Pondi Brian: GIS “…is the present and the future…” from enhancing population health services to business services

Here from the industrious young Geo-Professional as he illustrates his enthusiasm to Geo-Technology

Pondi Brian
Pondi Brian
Having graduated with BA Geography from Moi University majoring in GIS, currently I'm a RS/GIS Analyst/Python Developer at CIAT. I have purposed to mentor GIS students in Universites of Nairobi, JKUAT and Moi University on GIS, Remote Sensing and GIS Programming just after graduating in Sept 2016. 

Apart from sitting in front of computers I have a Social life which I always keep private. I love Roller Skating as an outdoor activity and hanging out with kids.

Find me on Linkedn @Pondi Brian and Facebook

Qn: What inspired you to dive into GIS?

PB: To be honest, it was a “good accident”, the then Joint Admission Board (JAB) gave me a Geography Degree course in Moi University, as opposed to Computer Science and Technology degrees which I applied for, after the introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing Courses which took me back to computers I decided to stay as I discovered this is the present and future since everything on earth is location-based from Health services to Businesses.

Also, I had great passion for Geography and Physics back in High school which are fundamental in Geospatial technology.

Qn: As a GIS developer, what are your favorite tools and programming language? Why do they matter on top of others?

PB: On tools, I love Network Analysis toools, I literally did my undergraduate degree project applying the tools on Emergency Services and the report has attracted weekly references from Masters students in USA, Netherlands, Nigeria, Malaysia, UK, Tanzania among others , I always get the notifications. You can find from Academia for free  https://mu-ke.academia.edu/PondiBrian .

On programming language, I love both Javascript and Python, I use Javascript frameworks and libraries such as Angular 2, LeafletJS, ArcGIS JS API to develop Web Maps and Platforms. I use Python in various outfits: ArcPy to automate some processing tasks, Django/Geodjango framework to develop Backend side , SimpleCV to develop Computer Vision Machine learning Techniques.

Python and JavaScript are on top of others to me because of the Great Online Community Support, and being cross platform, for example you can develop Mobile Apps using a Python library such as Kivy.

RELATED:  The role of Institutions of Higher Education in the Geospatial Industry

Qn: Tell us about any exciting project you working on currently, or most recently. (This can be field work on mapping some interesting aspect of the biodiversity, land health and coding project)

PB: At CIAT,  I’m currently working on the land degradation risk and vulnerability component (in Western Kenya, Benin and Burkina Faso) of the a larger project called Accompanying Research to the Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security program (funded by the Germans BMZ in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies- IASS)

The project involves mapping soil erosion hotspots using remote sensing plus GIS techniques and sharing it with organizations such as Government Ministries, NGOs (Welt Hunger Hilfe, GIZ partners etc.) that educate farmers in the identified areas to teach them soil protection measures hence improving soil fertility which leads to increased food Security in Africa.

Qn. This is a template question:

ArcGIS or QGIS? ArcGIS ArcGIS JS API or Mapbox or Carto? LeafletJS (You forgot this,Hehe) Sublime or Komodo Edit or Atom or Notepad ++? Sublime dotNet or Python? Python 

On my Facebook page I  occasionally run a Hashtag (#MotivationalThursday) to inspire people especially young fellas towards mainly Technology and life as I see it in my early 20s. I am grateful to the many people who believe in me and always give me a feedback in my inbox.