Edgardo David started working in the GIS field twenty-five years ago, moving from the Philippines to work in Japan. The last fourteen years have been with a local southern California city where we were co-workers for seven years. Now a Senior GIS Analyst, David also helps young students in the Philippines achieve their educational dreams with a foundation that pays their tuition.
1. How did you get involved with GIS? What drew you to this industry?
I got involved in GIS by accident or I should say out of desperation. My background is Civil Engineering and after 3 years working in Saudi Arabia back in 1988, I was out of job when I went back to the Philippines. I found this newspaper ad from a start-up company looking for qualified applicants for GIS personnel. Needless to say, I applied not knowing what GIS was all about and was hired and sent to Tokyo Japan to do on-the-job training in Arc/Info digitizing, analysis, mapping, and AML programming. The ability to analyze geographic data and visualize them thru colorful maps drew me to this industry.
2. You’ve had a long history with GIS. Please describe your early days in GIS.
My first two years of GIS were quite challenging but also exciting as I get to travel to Japan and get paid at the same time while learning this new technology. It’s even more challenging when I migrated to the US in 1990 and could not find a GIS-related job after 5 years of searching. It was in 1995 when I got my foot back to GIS as a data-entry person in a consulting firm. That day became my GIS-defining moment as I continue to grow with the industry and brought me to where I am now, working as a Senior GIS Analyst in a local government.
3. How has working GIS changed for the better? What do you miss about the “old days of GIS?”
GIS has evolved a lot since the old days to the point I can’t keep up anymore with the changing technology. However, I never missed the “simplicity of it” as I still continue to use/apply the old ways I learned from the early days of GIS suffice it to say that I still use the old, simple but reliable Arcview 3x for many of the tasks I need to accomplish.
4. What advice to you have for those seeking to join the GIS industry?
My advice to those seeking to join the GIS industry is to know your strength and interest, be it programming, data analysis, data creation , or cartographic mapping. I don’t think you can master all of them but 3 out of 4 should me more than enough to build your GIS career and get noticed when seeking employment. Always remember GIS is just a tool that can be used in many ways and discipline, so use it whenever possible.
5. You started a foundation to help students in the Philippines attend private. Please explain this foundation and how can people help contribute?
It was four years ago when I started a foundation back in the Philippines on behalf of my high school batch whose main goal is to support local underprivileged kids in our hometown to attend private high school. This foundation is licensed and registered thru Philippine’s Securities and Exchange Commission. On average, the annual cost to send one kid is about Php25,000.00 (approx. 600 US Dollar). As of today, we have four qualified kids attending private high school, two in their junior years, and two in their sophomore years.
If interested, donations to this specific project can be sent directly to an established bank account in the Philippines as follow:
Banco de Oro, SM City Bicutan Branch
Dona Soledad Ave corner West Service Road
Bicutan, Paranaque City 1700
Account Name: St. Dominic Academy Batch ’78 Alumni Association, Inc.
Peso Account No: 152-801-2794
I can be reached by email at [email protected] for those wanting to learn more about our scholarship project.