Ordina GEO-ICT competence center: meet the expert

How do you start a new competence center? By bringing in the experts, right? When Ordina published a vacancy for employees for the new Geo-ICT team, we were immediately excited about the application from Jasper Botterman. Jasper is a landscape architect with a passion for technology, making him the ideal man for Ordina to be taken on as a Geo-ICT expert.

We can no longer imagine corporate and public sector systems without location data. The potential applications seem endless. Therefore Ordina Belgium – following colleagues in the Netherlands – decided to set up an expertise center around Geo-ICT. Jasper was the first team member on board.

Landscape architect discovers technology

Landscape architecture and Ordina: how do you put the two worlds together?

“They are much closer to each other than you think”, says Jasper. “I studied garden and landscape architecture, and then landscape development. Especially in the last year I have had more and more to do with technology: we acquired extensive knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS) to do landscape analyses and to examine landscapes digitally. I learned how to collect, save, process and analyze geo-data. And I became hungry for more.”

Large infrastructure projects

Straight after his studies, Jasper started work as a landscape architect at research and consultancy agency Arcadis. As part of the ‘space’ group, he worked on large infrastructure projects for the Flemish government around the R4, the N60, the Oosterweel link, etc. There, his interest in GIS and GIS technology grew. “All the government projects involved a great deal of data”, Jasper explains. “Geo-ICT helped to manage the masses of data. Using GIS applications, I examined the condition of a location and the impact a project at this location would have (legally, ecologically, in terms of water management, etc.).”

Geo is everywhere

In the eight years that Jasper worked at Arcadis, he saw the importance of location data increase dramatically: “Location determination has really become a booming business. Did you know that, today, about 80% of all big data has a spatial component? Both businesses and public sector institutions are capturing ever more data. I’m incredibly interested in what the best way they can do that is, how they can visually present the data, and how they can process, maintain and analyze it, and make predictions. In recent years I have been to a large number of events, seminars and conferences to deepen my knowledge of Geo-ICT.”

Did you know 80% of all that is used by a municipality or city council has a spatial component?

The interface of spatial data and technology

These developments did not pass Arcadis by. In June 2016, Jasper was named as project engineer, a role in which his knowledge of Geo-ICT was crucial: “While as landscape architect I mostly did design, my focus then shifted to data management and data visualization for large infrastructure projects. With such projects it is every important that the spatial impact is examined correctly, and in detail.

And from there the move to Ordina?

“I wanted to combine my knowledge of geography and spatial data more intensively with technology. Both in my free time and at work, I was constantly improving my technological knowledge. I got qualifications in AutoDesk, AutoCAD and Multimedia Operator 3D, and during seminars I discovered ever more possibilities with GIS systems and digitalization. But at Arcadis I could only realize a limited number of these possibilities. So I was – mainly subconsciously – looking for a new challenge, and the rest is history. Ordina was convinced that my background and my passion were excellent starting points for the Geo-ICT competence center.”

Fully-fledged discipline

By the end of 2018, the competence center should be a 5-strong team. Inspired by Oridna Netherlands – where there are already 40 members of staff in the Geo-ICT team – Jasper and his new colleagues are currently screening requests, working on their visibility and developing proposals.

“The market for Geo-ICT is moving very quickly. Until recently the discipline was seen as nice extra, but now organizations realize that it can help them make more targeted decisions. That means that GEO-ICT is increasingly going together with all other IT applications. So we are working closely together with colleagues from other teams.”

“Spatial data has been a continual theme in my studies and work for more than the last 12 years. I’m very happy that I can now leverage this experience to help Ordina’s clients.”

Spatial data has been a continual theme in my studies and work for more than the last 12 years. I am very happy that I can now leverage this experience to help Ordina’s clients.

Discover what our Geo-ICT team has to offer.
Interested in or concrete plans to start working with Geo-ICT? Then please get in touch with Jasper.