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GISCorps mission/Year served: DPRK, 1st Mission/1.5 years

Nathan Bruce

Nathan Bruce

After seeing the accomplishments made by a colleague and his own professional GIS volunteering, I joined the GISCorps with the hope of helping others with my unique skillset. The DPRK Project has been my first mission with the GISCorps, and it’s been an amazing introduction to this organization and its members. This project allowed me to apply skills and knowledge, and in turn, it has taught me about teamwork, innovative work methods and the world beyond the office. Working with the DRPK team has been a great experience; I quickly learned that communications are the key to success with this project, given the number of team members, their geographical dispersal and the complex GIS work taking place. A lot of time was spent to make the real work of digitizing North Korea’s country side extremely efficient; blogs, emails and reference manuals, help layout work processes and offer common ground for project discussion and transfer of ideas. With a country as reclusive as North Korea, its basic geography is absent from most maps, a fact that is unimaginable to us in this internet age, who can Street View anything in the neighborhood.  So personally, working on this mission has made me to appreciate mapping at its most base level again, and I can take a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that this mission’s success will have filled a void, directing help to where it is needed.

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