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Travelling GIS Job

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Great Pharoah

Great Pharoah


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Hi Everybody

I was wondering if there is a company or organization out there that allows its GIS workers to travel and might currently be looking. I am interested in travelling and using my GIS at the same time, maybe using it to help in developing nations. Does anybody know where I can look to find places that work like this. Thanks.



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If you want to travel, work in developing nations, and do GIS, but don't necessarily need a salary, you might want to check out opportunities at GeekCorps. I could not find a "job listings" section on their site though.


Cartisan Maps

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Another good option is ReliefNet. It is used by the humanitarian community, including the UN organs, Save the Children, and the like. While they do post typical job announcements, one thing to look for are posts requesting CV's for an agency's roster. Long-term GIS positions can be tricky to get with the organizations, as GIS isn't viewed as a necessity, but instead as a mumbo-jumbo, high cost, resource intensive thing done by experts which can't be passed on to local staff. Of course, that doesn't have to be true.

But rosters are very useful. The rosters come in for emergency response and disaster scenarios. Get you name/CV on those, and when the need arises, hopefully you get a phone call and are asked to leave asap. Do it one time, do it well, and your foot is in the door for the next earthquake, flood, war, whatever. And once you're in one of those positions, you'll be exposed to a flood of other organizations that might have a need for you.

The pay is usually pretty good, and contracts usually run for 3-months with the possibility of extension. However, you'll have to compete with far more stress than I've experienced working domestically (i.e., hours, food, turn-around time, infrastructure, support, no-sleep, demand). It is an extremely valuable experience, and the more GIS can be utilized in these responses the better (especially if you can efficiently plug-in cartographic principals). Overall, my experience was great, but I've got my major criticisms as well. I'd do it again, but I do not want to make a career out of it.

Some organizations to look for are:

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA)
United Nations Humanitarian Information Centre (UNHIC)
United Nations Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC)
United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Veterans For America's Information Management and Mine Action Program (formerly Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation [VVAF-iMMAP])
MapAction (volunteer)
USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART)
USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)
Development Alternatives Inc., (DAI)
UK Department For International Development (DFID, and if you get in with them, life is real good)

Other options would be as a UN volunteer (you get paid pretty well, and it is a great foot into the UN system), or mine action programs (VFA-iMMAP and Mine Advisory Group [MAG]).

Cartisan Maps

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