Dale Harris

Principal Transport & Spatial Adviser
MAppSc PGDipArt(GIS) BEM Esri Certified ArcGIS Desktop Associate

About Dale 

Dale has completed a Postgraduate Diploma of Arts in GIS from Massey University, after completing her Masters of Applied Science in Environmental Management at Lincoln University. Dale has worked extensively with ArcGIS and GeoMedia and has experience in providing GIS mapping assistance and has a particular interest in the application of GIS to accessibility.

What Dale has to say:

What made you decide to become a GIS analyst?

I really enjoy the technical aspects of working with geographic data and software. I also enjoy knowing that my profession positively contributes towards solving real-world challenges and can help clients get better value out of the information they already have.

What did you do before joining Abley?

I worked at the Christchurch City Council as a policy planner working on a range of strategic projects including area plans and earthquake recovery masterplans. It was while carrying out this work that I started to use GIS to support analyses of a range of land use planning projects, and realised my interest it.

What does a typical day in the office include?

There isn’t really a typical day. On some days I’m focussed on data cleaning which can be very time-consuming (and boring!).  However on other days I spend my time developing workflows and testing models for a range of projects such as accessibility analysis, road safety assessments and various applications for local government. My planning background also means I can be involved in the transport research projects that the company carries out.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the variety of projects that I have the opportunity to work on and that I’m part of a supportive and collaborative team.  I also enjoy the challenge of maximising the use of cutting-edge software and finding new ways of solving problems.

What’s the most challenging thing about your job?

The outputs that we provide are only as good as the underlying data, and sometimes that can be of poor quality or in the wrong format.  Converting existing data to something that’s more usable and reliable often requires many hours of manual editing or ‘data cleaning’ which can be very tedious at times.  However the output of this work is data that can clients can be confident in, and also means we can be confident in the outcomes of our analysis.

What’s been your career highlight so far?

Taking the leap from a career in planning into GIS has been my biggest career highlight to date. It was a big decision to make, but well worthwhile.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

My family occupy most of my spare time, but when I get the chance I enjoy a range of outdoor pursuits including tramping and four-wheel driving.