“When people ask what I do, I tell them I’m a cartographer and I work with data,” she said.
GIS is geographic information system, but her role encompasses more than just maps and what is on them. She helps keep information updated about the city’s roads, zoning, housing and shopping developments, and utility systems–and much more.
Richter also does a lot of work for the police department, looking at crime trends. A lot of the work she does isn’t directly seen by the citizens in Blaine, but there are parts of her job that residents see a lot.
“It could be (residents are) looking up property lines for fences,” she said.
Richter didn’t always plan on studying and creating maps, but her education and career path took a couple of turns before she ended up in Blaine. She’s studied and worked in medicine and engineering. Her job also seems to incorporate a solid knowledge of information technology and computer software literacy. All of those skills come in handy when working to stay on top of changes in one of Minnesota’s fastest-growing cities.
“The growth in Blaine is a challenge,” said Richter. “Real time data is important to citizens.”
One way to do that is to try to get new street names and locations to data services people use most often.
Cory is one of two people at Blaine City Hall who do regular GIS work, and said the work she does with different departments keeps her days interesting.