I’m a geospatial systems architect with a passion for civic and humanitarian domains.
Currently, I’m the Director and CTO of Esri R&D in Washington, DC developing new technology for open data, civic technology, and geospatial web collaboration.
My work focuses on cross-domain collaboration and democratizing data-driven decisions by creating open tools for cartography and analysis. I wrote Introduction to Neogeography based on my experiences and vision for a collaborative world improved with open data sharing. My teams are developing new technologies for government and citizen collaboration to build communities. This includes the global ArcGIS Hub for open access to authoritative data, as well as open-source and interactive tools and applications to build and share insights and solutions. I am an active member in many organizations developing and supporting open standards such as the OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and World Wide Web Consortium. I am also the co-founder of CrisisCommons, a global community of volunteers leveraging technology to assist in building solutions for disaster response, recovery and rebuilding.
I am the author of “Introduction to Neogeography” and “Where2.0: The State of the Geospatial Web”. I have published articles in Make Magazine, Linux Journal, MacTech, and numerous other civic and technical publications. I write personal perspectives at highearthorbit.com and Twitter @ajturner, an my work-related projects at Esri Insider and ArcGIS Blog.
I received my Bachelors of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. My undergraduate thesis was designing a semi-autonomous control system for a robotic, solar-powered, high-altitude airship.
I received a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. My graduate thesis focused on machine-learning, neural networks for autonomous, self-healing spacecraft control systems. I also built an open-source, spacecraft simulation framework, Open-SESSAME.
I’m a father of two energetic boys. They don’t fall far from their parent’s trees as they have particular passions for science, creating, exploring, and games.