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Matt Upchurch

I am origninally from Savannah, GA, but moved around throughout the Southeast with my family as I grew up and also later on as a professional before I settled down in Columbia, SC. I have a beautiful 8 month old baby boy named John at home and a wonderful wife with whom I spend most of my time. I enjoy going out on the lake and beach, running, building things (or mostly breaking!), computer science, and have recently been dabbling around with vinyl records and a 1953 Victrola console I'm thinking about restoring...but I digress. 

I graduated from the University of South Carolina (go Cocks!) in 2012 with a BA in geography and am currently the GIS Administrator for South Carolina 811. For those of you who are not familiar with 'one call' (AKA 811) centers, we act as a notification service for utility companies to let them know when someone will be excavating in proximity to their underground facilities.

Professionally, I have reinvinted myself several times since graduating within the geospatial realm.  I started out as a photogrammetric compiler, then onto local government as a GIS Tech, then Analyst, and now I am a one man GIS department at 811. One of the things I enjoy most about working were I do is that we utilize a lot of open source GIS technologies and I get to work with some pretty smart folks. On a daily basis I deal mostly with PostgreSQL/PostGIS, QGIS, and Python. So naturally, when I came across this program it was like love at first sight!

I started this journey as a graduate certificate student and decided to apply for the graduate program after seeing how great the content and instructors were. I am very much looking forward to the remaining curriculum in this program because it will help me take the data I maintain and effectively communicate with the public through a digital medium. I am also looking forward to meeting and learning from my classmates along the way!

Contact Information
Research Interests
  • Open Source Technology
  • Python progamming
  • Geospatial Web Technologies
  • Geovisualization
  • Cartography
  • New Maps Plus
  • South Carolina 811