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About the Author

This site is maintained by Bruce Dodson, a senior GIS consultant with ESRI Canada Limited.

Bruce is the orginal author and maintainer of the NTXShape, AVPython, SHPTRANS projects hosted on SourceForge, is the originator and maintainer for the Spinner-Wiki variant of DolphinWikiWeb, and is an active participant in the Scintilla / SciTE project.

I maintain this site in my spare time; it is not funded by my employer, nor is it related directly to my work.

I've been with ESRI Canada since 1995. As a part of their consulting services group, I develop applications, conduct workshops, and coordinate small teams to develop custom solutions (software, data, processes) which help my clients get the most out of their geographic information. For the past several years my focus has been split between two important technology areas: Object-relational database technology (exemplified in ESRI's product line by the Geodatabase); and Internet-enabled mapping and data distribution (e.g. ArcIMS).

In terms of business sectors, I have done a lot of work with electrical utilities in recent years. There has been a surge of interest in support of asset management and outage management systems for electric distribution networks. It just happens that GIS makes a great support infrastructure for these kinds of systems.

Other Interests

Okay, this is the "about me" page, and I've only talked about my work. There are other things that are at least as important. Aside from GIS and software development, my interests include home brewing, sports / games, exercise, reading, movies, and especially music. You know, the usual stuff. It sure beats huddling in fear through the night out on the savannah, or keeping watch for sabretooth cats while scrounging for one precious scrap of food.

Fitness / Games / Sports - I work out mostly on the cardio circuit and also do Yoga. In the summer, I don't work out as often but I do enjoy playing tennis when I have someone to play against, and also sailing when I can get access to a boat. I'm not a strong swimmer but I also like to hang out at the beach. And I like pool; especially nine ball.

Team sports, I am not very good at. I tend to get confused when there's more than a few players per side, which doesn't make me a very good player. But I watch baseball and basketball, plus the occasional football game. If soccer was covered with the same enthusiasm here that it is in, say, Latin America, then that would be high on my list of spectator sports too. (I watched the 1994 World Cup from big projection video screens out on the streets of Brazil. It's hard to put into words their devotion to the sport.)

Music - I like the "good stuff" from any genre. I'll listen to country, rap, industrial, metal, classical, jazz, blues, alternative rock; name a genre and I can probably come up with an example of something that I like from it. I always have tunes going in the car, but less often at home since I'm in an apartment and can't crank it up like I want to.

Even more than listening to music, I also enjoy making my own. To start with, I'm a fairly decent singer. I usually go for a classic rock / blues / alternative style, but I'm flexible. For example I like country, and even go for some urban music. No Jay-Z for me, but maybe some Kid Rock or Buck 65 vibes. I used to play guitar too, but have mostly given it up. I did take up harmonica though, and am not bad at it as long as I keep it simple. If you're in the Halifax area and looking for a vocalist to jam with, I might have some music samples here.

Home Brewing - I don't brew from scratch, but I like to experiment with the different kits available, with different malts / sugars, and with adjuncts such as finishing hops. One of my favorite kits, that I have come back to a few times, is Morgan's Amber Ale. One time a Morgan's Amber came out flat and cidery, but that was my fault for priming with table sugar. (I had done that a few times before with no bad results, but eventually my luck turned. Use corn sugar or spray malt; it's much more predictable.)

Right now I have an Irish stout (Munton's Moutmellick), double-malted, on the go. It came out heavier than I expected due to the double malting, and lower in alcohol, but it is just an excellent beer. It has a rich, dark, dense head, that characteristic stout bite, and it finishes nicely. I'm pretty proud of this one.

The best beer I've made is a Cream Ale kit, from Wine-Art, packaged with all dry ingredients. I did add about 2/3 cup of muscovado (a dark, raw cane sugar) to spice it up - only a bit, mind you - but otherwise everything was in the box (including DME, yeast, finings, and priming sugar). I don't know what name this is marketed under in the US, but it's worth looking for. From early samples, it tasted fine but didn't seem to be anything special, but by 3 months it was very good, and at 6 months it was outstanding.

An interesting tool of note is David Johnson's QBrew.