful products to market on time and on budget. Our clients include high-profile companies as well as innovative startups. Among them are Microsoft, yahoo!, bSquare, Expedia, Ford, and Real Networks.

For more information about GeoSearch Staffing:


The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Geospatial Jobs and the 2010 Economy

January 15th, 2010

On January 28th Directions Media will host a Geospatial Jobs and the 2010 Economy Webinar from 12 to 1 pm Eastern Standard Time.  Mike Agron will moderate and speakers include our own Rich Serby of GeoSearch, David DiBiase from Penn State University, Jennifer Swift from the University of Southern California and Michael Gould of ESRI.

How do the current economic realities impact jobs? Where are the jobs? Which jobs are ‘hot’ and what is the current demand for specific job titles, skills and experience? What are the current educational requirements to land these jobs? This webinar addresses these topics and more. If you have experienced a change in your employment status during this difficult economic period or trying to prepare for the prospect of a entering a difficult job market, this webinar is for you.  Register Here!

GIS Career Night at the Tivoli Center, Denver CO

December 1st, 2009

Yesterday, the associations of GIS professionals Rocky Mountain Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), Rocky Mountain Region of American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) and Rocky Mountain Geographic Information Technology Association (GITA) held a GIS CAREER NIGHT at the the Tivoli Student Union which serves as a hub of student activity for the Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State College of Denver and University of Colorado Denver.

The GITA Rocky Mountain Chapter Board of Directors representative Natalie Cutsforth kicked things off with a presentation overview of the Geospatial Information and Technology Association.   GITA is an information resource and community for anyone who has a vested interest in the use of geospatial information.  The organization provides excellent networking opportunities for geospatial job seekers.

That presentation was followed with an overview of ASPRS by  Ms. Linda E. Meyer, the ASPRS Rocky Mountain Region Treasurer.  She highlighted their mission to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, GIS, and supporting geotechnologies and explained the advantages of membership.  She also mentioned that her company GeoEye is growing and that hiring activity is up.

Tony Palizzi, the current URISA Rocky Mountain Chapter president, presented the URISA briefing and moderated the distinguished panel, which included Linda Meyer of GeoEye, Pamela Fromhertz of NOAA, and Richard Serby of GeoSearch.

Those in attendance included employees of the Census Bureau, DOT, Metro State, DU, and Inergraph.  There were professional land surveyors, oil and gas technicians, land use GIS, Regional Council of Government members, LiDAR professionals, and dozens of former, current, and future students.  The crowd numbered about 50.  Last year totaled over 150.

Lengthy discussions ensued on numerous topics.  The first discussion revolved around the geospatial career outlook.  Richard Serby went over the national unemployment numbers from last year, this year, and the best of years.  Colorado unemployment numbers have been better than the national numbers but that isn’t to say that the local economy hasn’t suffered.  “Let’s talk about the good news.” he said, “I’m done talking about the bad news.”  The good news is that companies, agencies, and the federal government have started to add staff.  “It will be a long road to reach the optimal unemployment number of 5%.” he said.  But now that demand for geospatial applications  is on the rise, more jobs need to be filled and that is chipping away at the 10% unemployment number where we currently sit.

Several questions on internships followed.  Most of the panel agreed that for students that need to gain experience, an internship can be invaluable.  Tips to negotiate a paid internship were discussed and the value of an unpaid internship is not to be overlooked for getting your foot in the door.  Many colleges are helping students make this happen.  To see more on this topic read:The First Rung of the Ladder… Many on the panel started their geospatial career with a paid internship.

Before the networking session the topics included citizenship, clearances, overqualified objections, the new energy economy, and networking your way into the seat that you want.  We hope to network with you at this event next year!  If you attended, we would love your feedback.

This is Geography Awareness Week…

November 19th, 2009

The National Geographic Society promotes Geography Awareness Week (GAW) every November in the third week. It is a week for classroom activities, awareness events, and after-school programs providing students opportunities to know and understand their planet by bringing geography to life. National Geographic offers resources and cool interactive map downloads that make the subject fun, interesting, and educational for children of all ages.

A grassroots celebration that encourages GIS users to open their doors to schools, businesses, and the general public on November 18th is called GIS Day. This awareness campaign lets GIS users share their knowledge and passion with others by demonstrating the tremendous impact GIS technology is making in our lives each day. 10,000 organizations in over 80 countries celebrate GIS Day. This tradition began in 1999 and is always celebrated on the Wednesday of National Geographic’s GAW.

Colorado GIS Day events include GIS Alley Fort Collins CO, Jefferson County Colorado Golden CO, GIS Services ESRI Henderson CO, event focus on GIS Services Boulder County Longmont CO, City of Thornton Thornton CO, event focus on GIS Services Adams County Colorado Westminster CO, event focus on Planning/Economic Development ESRI Aspen CO GIS Services Mountain Shadows Montessori School Boulder CO, Boulder County Boulder CO event focus on Agriculture, Assessor/Cadastral Records, Conservation, Demographics/Census/Elections, GIS Services, Health and Human Services, Law Enforcement, Planning/Economic Development, Public Safety/Emergency Management, Survey, Telecommunication, Transportation/Fleet Management, Water Resources, Boulder CO K-12 Education Tri-State G&T Assoc. Inc. Brighton CO, event focus on Electric/Gas Utility Kohl Elementary Broomfield CO K-12 Education ESRI Broomfield CO K-12 Education ESRI Broomfield CO K-12 Education City and County of Denver Denver CO, and at Colorado State University Fort Collins CO.

If you attended a GIS Day event, let me know how it went.

Today is also the American Cancer Society’s 34th annual Great American Smokeout – For smokers who want to kick the habit, an American Cancer Society interactive Web page offers help on how to quit for good.

The First Rung of the Ladder…

November 12th, 2009

This blog has been following the geospatial career market. Most current indicators point to great demand for an increasing number of geospatial related services in dozens of markets from smart grid technologies, location intelligence, and mobile applications to name a few. Job seekers will tackle the overall employment increase by stepping on many different rungs of the corporate ladder.

Now, there is good news for those that need to start on the first rung of the ladder. The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a grant to The Pikes Peak Community College Geography Department in August of 2009. This pilot program seeks to implement a Tiered Internship Model for Students in Geospatial Technology (TIMSGeoTech). Interns that have an interest in starting a geospatial career can participate in this program and create a network of contacts while gaining school credit.

The funding of $149,542 will sustain the program from this year through the summer 2011. Under-represented groups will benifet from TIMSGeoTech through outreach to workforce development offices, by providing resources to unemployed and underemployed individuals. The PPCC GIS Advisory Board, made up of Colorado industry professionals starting with Donna Arkowski, the PPCC Geography Department chair, and Dr. Irina Kopteva, principal investigator for the project and adjunct Geography and GIS instructor. The work is supported by Mary-Ann Wermers, dean of Health, Environmental, Natural & Physical Sciences; Jennifer Jirous, Colorado Community College System; Jason San Souci, executive vice president and chief operating officer of NCDC Imaging & Mapping; Richard Serby, president and owner of GeoSearch, Inc.; Jay Tilley, senior vice president and general manager of Sanborn, Inc.; Cynthia Pesek, director for Career and Technical Education at Academy School District 20; Patressa Gardner, South Carolina Advanced Technological Education (SC ATE) Center; and Dr. Phillip Davis, National Geospatial Technology (GeoTech) Center.

The results of TIMSGeoTech will provide many opportunities for programming students. There are always geospatial jobs for candidates using VB, Java, Python, html, xml, ESRI’s map objects, and other programs that integrate provide digital map development, spatial data management, application development, data migration, and more. GIS is a rapidly changing and developing industry.

To step on the first rung of the ladder in this industry, a GIS certificate and AAS degree, along with a full retinue of GIS coursework is a great place to start.

Climate Change, Clean Tech Jobs, and Blog Action Day 2009…

November 3rd, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009 organized by got 13,601 blogs from 156 countries with more than 18 million readers to participate in an annual event held every October 15th where bloggers across the world unite to write about a single issue on a single day. This year the issue was Climate Change. More than 50 nonprofit partners including the TckTckTck coalition and The Alliance for Climate Protection added support not to mention that United Kingdom, Spain, and The White House joined the cause.

All the big players played. The GIANTS of blogging, which includes Mashable, asked followr’s how we can reverse climate change? Suggestions for save the world were sought by The Unofficial Apple Weblog, and The Official Google Blog’s green tour roamed the company’s campus. Greenpeace made a video and WWF bloggers from around the globe exhausted the subject, while The Nature Conservancy devoted it’s voice to outlining the science of climate change.

Somehow, this blog missed the news of the event until recently but would have blogged about what Climate Change is doing for geospatial careers. I know this isn’t Oct 15th but this is a great topic for my blog. At a time when the overall employment picture remains grim, one sector known as “clean tech”, is enjoying real job growth. Thanks to infusions of federal government stimulus money, state lobby efforts, excitement in venture capital investment and moves by traditional industrial corporations Clean Tech is in demand to improve efficiency, cut pollution and bolster renewable energy.

The geospatial growth area is the smart grid. A loose term that includes everything from enhanced monitoring and control of the existing electrical grid to improved consumer energy management. The Economist Magazine suggests that the federal stimulus package alone would spur enough spending on clean energy to create an estimated 2.5m jobs, from academic researchers to factory workers making wind turbines. President Obama announced $3.4 billion in spending projects to modernize the nation’s electric power system on Oct 27th at a solar plant in Arcadia, Fla. White House officials say the projects will create tens of thousands of jobs in the “near term” and lay the groundwork for changing how Americans use and pay for energy.

Search for “smart grid,” and some 775 jobs come up, including, hardware, software, and project engineers. GeoSearch also has jobs looking for experience in the siting and permitting of Energy (Wind/Solar/Power) and/or Transmission projects in the US.

The collective effort of Blog Action Day 2009 to address the issue of climate change seems remarkable. The effort is on-going and you can get involved, by visiting their Take Action section. This blog will continue to monitor updates and ongoing opportunities for involvement here in the coming weeks and months ahead, and hope you’ll stay join me.

Job Loss Offset by Strategic Planning…

October 29th, 2009

A key component to the geospatial market place is city, county, state, and federal agency business. The activity occurring today originated with opportunity tracking in administrations that have long since expired. Future business is being secured now in strategic planning sessions that are establishing contracts that will carry organizations offerings through the next decade.

Engineers and architects, GIS analysts and developers, all face a tough job market, but thanks to the long term contracting vehicles awarded in the previous decade, geospatial employment has been less volatile as say publishing jobs that are disappearing because companies have cut back on advertising spending and readers are increasingly turning to the Internet for free content.

Last week at the 2009 GEOINT Symposium, exhibiters highlighted the future of geospatial technology and the continuing need for geospatial information. 3D holographic imaging, launched satellite images, and earth measuring instrumentation are developed to meet long term demands of governments around the globe.

Today’s total unemployment numbers reported by the Department of Labor show that there were 530-thousand initial jobless benefits claims filed last week, only one-thousand fewer than in the previous week. The total number of unemployment claims for the week ending October 17th, including continuing claims, is down to about 5.8 million. That’s a drop of 148-thousand, the lowest level for continuing claims this year since March. The biggest improvement in the numbers is found in Wisconsin, New York state and Pennsylvania.

This quarter has shown an uptick in geospatial job prospects and a renewed enthusiasm for this sectors work and technology is echoed by the earnings reported by publicly traded imagery providers, imagery information product companies and image processing services organizations. It’s been a tough year but job losses have certainly been offset by the strategic planning sessions that secured dependable business.

Hot Job Market For Global Mobile Applications…

October 22nd, 2009

Human demand for superior communications won’t subside until every inch of the world has access to digital communication. Enovation in voice, video, and Internet communications services is at an all time high, which is why mobile phone subscriptions now outnumber fixed-line subscriptions in several markets. Many third world countries have bypassed wired communications all together. This kind of growth is good news for surveying companies and GIS communities who will play major roles in developing this entirely new framework.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment numbers for mobile service workers will grow because technological advances will expand the range of services offered. Wireless jobs only account for 21% of the telecommunications industry which provided 973,000 wage and salary jobs in 2006. Half of telecom workers are employed by businesses with 5 to 249 employees and with continuing deregulation there is even more opportunity for small contractors.

Geospatial related companies from Brazil, Bosnia, Finland, Czech Republic, Germany, and Australia have all penned major infrastructure development contracts for mobile GIS in 2009. Yesterday, Iridium Communications Inc. received authorizations to operate, provide and sell mobile satellite services (MSS) in Mexico. Low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellite constellations provide service where no other means of communication exists. Demand is responsible for modern world networks like GSM, GPRS, 3G and now 4G to carry GIS applications geared toward industries and government agencies that require reliable communications at all times.

Greater demand for an increasing number of geospatial related services in every vehicle, home, building, aircraft, and ship, will cause overall employment in the global mobile applications market to increase. In addition, many job opportunities will result from the need to replace a large number of communication workers who are expected to retire in the coming decade. With a growing number of retirements and the continuing need for interested, qualified, and available candidates, new job opportunities will be available for individuals with up-to-date technical skills and geospatial knowhow. It’s a hot market for global mobile applications. Jobs prospects will be best for those with 2 or 4-year degrees.