Charles Brady III has established himself as a local leader through different organizations in the field of geographic information science. And with a new appointment, his experience will be an asset at the state level.
Brady, the GIS coordinator for the city of Ardmore, has been named to the State Geographical Information Council as the city government representative. The council approached Brady to see if he would be interested in the position. He accepted and contacted the Oklahoma Municipal League, whose board unanimously recommended him.
"Professionally, it's an opportunity to work at the state level and, hopefully, represent real-world functionality at that level," Brady explains. He also says the appointment ensures Ardmore will be represented at the state level, and will be aware of technological advancements.
Brady's experience includes serving as chairman of the Carter County 911 board, president of the regional South Central Arc User Group and president of the Oklahoma South Central Arc User Group. He received a cartography degree from East Central University, which led to his work in GIS, which is a branch of cartography. Because of the demand for technology, it's one of the fastest growing fields. The ability to navigate by phone goes back to GIS, which is also the prime tool for location finding in the event of natural disasters.
As a city of Ardmore employee, Brady maps every aspect of Ardmore, from the water and sewer lines, to the shelters in private residences. The reach of GIS is also expanding to further aid in public safety.
"Another aspect is the integration of GIS into the E911 system," Brady explains. "The Enhanced 911 of the near future is a GIS-based system for dispatchers. With mapping at the core of the new E911, this makes the address standards and associated information essential to accurately placing the right resources to the right citizens when seconds count."
In Ardmore alone, there are 180 to 200 layers of information mapped. The city was first digitally mapped in 1997, and Brady joined the city in 2000.
"The way I see it, my profession is my passion," Brady says. "I'd hate to see that I could have made a difference, and didn't attempt to make a difference."
Brady hasn't been a stranger to the SGIC, having served on subcommittees, including those for strategic planning, in which he served as chair. He currently sits on the Address Standards Subcommittee, which is setting recommendations for an industry mapping standard. The benefit of establishing a mapping standard is evident during emergencies and when dealing with different jurisdictions. Under one standard, everyone sees the same thing, which benefits first responders. One real-world application was during the Lone Grove tornado.
Brady's term expires in November 2014, at which point he can be appointed to a full term on the council, which is comprised of 19 people. Terms are for four years, and have a limit of 12 years served on the council.