This week in the I am Hexagon Geospatial video series, we hear from Wouter Brokx, CEO at Imagem, a Hexagon Geospatial partner. Wouter’s passion for map-making began when he was young and began drawing his own maps of fictional countries. Get to know more about Wouter in this short Q&A.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Alkmaar, a 750 year old city North of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Alkmaar is – like Gouda – a city famous for its cheese and cheese market, a beautiful old center, and canals. It is close to the beach and some lakes where I spent a lot of time swimming, sailing, and ice skating; water has become a central part of my life.
Q: What did you study in school?
A: I studied Geology in Amsterdam. Studying and living in Amsterdam has been a great time, as it is a fantastic city to live in with many small neighborhoods outside of the parts more frequented by tourists. I have an interest in the connection between the Earth’s structures, both deep in the crust and shallower, so I was involved in a big project in South Africa to relate geological structures and surface formations to water presence. Both the quantity and the quality of water in desert environments have a great impact on the lives of people. It was then that I started to see and use the value of information derived from satellite sensors.
Q: How do you spend your free time?
A: I like to spend free time with my kids, listening to music and sharing songs with my kids and friends. Cooking a meal using fresh ingredients for me is a time to relax every day, and I like to share good food with friends and family. At least twice a week I go running in the large forest close to my house.
Q: What’s the coolest project you worked on during your time at Imagem?
A: By far the current developments around Smart M.Apps. Moving from the geospatial IT-focused domain to the business domain of organizations is a great challenge. It is very rewarding to see that we are able to inject geospatial intelligence into the daily lives of people. In current developments like the Internet of Things and Smart Cities, I believe we have an advantageous position connecting people, systems and sensor feeds. We can help people distill information into knowledge to improve the world we live in. I get excited every day thinking about how Imagem can be a part of this evolution.
Q: What do you see happening in the future of geospatial?
A: People use apps and information often based on location data. The geospatial industry is becoming part of mainstream IT and themes like Smart Cities and IoT influence our direction. I believe that those in our industry who are able to translate location-based data and technology into business domain applications and learn to speak its language can be very successful. Because intelligence is about understanding where you are, where you came from and where you decide to go. Location intelligence is key and we know how to open the door.
Q: What’s an interesting thing about you that you would like people to know?
A: Like many Dutch people I always bike wherever I go to within town limits. I can even take two bags and two kids if I want, so this fantastic means of transportation is fast and flexible. It is fun to do and healthy. To be able to always travel by bike is one of the great values living in Holland.