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Introducing Brent - Product Designer

I'm working with our design team to make it easier to publish, find, appraise and access authoritative data.

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Hi, I’m Brent, a product designer at Koordinates. My job (and the job of the entire design team) is to make Koordinates better for the people that use it, which means understanding how and why a broad range of people publish and use spatial data.

We’re already in the process of talking to people about their roles, workflows and how they use Koordinates. Over the next few months we’ll be using that understanding to inform a range of improvements to Koordinates, and extend the product to more people outside of New Zealand.

We want to make it painless for publishers to distribute both open and private data. We’ll be making it much easier for users of data to find, appraise and access the data they need in the formats and projections that best suit their application.

Our hope is that these improvements will free up spatial professionals’ time to concentrate on generating insight from data rather than the chores of publishing or accessing it. For instance, combining different data sets to derive new insights within Koordinates is a promising field to explore. Our Customer Experience Manager Anne Harper has shared some of her expert knowledge in using QGIS desktop software to combine datasets like soil type and river outlines, or socio-economic indices with school locations, to surface new information. Our Head of Design, Dan Newman has produced some early prototypes that will allow you to combine datasets directly in Koordinates.

In the past I’ve held a variety of design practice and management roles in tech companies and agencies. The common thread in all of them has been understanding the needs of users and synthesising that understanding into the best possible end product. When I’m not at Koordinates you’ll find me enjoying the outdoors and Wellington’s variety of fine eateries with my family, and working on various side projects.

Spatial data is proving to be a fascinating field to work in because it touches on so many of the decisions that shape our lives and the world we live in. Deciding where to place marine reserves. Understanding the best places to put banking and retail outlets. Planning transport logistics. As we evolve Koordinates over time, we’ll need to account for the way people view and interact with data in those, and many other, scenarios.