Our team’s out-of-work activities may be many and varied, but none give us quite such a feeling of pride in a colleague as those carried out by Ant Scott, one of our GIS consultants.
Ant’s route into GIS
Ant has always worked for smaller companies that have a big impact. Before joining us in 2014, Ant worked for Sustain, an environmental consultancy based in Bristol. There he was responsible for using data analysis and GIS to identify energy reduction measures.
Working at Astun
In his day job, Ant implements iShare installations and upgrades for our clients, predominantly local authorities. One of his particular areas of expertise is migrating iShare to the cloud which makes everything easier to access, manage and standardise.
Working on some of our bespoke GIS and data management projects enables Ant to continually hone his QGIS skills. Recently, he’s been helping the Ramblers – the UK’s leading walking charity and their research partner NEF to collate the information needed to inform national policy recommendations on access to public rights of way (PRoW). Ant’s work will support the Ramblers’ ability to show the network’s value to people and society, and the barriers we need to break down for more people to enjoy the benefits of being active in nature. Keep your eyes peeled for the Ramblers’ exciting research report with NEF, which will be launching in Summer 2022. Ant has been pulling together a range of datasets and using QGIS process models to combine, slice and dice and visualise them. In the long term, it’s hoped this will have a significant impact on people’s access to the countryside.
A life outside Astun
For the last ten years, Ant has been using his GIS experience to support the humanitarian mapping charity, MapAction. Working with MapAction puts him and his colleagues at the forefront of humanitarian crises, such as the earthquake/tsunami in Indonesia, Hurricane Matthew in Haiti and the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
Astun’s flexible working policies enable Ant to commit time to MapAction and be part of responses to humanitarian emergencies around the world at short notice.
Ant is also the Secretary of the UK Chapter of OSGeo, OSGeo:UK.
Training but not as we know it
As our lead QGIS trainer, Ant delivers our online QGIS Essentials and Advanced courses. One of the reasons Ant enjoys training is that it gives him the opportunity to continually learn more about QGIS and GIS and share his learnings with an enthusiastic audience. As he says, “QGIS developers are particularly good at adding features you didn’t know you needed, but then turn out to be essential.”
Three things you may not know about Ant
- He usually spends three or four weeks a year cycle-touring on the bike he bought second-hand at university, which is a few years ago now. It needs a fair bit of TLC.
2. He’s now more familiar than he expected to be with QGIS’s Russian-language interface.
3. Although he has delivered our training courses from the comfort of his home office for the past two years, Ant has delivered MapAction training courses in Cameroon, Kazakhstan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
What do our training delegates think of Ant?
“I would say my QGIS knowledge was intermediate, but this course refreshed a lot of my skills and added a lot more to my QGIS toolbelt. It’s well worth it, as I find online help for QGIS is confusing or not helpful at all. Ant was very good, he was clear at explaining things and was responsive to questions.”
QGIS Essentials delegate, 2022
[…] Finally, Ant Scott from Astun Technology discussed using QGIS Graphical Modeler to analyze the accessibility of the UK’s public right-of-way network for different socio-economic groups. This approach is used as part of policy and lobbying work being undertaken by the Ramblers walking charity. This work was of particular interest to Dan Ormsby, Sparkgeo’s new UK Operations Lead, as he managed this project in his previous role at Astun. […]