Q&A with Pete George, Data Scientist / GeoAI Specialist

Here is a short Q & A with Data Scientist / GeoAI Specialist, Pete George. Pete joined the GEO Jobe team in September of 2021 and works remotely from Virginia.

Pete George, Data Scientist / GeoAI Specialist

Q: What is your job at GEO Jobe, and what does it entail?

A: I am a data scientist, specializing in GeoAI. This entails a lot of research and integration of tools and ideas to the geospatial world, finding new, enlightening, and optimized solutions to new and old problems.

Q: What has your career path at GEO Jobe looked like and what attracted you to join the team?

A: My career path began as research and comprehension of data science with the realm of work surrounding GEO Jobe and GIS. The plan from the beginning has been to initialize a new division with a special focus in GeoAI and ML. My main attraction to the company was the opportunity to use data science daily. Just programming was not enough for me, I sought knowledge and real-world experience, which I gain at GEO Jobe.

Q: What jobs and experiences have led you to your present position?

A: I received my degree in Computer Science with specialization in Data Science from VCU, and worked for NAL Research, a private corporation that worked with the government and other businesses in location services. There my primary job was software development, with some specialization in algorithm analysis, embedded devices, and system redundancy.

Q: What skills or talents are essential to be effective in your job?

A: For the data science side, knowledge of AI and ML algorithms, data science, and data engineering are all prerequisites that require a solid understanding. Integration and tech stack is the essential glue between knowing an algorithm that should be used, and utilizing it with GIS software. That, and being an expert researcher. Knowing what to research and how to focus is more than just being able to google problems and click the first Stack Overflow link. For the geospatial side, knowledge of maps, geography, and the GIS software is helpful, especially with visualizations in cartography that data scientists tend to have less specialized knowledge in.

Strong ability to research and understand comprehensively, managing and continued education in the relevant tech stack, mathematics, statistics, and AI/ML algorithms.

Q: Any advice for recent graduates entering into the job market and aspiring to a similar role?

A: Read a data science article as often as you can. I favor TowardsDataScience or KDNuggets. I try to read at least two a week and find something I can lightly investigate further. A new framework, tool, algorithm, library, anything. Also, wherever you work, even as just a programmer, communicate with your company what you seek to learn. They may have projects that can integrate their desires with yours, and if they’re any good of a company, they’ll work to make your career fulfilling to your needs too.

Q: What technologies and strategies do you use in your day-to-day work that are key to success?

A: ArcGIS Pro has been my largest domain for GeoAI data sciences. A cloud server like AWS with its robust tech stack is also important. Jupyter Notebooks for python scripting, as well as Notebooks inside of ArcGIS Pro (very similar). Insights for projections to decision makers for viable solutions. And Notepad++. Such a simple thing, but I’m a note taker, and I take thousands of notes for myself, for others, and for a thousand reasons.

Q: What would you like to learn more about or incorporate into your daily work?

A: DevOps and integration. I want to design a data driven system that has a pipeline that routes into the GeoAI software to produce public or client facing solutions that do not require scripts run every X days. I want it automated, data driven, and continually deployed (CI/CD).

Q: On a more personal side, do you have a favorite newspaper, magazine, blog, or sources of inspiration?

A: Yes! TowardsDataScience and KDNuggets, as aforementioned.

Q: What kind of technology do you prefer and why? (Mac or PC, iOS or Android, and other cool tech)

A: For most work, Windows is sufficient. I like to have a linux virtual environment for development most of the time. As far as phones, to me, there is only Android. Same with PCs: there is no Mac. 

Pete playing the game Hedbanz.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

A: I’m a family guy and a homebody. Video games, board games (see the above photo!), TV shows all with the family are the best. We regularly make weekend ventures out (less since Covid) to take hikes on beautiful trails, visit amusement parks, zoos, museums, etc. We also have a tendency to be doing a house project 52 weeks of the year, so that’s a frustrating enjoyment as well.

You can connect directly with Pete and the GEO Jobe team, via connect@geo-jobe.com.

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