Forbes recently released an article that hyped 14 powerful women of Twitter. A good read, although I do find it very difficult (and hard to fathom) that anyone can possibly cull 14 stand-outs from millions of users – it is a good attempt though albeit rather subjective. Personally, it makes much more sense to select a niche list based on a subject area or topic of expertise.
And so, given the growing love for geospatial and location-aware technologies, I’ve decided to hype 10 women that I feel make a significant contribution to the Geo-Twittersphere. If you’d like to add 10 knowledgeable and useful Twitter contacts to your Geo following list I highly suggest the following: (in no particular order)
Kate Chapman – Sterling, VA
From the Eastern time zone, Kate spends her days working at GeoCommons and is passionate about Open StreetMap (OSM) , open data, and all things that are Geo-Geeky. A self-proclaimed GeoGeek & GeoNerd (see #Geonerd), Kate is eager to jump in on the Geekiest Geo discussions and can hold her own, and then some! Chances are very good that if you attend a Geo un-conference, WhereCamp, or other user-drive geo Geek-up Kate will be there. Finally, Kate is a big advocate for #geoglobaldomination and I suspect one day she will be there to see “Geo” dominate the World!
Di-Ann Eisner – Portland, OR
A self-proclaimed Neo-Geographer, I first saw Di-Ann in person as she delivered a presentation at WHERE2.0 (the ultimate Geo Geek-up event). At that time Di-Ann was heading up the team at Platial and doing a great job bringing the start-up loads of attention and evangelizing map mashups. Most recently Di-Ann is leading the social media ramp-up for Waze (@waze) an awesome, free mobile navigation application serving up real-time maps and traffic information that are being updated by a massive user base of crowd-source wazers. Di-Ann and Waze are bringing much recognition to the power of the crowd-sourced web service and have played a huge role in shaking up the Massive mobile navigation market.
Valerie Yakich – Silicon Valley
I don’t know Val personally, nor have I met her (not that I can recall), however, I feel like I know her and look forward to meeting her at a future Tweet-Up of Geo GeekUp! Val describes herself as being passionate about spatial analysis and visualization (Huge areas, particularly as Geo Tech goes mainstream and these important topic areas are often neglected or forgotten by Joe public) and she maintains a blog focused on applied Geo Technology research at http://geoentelechy.blogspot.com/ although she seems to have a preference for Tweeting now over blogging!
Mimmis Olsson – Europe
Mimmis is a Marketing Manager, EMEA & APAC with NAVTEQ. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mimmis personally and was first introduced to her while she was with Sony Ericsson. Mimmis is a valuable contact for any mobile developer or technology company considering developing mobile mapping and LBS solutions/apps that take advantage of NAVTEQ’s data, developer tools, or developer programs. Mimmis is also a great resource to have if Java or Symbian application development are of interest!
Alyson Lawson – Redlands, CA
Unless you’re an ESRI customer or member of the press, you may not be familiar with Aly. Alyson is the events writer at ESRI, charged with numerous tasks (no doubt) but perhaps most important, keeping the ESRI user-base informed about ESRI sponsored and organized events, conferences, meet-ups etc… We’ve corresponded via email and likely have met up at the annual ESRI user conference in San Diego, CA. Aly tweets about ESRI events, reminds users about important dates and informs us about cool stuff being planned by ESRI. Every ESRI user, partner, customer, developer etc… needs to be connected with Aly.
Karen Morley – Atlanta, GA & Saskatchewan, Canada
Those of us “in the industry” who have had dealings or business with Autodesk, LizardTech, and TerraGo Technologies are likely familiar with Karen… her and I have tipped a few beers together in the past and although she’s no longer working for a Geo Tech company, she is taking a hiatus to enjoy her passion for food. In doing so she has taken up blogging and prides herself as a Geo-foodie (see http://geofooding.blogspot.com) – A Geo Spatial practitioner who loves food – hence her Twitter handle, @GeoKaren. Karen’s blog is fantastic and after-all, who doesn’t like food? The content is not heavy on the Geo or the Geo-Geekness, however, when on Twitter Karen holds her own with Geekies GeoNerds and gladly jumps in or starts an interesting discussion on Geospatial, GIS, and related matters. If you aren’t following Karen then you aren’t a real GeoNerd (or Foodie).
Note: Karen has recently, and very bravely, shared her personal stories of her battle with Cancer via Twitter and on her blog. I’m sure Karen could use your wishes and inspiration so if this is a topic that is dear to you I’m sure Karen would love to hear from you – keep up the battle Karen… your strength is inspirational!
Adena Shutzberg – Somerville, MA
Sure she’s my competition (think Directionsmag) however, there’s no denying that if you’re discussing women in GIS, Adena’s name is going to come up. A popular industry journalist, consultant, and visionary, Adena is active on twitter, reporting on GIS, geo technologies, and related matters. She’s also an avid runner, proponent of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and all things Geo and GeoGeeky.
Tina Cary – N. Colorado
Tina is a popular consultant, technology writer, and is heavily into GIS/Geo research (among other things). She’s active and vocal on Twitter in the GIS community (particularly in N Colorao) and can be heard discussing anything involving GIS, Geo research, academia, social media, and anything in between.
Gretchen Peterson – Fort Collins, CO
Another Geo professional from GIS Alley (Northern Colorado) Peterson is from Fort Collins, CO where she practices as a GIS consultant and published author. Gretchen is active on Twitter, however, if you want to find her permanent home on the web go to http://www.gretchenpeterson.com. Peterson is the author of the popular GIS book “GIS Cartography: A Guide to Effective Map Design”. Naturally she tweets about cartography, cartographic principles and related matters – this is pretty huge in my mind, particularly in this day of web services and the Geo Web where the importance of cartography and principles of cartography are often forgotten or neglected.
Lynn Allen – Palo Alto, CA
You CAD/GIS integration people will no doubt be familiar with Lynn as she’s the technical evangelist for Autodesk. Lynn travels the World preaching to the Autodesk faithful, sharing tips and tricks with the masses and discussing all things AutoCAD. She’s more “CAD” centric in my mind, rather than Geo (you’ll want to follow Pete Southwood (Geo_Pete) for ADSK Geo goodies) , however, she’s deserving to be on this list for the efforts she’s put into social media and evangelizing spatial technology over the years. More about Lynn can be found at http://www.autodesk.com/lynnallen. If you ever get a chance to see Lynn in action giving a “what’s new” or a tips and tricks presentation do it… you’ll have a blast and learn a few things too!
I have to say, I don’t follow “tons” of geo women, actually there really isn’t that many out there in the Twitter-sphere! Perhaps this article will kick-start a few more to get out there and start sharing their thoughts via Twitter. Did I forget you or perhaps a Geo-Tweeter that should be included here? Feel free to leave a comment or ping yours truly @gletham or @gisuser
These women and others are listed in the Twitter List #WomenofGIS – http://twitter.com/gletham/womenofgis – if you want to be listed in the list simply make a Tweet using the Hashtag #WomenofGIS
Not following enough women from the Geo Twitter-sphere? Here’s a few more that I suggest (my appologies if I’ve missed you or someone that you feel deserves to be listed here!):