Jason Spalding was working at a West Palm Beach, FL engineering firm in 2002 when he discovered GIS. Shorthand for geographic information system, GIS has been described as a marriage between computerized mapping and data base management systems.

As Gil Castle, founder and CEO of Castle Consulting in San Francisco, explains, “Anything that can appear on a map can be encoded into a computer and compared to anything on any other map, using longitude-latitude coordinates.

Spalding, a civil engineer, was smitten. In fact, he was so taken with the technology that he quit his job in the land development division of the engineering firm to start his own GIS consulting company, emGISt Inc. He’s never looked back–and keeps pushing the technology forward.

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