Executive Sees GIS Evolving To Better Serve Pipeline Industry

Q&A
By Jeff Share, Editor | May 2009 Vol. 236 No. 5

Brook: ESRI operates through a distributor network so we have a presence in almost all regions of the world. The most significant challenges I find are related to language, culture and politics. While most of the cultural and political nuances are negotiated or mitigated by our distributors, a conscious effort has to be made to communicate in a way that makes people feel comfortable. The language landscape is more difficult to address. The number of countries we visit in a calendar year makes localized communication difficult. As a result, my Blackberry is filled with numerous translation files.

P&GJ: Do any particular travels or experiences stand out for you?

Brook: In my youth I spent a period working in Africa. The eye-opening geography, local culture and close-knit nature of our team was amazing. Malawi is truly beautiful. The Africa rift zone and the local flora and fauna are incredible. At that time, it was coupled with poverty and a rapidly growing rate of AIDS infections. It was an incomparable situation; devastating illness and poverty surrounded by such beauty. What really stands out for me was the way the local population dealt with the situation. They were happy. They seemed to understand something North America society had forgotten - the joy of being alive. It changed my life.