Hello, my name is Julia Conzon
Raised in the mountains of North Vancouver and the British Columbian Kootenays, I was taught at a young age to observe my surroundings. I learned to recognize the complex interconnections between society and the environment and seek new perspectives to better understand it. Working and engaging with partners across government, academic, private, and non-profit sectors, I have continuously sought to better conceptualize place and space through co-producing user-focused (and communinty-led) geographic information systems. I’ve contributed to disaster mapping events, trained hunters on how to use GPS devices for monitoring, built models of spatial accessibility, and led a community crowdsourcing program across Canada. I believe the utility of technology extends only to the limits of its accessibility, so I always aim to design and develop products and services through a critical and equity-focused lens.
- GIS Program Manager
May 2022 - Present · GIS Team, Firelight Group · Remote
Managing community-based GIS projects and programs at the Firelight Group, an Indigenous-owned consulting group that works with Indigenous and local communities in Canada and beyond to provide high quality research, policy, planning, mapping, negotiation, and advisory services.
- Senior GIScientist
August 2020 - May 2022 · Data Exploration and Integration Lab, Statistics Canada · Ottawa
Senior GIScientist at Statistics Canada's Data Exploration and Integration Lab. Lead projects that apply alternative methods for passive and active data collection (e.g., computer vision, image processing, crowdsourcing) and dissemination of geographic information and services. For example, I am leading the Linkable Open Data Environment (LODE) Viewer.
- Research Assistant (Part-Time)
August 2021 - Present · Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, Carleton University · Remote
Co-developed custom web-based mapping applications for Clyde River Knowledge Atlas. Contributed to training and the implementation of a monitoring system for land-based programs in Clyde River, Nunavut.
- Lead GIS Developer (On-Call)
June 2021 - March 2022 · Nauttiqsuqtiit Research and Monitoring Project · Remote
Co-developed a participatory mapping platform with open source software (Nunaliit SDK) to collect geographic information for conservation priorities in parts of the Canadian Arctic. Facilitated collection with participating communities and developed static maps in QGIS for reports.
- Senior GIScientist
January 2018 - August 2020 · Data Science Division, Employment and Social Development Canada · Gatineau
Supported evidence-based decision making through the following: researched and devised advanced geospatial techniques (e.g., calculating spatial accessibility for identifying underserved areas); designed and developed software and web apps to host statistical, analytical, and machine learning models; and, educated internally and externally on how to leverage geographic data with open source tools (FOSS4G).
- Cleaned, analyzed, and visualized spatially-referenced survey, crowdsourced and administrative big data in R and Python (e.g., spatial accessibility index calculations for services/programs).
- Designed and developed web apps (full stack) with Node.js or Python for pushing machine learning models into production.
- Initialized and managed SQL and noSQL databases.
- Developed interactive visualizations with D3.js or R for sharing research results to inform policymakers.
- Managed product development. For example, led the design, development and implementation of an open source technology, PASS.
- Prepared, wrote and presented presentation decks, briefing notes, and reports to upper management, with a twist (e.g., generate GIFs to demo apps, simple HTML web page as PowerPoint alternative).
- Intern (Contract)
July - December 2017 · Data Team, Mapbox · Ayacucho, Peru
- Remote mapped on OpenStreetMap (OSM) with JOSM and iD Editor.
- Developed Node.js based validators to assess the quality of OSM data.
- Developed data visualizations from OSM data and administrative data with Mapbox GL JS and React (e.g., Crimecouver and BC2020 Mapathons).
- Organized nation-wide multi-stakeholder workshops (e.g., Building Canada 2020) as well as local community events. Check out my post on Mapbox's "Points of Interest" blog.
- Taught English through running daily lessons to learn reading and writing, as well as immersive activities to improve listening and speaking.
- Geographic Information Systems Technician (Contract)
February - June 2017 · Data Exploration and Integration Lab, Statistics Canada · Ottawa
- Communicated and maintained engagement with stakeholders for Statistics Canada first crowdsourcing project.
- Collected, managed, monitored, analyzed and visualized large administative and crowdsourced spatial datasets with R and Python.
- Researched and designed a mobiled crowdsourcing web app as well as a method to quality assure crowdsourced building footprint data.
- Developed a spatial server with PostGIS and Node.js for quality assurance adn web mapping services. Code can be seen on the GitHub repo.
- Advised internal stakeholders on open data licensing and open source software.
- Full-Stack Web Developer
August 2016 - June 2017 · Freelance · Remote
To increase transparency on where and what different resource extraction companies are paying organizations across Canada, I was tasked to develop a real-time interactive map dashboard for Open North and Publish What You Pay Canada. To accomplish this, I collected and managed a database of payments to government organizations from extraction companies; and, with the data, designed and developed an interactive Mapbox.js map and D3.js dashboard web app. Check out the code on the GitHub repo.
To increase the adoption of open data standards and to ultimately improve interoperabiltiy across different civic datasets, I was tasked to develop a website for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Government Excellence. I designed and developed the user interface, managed data with a PostgreSQL database, and developed a Node.js web app hosted on Heroku. Check out the website.
- Research Assistant
May - August 2016 · Geothink, McGill University · Montreal
Research assistant for Geothink’s Civic Open Data Standards project. I (1) assessed Canadian municipal datasets and open data portals; (2) designed and developed a web app to host a catalog of open data standards; and (3) designed, conducted, and transcribed semi-structured telephone surveys. Code can be seen on the GitHub repo.
- Customer Relations Agent
Summer 2015 · West Coast Reduction Ltd · Vancouver
Responsible for customer service and invoice payments.
- Operations Agent
Summer 2012 & 2013 · Nintendo of Canada · Vancouver
Processed dealer returns, outbound marketing shipments, and inventory reconciliations.
CSS, SASS, and frameworks (Bootstrap, Materialize, Materialize Design Boostrap)
Node.js + Express, Python + Flask
Data: ESRI Shapefiles, OSM XML/PBF, GeoJSON, WKT, WKB, GeoTIFF, satellite imagery (Landsat, Sentinel-2), KML, GPX
Processing and analysis: QGIS, OpenStreetMap (iD, JOSM), GDAL, PostGIS, ESRI products (e.g., ArcMap, ArcPro, ArcOnline), GeoServer, Valhalla, OpenRouteServices, other open-source geospatial libraries/software (e.g., R and Python packages like rgdal, rasterio, keras, and geopandas)
Web mapping: Mapbox GL JS, Leaflet (R, Folium, or JS), Google Maps API, OpenLayers, D3.js, OGC WMS/WFS/WPS
Data: JSON, GeoJSON, CSV, Grids, Multi-Dimensional Matrices / Data Cubes, sas7bdat, unstructured text (tweets, free text)
Storage: SQLite, PostgreSQL(+PostGIS), Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MongoDB
Analytics & Machine Learning: R, Python (e.g., Keras, TensorFlow), Stata, GeoDa, SAS
Visualizations: D3.js, R Shiny Apps, Plotly, Tableau, PowerBI
Architecture: client-server (RESTful API), pipline, database-centric, event-driven
Environment: package/library mgmt (npm, pip, conda, R), version control (git, GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab)
- Master of Science - Data Science Specialization
2020 - 2022 · Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University · Ottawa
Thesis on critical Geomatics, co-developing web-based geovisualizations and supporting a community-led monitoring program
- Developed Convolutional Neural Network binary classifier to predict if images of building exterior pathways are "accessible" or "inaccessible" for those dependent on wheeled mobility devices. Used class activation mapping to better interpret model predictions. The scripts and model architecture are available on GitHub.
- Bachelor of Arts (Graduated with Distinction)
2012 - 2016 · Department of Geography, McGill University · Montreal
Majored in Geography, minored in Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, and Anthropology
- With Python, mined thousands of georeferenced tweets and then managed, analyzed, and visualized the spatial and temporal.
- Developed a web app that automatically crowdsourced, geocoded, and visualized spatially-referenced data.
- Developed a web app that automatically scraped, standardized, and mapped Kijiji real-estate postings.
- Designed an online survey, coded the data, and then spatially predicted where new dumpsters should be located in Montreal.
- Evaluated deforestation by calculating Normalized Difference Vegetation Index on time-series imagery.
- Ran a cost distance analysis in ArcMap to identify a new hiking path in North Vancouver.
- GIS Developer & Advisor
2020 - 2021 · Ecology Ottawa · Ottawa
For the Breathe Easy Campaign, published interactive web map to visualize air quality data collected for a citizen science project. Advised on spatial sampling techniques to better represent variance across Ottawa.
- GIS Analyst
2016 · African Fisheries Climate Change PhD Thesis Project, McGill University · Montreal
Assessed the exposure of commercially harvested African freshwater fish species to climate change by developing predictive climate models with historical precipitation and temperature data. Collected and managed large vector and raster datasets with PHP and with Python in ArcMap.
2016 · Maptime MTL · Montreal
Organized workshops on open web maps, OpenStreetMap and humanitarian armchair mapping.
- History, Science & Math Tutor
2012 - 2014 · Big Buddies Tutoring, McGill University · Montreal
Tutored disadvantaged youth at Programme Mile End.
- Varisty Athlete
2012 - 2014 · Women’s Soccer Team, McGill University · Montreal
Won award for maintaining a high GPA (2014) and Second Team All-Star (2013).
- Volunteer Youth Leader
2012 · Boys & Girls Club · North Vancouver
Helped run summer programs for youth.
- Carleton University Department of Geography and Environmental Studies Auto-Carto Six Scholarship
- Employment and Social Development Canada Deputy Minister Award of Excellence
- Canadian Cartographic Association Best Student Presentation
- Carleton University Data Day Poster Fair Winner
- Dean of Graduate Studies Entrance Scholarship for Domestic Students
- Duncan M. Anderson Graduate Scholarships in Geography & Environmental Studies
- Carleton Graduate Scholarship
- Employment and Social Development Canada Assistant Deputy Minister Award for Excellence in Innovation
- Employment and Social Development Canada Deputy Minister Award for Excellence in Innovation