About the Mapping Center Team

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What do we do?
Our goal is to help GIS users achieve professional cartographic results using ArcGIS software. We teach users how to employ the same concepts when using GIS software that professional cartographers do when making maps. To that end, we have developed and delivered content to users since 2001, and we have learned to teach mapmaking to GIS users using real-world, relevant examples. This Web site is a compendium of the information we have presented, and a place where we can post new information and resources in response to the needs and desires of our users.
Who's on the Mapping Center Team?

Mapping Center Team

The Mapping Center Team is part of the Cartographic Projects Group. We are a group of Esri employees whose job is to find better ways of using ArcGIS to make maps, which involves multi-scale/multi-purpose data modeling, cartographic geoprocessing research, and the development of best practices. Our focus is the use of ArcGIS software in the graphic delivery of geographic information. The team members include Esri employees working in conjunction with academic researchers who are actively engaged in cartographic research. The Mapping Center and Cartographic Projects Group, under the direction of Clint Brown, includes, in order of appearance:
Aileen Buckley


Aileen Buckley is the Mapping Center Lead. She came to Esri in 2003 from University of Oregon (UO) where she was a professor of geography teaching cartography, GIS, GPS, and other mapping sciences. She holds an adjunct associate professor appointment at the University of Redlands in their Masters of Science in GIS program. Her Doctoral degree is from Oregon State University. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked at an engineering firm as a project manager on projects converting cadastral paper maps to GIS data layers. And before that she worked in the Cartography Division of the National Geographic Society on the seventh edition of their Atlas of the World. She has written a number of articles and book chapters on various aspects of GIS and cartography, and she is an editor of the Encyclopedia of Geographic Information Science by Sage Publications. At UO, she also helped author the Atlas of Oregon, Second Edition (2001). She is second author of the book Map Use: Reading and Analysis, Sixth Edition by Esri Press. She was the 2007-2009 president of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS).
Charlie Frye


Charlie Frye is the chief cartographer and manager of the Cartographic Projects Group. He has worked at Esri in the Software Products department since 1994, starting as a quality assurance analyst on the ArcView 2.0 team. He became the cartography product specialist for ArcView soon thereafter. He then became lead product specialist for the ArcView IMS extension and returned to cartography for the ArcView 3.1 release. He was the lead product specialist for ArcMap and managed the ArcMap/cartography products team from 2000 through 2005.
Jaynya Richards


Jaynya Richards has been working at Esri since 1997 as ArcGIS cartography product engineer. Her initial work involved designing fonts and symbology for all Esri's products. She continues to work in this area, most recently managing the representations database assets. This, in part, involves the development of a comprehensive and exhaustive set of symbols for online geologic mapping. She holds both the Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Fine Arts degrees in design from San Diego State University. She has worked in field of computer aided design (including industrial design, fine art media, and engineering design) since 1979 and in GIS since 1995. Jaynya has worked for city governments in many capacities including planning, engineering, conservation, public works, and public safety, where she established procedures and practices for migrating data from paper to digital format. Jaynya has coordinated GIS work with individuals and international agencies such as Parks Canada, as well as domestic government agencies such as the FGDC and USGS. Jaynya has authored articles for Cartographic Perspectives and the San Diego Computer User Group.
Janel Day


Janel joined Esri in the summer of 2008 as a cartographic product engineer. Janel comes to Esri from the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she first majored in Environmental Studies and then Geography with a focus on Cartography and GIS. During her studies, Janel assisted Dr. Barbara Buttenfield in the university's GIS lab. She also interned with the USGS and an international telecommunications company. The scope and scale of her projects varied greatly, providing Janel with a comprehensive background in the integration of GIS and cartographic principles.
Mamata Akella


Mamata joined Esri in October of 2008. She is working with Charlie Frye on an online topographic map as well as a variety of city level base map designs. Mamata completed her Masters of Science degree in Geography at the Pennsylvania State University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography at the University of California–Santa Barbara. During her graduate studies at Penn State, Mamata was a teaching assistant for cartography and remote sensing, as well as a research assistant. Her research projects included work with Dr. Alan MacEachren on the Pennsylvania Cancer Atlas and with her adviser, Dr. Cynthia Brewer, on a redesign of the USGS topographic map. Her thesis research focused on testing the comprehension of emergency map symbols by first responders.
Kenny Ling


Kenny joined the Mapping Center team in February 2009. Since then, he has worked on developing online maps and mapping applications. Kenny is originally from Malaysia but obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Minnesota, and his Masters of Arts degree in Geography from Ohio University. Kenny found his calling in cartography in graduate school where he served as a teaching assistant for GIS and also won several awards for his map creations. Prior to working for Esri, he was an Intern at the National Geographic Society and was subsequently hired to work for National Geographic Magazine.
Rajinder Nagi


Rajinder started working at Esri in June 2007 as a Database Analyst on the Database Services Team where he was involved in Local government projects and ArcWeb Services operations. He moved to the Mapping Center Team in June 2009 to assist with various geoprocessing and data processing activities. Rajinder has worked on various data capturing, analysis, conversion and migration projects since 2002. He holds a Masters of Science degree in Geoinformatics from the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), in The Netherlands, and he has a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban & Regional Planning from GND University in Amritsar, India. His thesis research at ITC was focused on investigating the limitations and possibilities of map design for mobile applications resulting in design recommendations.
Wesley Jones


Wesley (Wes) Jones started with Esri in the summer of 2009. He hails from Canada where he earned a Geography Degree with a History Minor from the University of Calgary, and a Cartography Diploma from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. During his tenure at COGS, Wesley earned several mapping accolades from the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CAGIS), and the British Cartographic Society (BCS). Prior to coming to Esri, Wesley worked for a GIS support company, and with a planning department providing cartographic and GIS expertise.
Andrew Skinner


Andrew (Andy) Skinner joined Esri in the summer of 2009 as a cartographic product engineer. Previously he was Manager of Cartographic Design at Rand McNally, where he worked on many of that company's products, including the Rand McNally Road Atlas, the Street Guides, Goode's World Atlas, retail and educational wall maps, and online and GPS mapping bases. Prior to Rand McNally he was with GeoSystems/MapQuest, where he was one of the team that developed the National Geographic and MapQuest road atlases. He also worked on other National Geographic products, including the National Geographic World Atlas (7th edition) and the Destination Map series. Andy studied cartography at Oxford Polytechnic in the United Kingdom (where he was born) and moved to the United States in 1991.
Lara Saikali


Lara Saikali started with Esri in the fall of 2009. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in GIS from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and is currently a candidate for her Masters of Arts degree in GIS from California State University, Northridge. Previously, Lara worked for the Bureau of Engineering for the City of Los Angeles where she compiled and maintained street and bridge data for the city. Prior to that, she worked for the Southern California Gas Company where she interpreted and digitized legacy and engineering maps of substructure facilities.
Craig McCabe


Craig joined the Mapping Center Team in January 2010. He completed his Master of Science degree in Geography at the Pennsylvania State University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology at Oregon State University. Prior to coming to Esri, Craig built 3D subsurface models for the oil and gas industry and later worked for the USGS creating 3D fault models and 1:24k GIS databases of field mapping in the Bay Area. While working on his thesis at Penn State, Craig collaborated with his advisor Dr. Alan MacEachren and the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics on the use of novel map animation techniques to visualize the spread of infectious disease epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa. As a research assistant, he also contributed to web map applications for the visualization of violent crime incidents in the District of Columbia and spatio-temporal patterns of vascular plant collections in California from 1860-2008.
Alex Yule


Alex Yule joined the Mapping Center team in February 2010 after a brief stint as a freelance traveler, web developer and GIS researcher. Back on the east coast, Alex studied Geography at Middlebury College where he worked with Dr. Anne Knowles on the Holocaust Geographies project. He first connected with Esri at the 2009 AAG conference where he made his research debut, winning the Cartographic Specialty Group Student Honors Paper Competition for his innovative animations of Nazi Einsatzgruppen massacres in Lithuania in 1941.
Caitlin Scopel


Caitlin Scopel joined the Mapping Center team in February, 2010. Caitlin has a Master of Science degree in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before joining Esri, Caitlin worked as a GIS Analyst for a consulting engineering firm in Pittsburgh, PA where she supported projects aimed at reducing sewer overflows into the area's surface waters, and creating sensible GIS-driven stormwater management plans for counties and municipalities across the State.
Mark Smithgall


Mark started with Esri in March of 2010 as a cartographic product engineer. He is working to modernize the topographic base map service, focusing on obtaining and portraying data for Alaska. Mark recently earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in Geography with a focus on GIS from the Pennsylvania State University. Before coming to Esri, he worked with Dr. Cindy Brewer assisting students in her cartography class. Additionally, Mark worked as a member of the development team revising the Penn State Interactive Campus Map to modern standards. His prior work experience includes a position as a Cartographer with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas.
Jim Herries


Jim joined the Mapping Center team in April 2010 as a product engineer to contribute to the research and development work in map templates, web maps and applications. He served as an application developer and project manager in Esri Professional Services for ten years, then product manager for Business Analyst Online and its web services, and program manager in the business products team. Jim earned his Master's degree in Geography under the guidance of Dr. Duane Marble at The Ohio State University, where they co-authored papers on the application of GIS and demographics to university admissions processes. With an undergraduate degree in journalism, Jim has a lifelong interest in how maps communicate their authors' messages to the intended audiences. He proudly lists "Geographer" as his occupation on his tax return each year.
NEW! Natalie Feuerstein

Natalie joined Esri in 2008 and moved to the Mapping Center team in August. Prior to coming to Esri, Natalie trained over 200 intelligence analysts in Iraq to provide in-depth analysis using innovative intelligence problem-solving techniques with GIS. Natalie also served as a senior imagery intelligence analyst with the US Army. She was deployed to Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division, and she specialized in counter-insurgency imagery intelligence collection and analysis. Her Intelligence products played a key role in over 250 successful raids on suspected hostile elements. Her time in the Army also includes working aboard the RC-7 Airborne Reconnaissance Low - Multifunction (ARL-M) aircraft as a mission supervisor in the Republic of South Korea where she operated on-board and ground-based reconnaissance imaging equipment and software to collect and disseminate intelligence data such as Moving Target Indicators (MTI), Electro-Optical (EO) images and Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) products. Natalie came to Esri in the summer of 2008 as a Product Engineer with Defense Services and later transitioned to the Defense and Intelligence software development team before joining the Mapping Center in 2010. While at Esri, Natalie has contributed to the CJMTK Geospatial Appliance (CGA), the function and design of the Imagery Analyst window, and has represented the intelligence analyst user of ESRI software during development.
NEW! Erica Boghici

Erika Boghici joined the Mapping Center team in the fall of 2010. Previously she was the CEO of TerraCarto LLC, focusing on the analysis and incorporation of LiDAR data into hydrologic models. For a decade, as part of the Texas Strategic Mapping Program, she coordinated the development of high-resolution, state wide datasets such as: soils, hydrography, contours, elevation models, transportation, political boundaries and geology and implemented GIS applications to distribute and integrate these base map layers. Erika has a geology degree from University of Bucharest, Romania and a Hydro geochemistry degree from University of Texas at Austin.
NEW! Michael Dangermond

Michael joined Esri in October 2010, but has been working with Esri software professionally since the early 1990s. He has a Bachelor's degree in Geography, with a focus on Techniques of Geographic Analysis, from San Francisco State University. He also studied Painting for two years at San Francisco Art institute. While working at VESTRA Resources in Redding, California, Michael established a reputation for being able to do things cartographically with command-line software that nobody had been able to do before. He created the first map of the American Viticulture Areas of California, which was sold to retailers in the wine business. He then went to work for Geosystems/Mapquest.com as a cartographic engineer. At Mapquest.com, he focused on providing good data to cartographers, and on creating new products, including more efficient ways to generate better shaded relief for print publications. Michael went on to do geographic analysis and cartography under contract for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco. He then brought mapping and modeling skills to The Dangermond Group, a planning and design firm under the direction of his father, Peter, focused on saving wild places in Southern California.
NEW! Deniz Karagulle

Deniz joined the Mapping Center team in December 2010. She comes to Esri with a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelors and another Masters degree from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in her home country of Turkey. Her Masters of Science from Turkey was completed in the Urban Design Program, and her Bachelors degree is in City and Regional Planning. As an undergrad, she was an exchange student for a year in Genoa, Italy, at the Universitat di Genoa. While there, she interned in Rome at the 5+1 AA Agenzia di Architectura where she was an urban designer working on the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Cavallerizzo. During her Masters degree, she came to the United States to pursue a second Masters in the Urban Spatial Analytics program at the University of Pennsylvania. During that time, she worked as a GIS specialist in the Gordion Mapping Project at the University of Pennsylvania Archeology Museum. She also was a research assistant in the GIS Lab of the U Penn Wharton School of Business where she worked on a remote sensing project to develop a methodology for crop identification from Landsat imagery. She first connected with Esri during the 2010 User Conference in San Diego where she was a student assistant and mapping gallery participant exhibiting her Masters project.
NEW! Carolyn Fish

Carolyn started working on the Mapping Center team in February 2011. She completed her Master of Science degree at Michigan State University in Geography in May 2010. Her Master's thesis, supervised by Dr. Kirk Goldsberry, investigated map users' abilities to comprehend dynamic changes in animated choropleth maps. She presented this work at several national and international conferences including the International Cartographic Association Conference in Santiago, Chile (2009), the GIScience Conference in Zurich, Switzerland (2010), and several North American Cartographic Information Society and Association of American Geographers Conferences. At Michigan State, Carolyn was the teaching assistant for the two cartography courses: Map Design and Thematic Cartography. In 2008, Carolyn earned a Bachelor's Degree at the Pennsylvania State University in Geography with a concentration in GIScience. She also worked closely with Dr. Cindy Brewer on her ScaleMaster research. At Esri, Carolyn is working with the Defense Team to design multi-scale basemaps.
NEW! David Asbury

David Asbury joined Esri in February 2011 after six years as a cartographer and GIS analyst at the Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration in Oakland, CA where he worked on atlases depicting the geographic distribution of endangered steelhead trout. He works out of the Washington D.C. regional office with Allen Carroll developing the National Geographic basemap and other mapping templates for ArcGIS.com. He received his Bachelors of Science degree in GIS and computer cartography at the University of Maryland and is an active member of the Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) and the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS).
NEW! Ken Field

Ken Field joined Esri as Senior Cartographic Product Engineer in March 2011. He was formerly Principal Lecturer at Kingston University London where he was Course Director for undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the Centre for GIS. A graduate of Oxford Polytechnic's cartography degree programme, he has spent his career to date enthusing students at UK Universities on cartographic design and production, increasingly through the use of GIS technologies. He has presented papers and keynotes at over 100 conferences worldwide, published about 50 papers and book chapters and is the current Editor of The Cartographic Journal. Dr. Field is a Fellow of the British Cartographic Society, Higher Education Academy, and Royal Geographic Society, and he's a Chartered Geographer. His original cartographic work includes a number of large format special purpose maps, interactive, and web-maps which have received over a dozen international awards, and he has also tutored award-winning student work. Ken’s work is focussed on developing effective techniques to support the dissemination and application of high quality cartographic design through the use of GIS technologies and to evangelise the importance of cartography as a fundamental component of GIS use.
NEW! Mark Cooney

Mark Cooney started with Esri in June 2010 as a solutions engineer intern with the Northwest regional office in Olympia developing web map applications using the ArcGIS JavaScript API. He then returned to his previous profession and after working a third consecutive harvest for a winery in Oregon, Mark left the wine cellar to join the Mapping Center Team in April 2011. He completed a B.A. in geography at the University of Denver, and he earned a graduate certificate in GIS at Portland State University. While at Portland State, his projects included: the assessment of pine beetle damage to pine forest stands in Northern Colorado using satellite imagery, and an interactive Web map for the vineyards of the Dundee Hills American Viticulture Area.
Who do we collaborate with?
Our research colleagues include Dr. Cynthia Brewer of The Pennsylvania State University and Dr. Barbara Buttenfield at University of Colorado-Boulder. During his sabbatical, we worked intensively with Dr. A Jon Kimerling of Oregon State University on a number of cartographic research projects and publications. We also consult as needed with other academic colleagues such as Dr. Robert McMaster from the University to Minnesota.
A. Jon Kimerling
A. Jon Kimerling is Professor of Geography at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. He has studied at the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has taught cartography and map use at the University of Wisconsin and Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Professor Kimerling has published widely on topics of cartography, remote sensing, and geographic information systems. He has served as President of the American Cartographic Association, head U.S. Delegate to the International Cartographic Association, and editor of the American Cartographer (now Cartography and Geographic Information Science). He is lead author of the book Map Use: Reading and Analysis, Sixth Edition by Esri Press.
Cynthia Brewer
Dr. Brewer teaches classes in cartography and geographic research at Penn State. Her research focuses on map design, color theory applications in cartography, multi-scale and multi-representation cartography, hypothesis generation in visualization, choropleth classification for maps in series, and atlas mapping. She is known for her extensive research on color as it relates to cartography and perhaps best known outside the academy for her Web site ColorBrewer2.org which helps mapmakers pick appropriate colors for their maps. She has held many professional offices, received numerous awards and written many articles. She is also the author of the two book sfrom Esri Press: Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users released in 2005, and Designed Maps: A Sourcebook for GIS Users released in 2008.
Barbara Buttenfield
Dr. Buttenfield teaches courses at University of Colorado - Boulder in Geographic Information Science, Computer Cartography, and Geographic Information Design. Babs, as she calls herself, is well known for her work on map generalization, data delivery on the Internet, visualization tools for environmental modeling, and interface usability testing. She was an original co-principal investigator for the NSF-funded National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA), leading research initiatives on "Multiple Representations," "Formalizing Cartographic Knowledge," and "Visualizing Spatial Data Quality". She has written scores of articles and book chapters and received many professional awards, including the inaugural University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) GIScience Educator of the Year in 2001. She currently serves on the board of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS).

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