About the Author
This site is maintained by Bruce Dodson, a senior GIS
consultant with ESRI
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
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.
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.