Data czars are passionate about the efficient capture and routing of data throughout any organization. Led by information requirements—not by software tools—they solve data issues at every level. Darron Pustam, MBA, GISP, a visionary leader in data management, shares his strategies and insights in this blog.

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Archive for February, 2011
The New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors (NYSAPLS) 52nd Annual Surveyors Conference and Exhibition was held Wednesday 19th through Friday 21st of January 2011 at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.  The conference was exceptionally hosted and despite the snow storms and economic backdrop – was well attended.  Courses included Environment and Ethical Issues in Land Development, An Introduction to the new 2011 ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Standards, Future of the National Spatial Reference System as well as CST Exams and much more.  On the GIS front, Point of Beginning’s July2010 Issue – Data and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster sparked interest into the inner workings of GIS within a disaster setting. As a result the course was keenly recommended as a continuing education credited session for the conference by Jennifer Mauer, NYSAPLS Director.

Presenting this course to an audience of surveyors, planners, and attorneys, engineers and GIS professionals of varying levels of GIS expertise was particularly challenging. Participants needed to appreciate the value of GIS, while understanding how the National Incident Management System (NIMS) fueled the coordination of efforts during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The course was divided into three main parts in order to deliver on that goal. Participants were first re-introduced to components of a GIS: hardware, software, data, people, and process.  Each component contained a reflection on the past, a flash forward to today, and what one could expect under similar emergency response circumstances. Secondly, the class was introduced to NIMS, its history, structure, certifications, and how these GIS components functioned under its umbrella. The third segment integrated both GIS and NIMS into a personal experience of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Then, after an enthusiastic question and answer session, the attendees were able to visibly identify each GIS component and gain an appreciation for the purpose of NIMS. Participants left the session knowing what they can expect if they themselves were called on to support an emergency response effort.

Since the conference, Arkansas Society of Professional Surveyors (ASPS) among others have expressed their interest in the course. If your organization is interested in presenting Deepwater Horizon - The GIS Response, please feel free to contact me at
Posted by Darron Pustam on Feb 7, 2011 7:10 PM EST

Note: The views expressed in the blogs and associated comments are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of POB.

Most Recent Blog Posts

In my last post, I setup my ideal organization into Production, Management, and Consulting divisions. Each segment can exist as a business in its own right and I will detail my ideal methods for dealing with each in their separate posts. The first one to be addressed is where everything starts: Production. Ever since its inception, surveyors have dealt with spatial data as sets of discrete points that represent a given region. This is still the best option in boundary surveying, but for anything else modern technologies offer a better solution. Specifically instead of building a dataset point by point, it is a better solution to capture the region via remote sensing like close range photogrammetry and terrestrial and aerial LiDAR. The two biggest hurdles to implementing these methods are their increased complexity and cost. more...
Posted by Andrew Gaiennie on Cyborg Surveying and You Feb 20, 2012 9:44 PM EST
This year the 53rd Annual New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors held their conference in the beautiful city of Saratoga Springs, NY.  A stroll down Broadway Avenue transports you back in time as downtown enthralls you with its snowy historic architectural locale. more...
Posted by Darron Pustam on The Data Czar Jan 16, 2012 2:30 PM EST

Recent Comments

I'm glad you could participate. I only go the invite the day before so did not get into the loop. I think the importance, not only GIS, but in being able to talk the lingo is very important. I've posted the links several times on the old POB board to the free training classes offered by FEMA on NIMS and other disaster related topics. It's important to be ab...
The problem with developing life cycles for any technology is that the technology changes very rapidly. As far as GIS goes, we can see there will always be a need for geographic information. Even the user profile is unlikely to change substantially. Specific focuses will change along with the trends that drive them. But the data will not change in any prof...