Steve Zuckerman Joins Product Team

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Longtime Maponics’ employee Steve Zuckerman has joined the product team as Product Manager of three product families: Communities (Neighborhood Boundaries and the soon-to-be-released +Residential), School Boundaries, and Administrative Boundaries (Census Boundaries and Parcel Boundaries.)

Steve has held a variety of roles in his 11 years with the company, including Production Cartographer, Director of Mapping Operations, Co-Captain, VP of Technical Operations, and VP of G&A.
In his current role of Product Manager, Steve is responsible for driving products’ strategic direction and current implementation, as well as the tactics that will  add value to products over time.

A Career in Maps

Steve has been in the mapping business for 30 years and has extensive experience and education in spatial data, mapping, and GIS.  After earning his bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of New Hampshire, Steve took a job mapping oil fields, which sent him to a number of far-flung locations such as Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, Borneo, and Nova Scotia.

After two years in the oil fields (including several stints on a semi-submersible in the North Atlantic), Steve began building nautical and submarine charts for the Defense Mapping Agency in Washington, DC. During this period, governments and industry began to heavily invest in digital mapping technologies.

In 1987, Steve earned an MS in Mapping Sciences at The Ohio State University. Mapping sciences is a multidisciplinary field including surveying, photogrammetry, geodesy, cartography, and geography. It provided many of the fundamental skills needed as military mapping organizations transitioned from manual cartographic production systems to digital systems.

Steve’s next stop was a long one: 10 years with the US Census Bureau, where he was fortunate to be involved in the development and deployment of the TIGER street database – the first digital street database for the US – and map products. As part of the cartographic team’s map building efforts for the1990 Census, Steve developed software and production systems used to generate millions of field maps.

After the Decennial Census, Steve led the effort to develop automated text placement technology to support the production of Census publication maps, in collaboration with Rutgers University. These efforts not only resulted in maps with quality text placement, but they dramatically reduced production times and led to a commercial spinoff of the technology. During this time Steve also played a key role in the design and architecture of the production mapping systems being built in advance of the 2000 Census.

Having completed a full Decennial Census cycle, Steve and his family moved to New Hampshire, where he joined the crew at GDT as a Business Development Manager, focusing on geometric enhancement to the Dynamap database and several collaborative data development projects with state and local governments and police organizations.

Five years later, he was one of the first employees at Maponics, which gives him a useful historical perspective on the products he manages. Steve notes that as an “old timer” he was part of the effort to build the first Neighborhood Boundaries product. As Steve puts it, “Having grown along with the market for neighborhoods, I have a pretty good feel for how the products were built, what the market demands are, and how we need to grow these products for our customers, now and in the future.”

Tomorrow’s Products

With three decades as a mapping expert, Steve sees today’s challenges in this industry as different variations on the mapping challenges of yesterday.

Steve comments:

“We are still trying to best represent the three-dimensional world in the form of an abstract spatial database (a map). While the tools and techniques have grown dramatically in the past few decades, the fundamental challenges of capturing real-world information, and representing it in a way that brings continuing utility and value to our customers, hasn’t changed. Today, we are in an explosion of spatial information – and Maponics is well positioned as an authoritative voice for many types of polygonal data.

“I am excited to step into the role of Product Manager because it gives me the opportunity to drive the future of our great products and work across the company with the many dedicated and skilled people at Maponics.”

We’re delighted to have a seasoned mapping expert like Steve Zuckerman on the product team!