Team News – An interview with Andrew Bell
In our last newsletter we told you the exciting news about our new recruits. Over the next two issues we will be introducing them properly. In this issue we have an interview with Andrew Bell, Information Systems Manager.
What most excites you about the work that you do?
The chance to use my GIS and spatial data management skillsets in the marine environment and to work with marine based organisations.
What projects have you enjoyed most since joining OceanWise?
I enjoy setting up new servers and web services for customers, especially those that are new to OceanWise. I have enjoyed working with the UKHO and incorporating AVCS [Admiralty Vector Chart Services] Online as an additional web service to complement existing suite of mapping services. I have been implementing FME [Feature Manipulation Engine] to enhance and improve the processes that OceanWise has to create Marine Themes, bringing in new data from more sources. I also have a lot experience with QGIS, so I enjoy delivering QGIS projects and training with our customers.
Where do you see the future of marine GIS?
I hope the future can be one of greater openness in availability, so our marine data products and services can be brought to a much larger audience, especially outside of the UK where users have had to rely on purely on navigational charting. In addition, marine datasets are often large and therefore I see web services as a way for all organisations to share their data to help others gain a more complete picture of the oceans and coastal waterways without the need to transfer masses of files.
Now for something a bit more personal, tell us your three favourite things in life?
Sailing is my number one passion. I love being on the water both competitive racing on the Solent and cruising further afield, exploring new waters and harbours. Away from the sea, I love the mountains and enjoy skiing and walking holidays, and I can’t wait to be able travel again to breathe in some cool mountain air. I am a real foodie and when at home I love to cook and to try new foods and cooking styles. Since lockdown I’ve had the opportunity to buy fresh fish directly from the fishermen where I live on the south coast and so have been exploring the full variety of locally caught fish in my cooking.