Celebrating the launch of Friday’s Esri South Africa’s Women in GIS 2022 publication – featuring our very own Nyasha Mureriwa.

in this post, Swift Geospatial invites you to get to know the invaluable female members of our team and learn more about what motivates them and their passion for GIS and remote sensing.

Nyasha Mureriwa - Swift Geospatial

Nyasha Mureriwa

Project Manager: Remote Sensing Specialist

When I tell people that I work in GIS they immediately equate it to sitting behind a desk and drawing boring maps all day. This is far from the truth and today every single one of us uses GIS without even realising it. This applies to the simple everyday things such as how you used Google Maps or Waze to give you directions and alerts for the best route to get to work on time today; that online purchase you just received or that food you got delivered; that date you are going on because you were matched on a dating site to people near you and; that time you were looking to move homes or offices and you looked for places on Private Property or Property24 and found the exact neighbourhood you wanted because of GIS. For the more serious things in life such as tracking where natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, hurricanes) are occurring and how much damage, they are causing, GIS made it possible to get that information. During the COVID pandemic, those hotspot areas, and provinces we got to hear and know about were made known to us through GIS.

These are just a few examples of the possibilities of solutions you can get from GIS. This is what makes working in the geospatial industry so interesting because there are endless applications and solutions you can harness from the different types of data that is out there. Whatever your passion is you can use GIS to help you gather, visualise, and optimise your work better, old boring maps are a thing of the past. My passion is environmental science and through GIS I have managed to work on different environment-related projects to see what has happened in the past, what is happening now and in some cases model future scenarios. It has been a pleasure to see over the years that more and more women are joining the GIS field and are making amazing strides in the industry and bringing solutions to the world. Read some of their stories and mine in the latest ESRI South Africa Women in GIS Book being launched today, Friday the 22nd of August 2022. I hope these stories and more inspire you to join us in this new way of seeing and mapping the world.

Lauren Pijper - Swift Geospatial - Pretoria

Lauren Pijper

Junior Spatial Analyst

I’ve always enjoyed solving problems, whether that be through some creative thinking or good old-fashioned hard work. When I started studying, I realised that I’d found my niche, the field that lets me solve problems on a near daily basis. GIS allows us to collect geographic information and analyse it in a way that creates solutions for just about every conceivable question. Not sure where’s the best spot to grab dinner tonight? Most of us will use a search engine to find a place to eat, but behind the scenes, a GIS is running to determine a selection of nearby restaurants that fits your requirements. Perhaps a more complex example would be using a GIS to assess risk for insurance companies. Multiple layers of geographic information, including data on crime, weather and even risk of natural disasters, are combined and analysed to determine areas of higher and lower risk. Some insurance companies are even utilising GIS to examine the driving habits of their clients to determine premiums.

My journey in commercial GIS and Remote Sensing has only just started. I’ve only recently completed my studies, and although I learned a great deal, I realised that I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’m learning every day and incredibly thankful for the opportunity to learn from colleagues that have been on this journey a lot longer than I have. For those women like me, who are just beginning their journeys in GIS, let’s continue to learn from those ladies who came ahead of us and encourage those that will follow.

Some of the inspiring stories of the women making impacts in GIS in South Africa, including my colleague Nyasha, are in the latest ESRI South Africa Women in GIS Book launching Friday, the 22nd of August 2022.