Interview with Kubrat Novkov, “GIS and Databases” intern at Esri Bulgaria.
Kubrat loves nature and animals and is concerned about climate anomalies and the disasters they cause. He likes listening to music and reading books, mostly fiction. After the state exam, which is coming up soon, he will take a bachelor’s degree in “Geospatial Technologies and Systems” and continue to develop as a specialist in this field.
See why he is convinced that outside of GIS he will not find another field that is so interesting and exciting to him – in the interview we did with him.
How did you become interested in Geospatial technologies?
My mother helped me a lot by buying various atlases and geography books. My passion for maps prompted me to enroll in this specialty at Sofia University because of the exciting ways to visualize all kinds of data, objects, phenomena, etc. At first, it was a little strange and I wasn’t sure if I had chosen the right direction for me. But over time I realized that I made the right choice because I do every single thing willingly. I am also interested in what I am currently learning at the internship, and I do almost every single project at the university with desire and passion. And I’m really fascinated by the different aspects of geographic information systems.
What was your first encounter with GIS?
While I was a student at the National Gymnasium of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, GIS was mentioned very briefly, but then I had no idea what it exactly meant and what it was. Therefore, my first encounter with GIS actually happened at university. At first, I got to know the technology in a very basic and theoretical way, and then little by little I also got to know the different software applications and fields.
Why did you choose an internship at Esri Bulgaria?
First of all, I have heard a lot of positive feedback from my professors and colleagues who have participated in this internship. And I thought it would be a good start, and why not a continuation of my career. I have also attended the GIS day organized by Esri Bulgaria. There I saw performances that left a lasting impression on me. I remember that various solutions to GIS problems were demonstrated, as well as interesting applications, such as a road-related one that literally tracked potholes in lanes. There were also presentations related to unmanned aerial systems. I was fascinated by what I saw.
Tell us what you do during your internship, do you learn new things…
This is where I first started making dashboards with ArcGIS Dashboards. It is an amazing way to present data, various phenomena, and objects in a very interactive and understandable way. I also worked with ArcGIS Portal for the first time during the internship and found it very effective for sorting and accessing a variety of data and information. I also had no experience with testing services on the various systems and their sites respectively. Something new for me was also the publishing of map services, which I got a general idea about and found very interesting.
I am looking exactly for such opportunities and I am very happy that they are currently available to me – to work on real projects and problems that I have to solve. The work I do is inspiring as well as giving me experience.
Why does this type of work inspire you?
Mostly because the projects I am involved with are useful for the society. Besides being interesting and showing off technical skills, they also provoke the imagination. You can create an interesting visualization of different types of data, which I really liked.
What is the most memorable part of your internship so far?
Definitely, the dashboard I was able to make with a lot of help from my mentor is something I will remember. Another one I can think of now is an app I made with Web App Builder related to alerts for older people with special needs – physiological, social, and administrative – that people can’t do on their own for one reason or another. It was very instructive, all the time we communicated with the other colleagues. It was great!
It must bring you great satisfaction that you have done something useful and meaningful…
Yes, that’s exactly one of the reasons I like this job. It is satisfying to see a finished product that brings real benefit to society. I plan to continue developing in this field and I don’t think I will find anything more interesting than what I am doing now.
Was your internship with us useful?
Yes, definitely. The internship exceeded my initial expectations. I did not even hope that they would put me in the work of a real project. I expected to do some online courses and my assignments to be some simpler database-related stuff, ticking dots, and polygons. But I am extremely happy that from the very first moment, they put me on a real project and I began to slowly get into things and into the atmosphere of the whole team.
Without my colleagues, I would have been able to achieve almost nothing, if not anything. When I have questions, they immediately respond and help. They are cool and a real team. And they make me feel like part of this team, which is amazing considering I’m just an intern.
Have you thought in what field you want to use geospatial technologies?
I imagine, as boring as it sounds, working in an office, creating applications that help different people, and the society as a whole. I don’t imagine myself as someone who collects data in the field. I am very interested in the topic of oceans and their pollution, global warming, melting glaciers, dying coral reefs, and other natural problems. Also, there are many demographic problems in the world that I would also dedicate myself to as a professional in the future.
What is your message to those new to GIS?
I don’t have enough knowledge and experience yet, but I would advise people entering this field to be curious. Let them not be limited by absolutely anything, because GIS is a field with many different sub-fields and they all deserve to be paid attention to and there is a charm in each one. There is something for everyone in GIS technology.