The Kartoza Geeks

Gavin Fleming

Director

Gavin is a Professional GISc Practitioner (PGP 1234), has an MSc in Genetics, is a charter member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), is on the advisory committee for geoinformatics programs and the advisory board of the CGIS at the University of Pretoria and was on the national council of GISSA for over fifteen years. He started in the GIS industry in 1996 and his experience includes thirteen years with the full suite of ESRI software and since 2002 with a wide range of FOSS GIS tools. He worked at GIMS (now ESRI South Africa), CSIR, Mintek and SAEON before starting AfriSpatial in 2010 and then Kartoza in 2014 with Tim Sutton. He is passionate about Open Source Software, Open Data and other Open philosophies that lead to interoperability, empower people and help maximise economic benefits. He is an advocate for Free and Open Source GIS software integrating with or replacing existing expensive, privative alternatives, in line with Government Open Source policy. After bringing FOSS4G 2008 to South Africa and working almost exclusively with FOSS since then he has responded to the surge in demand and usage of FOSS GIS in all sectors in South Africa and globally and coupled with that, a growing base of service providers and related resources.

Gavin lives with his wife near Hermanus, has two sons at university and enjoys playing squash, cycling, hiking and sailing.

Tim Sutton

Director

Tim started his career by working in Nature Conservation in South Africa. Some years later, around 1998, an opening in the newly formed GIS group in the organisation where he worked presented an opportunity to combine his love of the environment with his enthusiasm for computers. What followed quickly became a deep dive into GIS (including obtaining a Master's Degree in GIS and Environmental Studies) and Open Source. He discovered Linux, also around 1998, and became an ardent fan of using and creating Open Source software. The announcement of the first release of QGIS in 2002 was another key milestone, with Tim quickly becoming deeply involved in the development of QGIS, as well as helping to build the community platforms and governance structures around the project. Formerly the QGIS.org Board Chair, Tim was awarded perpetual Honorary QGIS PSC Member status in 2018 and continues to play an active role in many aspects of the QGIS project. Tim is also engaged in the broader Open Source GIS ecosystem, including having the honour of being an OSGEO Charter Member and promoting the wide array of world-changing Open Source GIS tools provided under the OSGEO umbrella (and beyond) to pretty much anyone who will listen.

Recognising the need for professional services around the Open Source GIS ecosystem, Tim started his own company, Linfiniti, in 2008. Through a merger with Afrispatial, Tim co-founded Kartoza (https://kartoza.com) in 2014. The company helps Tim to achieve his personal vision of making spatial decision-making tools broadly available to everyone so that we can responsibly manage our precious earth and properly serve the societies that inhabit it. Today Tim's work at Kartoza focuses mainly on humanitarian, social upliftment, and environmental projects. Kartoza as a whole uses its skills in software development, consulting, training, and applied GIS to support customers in a broad range of disciplines from creating the building blocks of cloud-native GIS, smart farming, infrastructure management, energy planning and provision, national metadata initiatives, and many more interesting applications.

Today Tim lives on a smallholding in the Alentejo region of Portugal where he works remotely on his nice Linux PC collaborating with customers and his teammates over his amazing Starlink satellite internet connection.

Marike Kruger

General Manager

A self-motivated and hardworking Project Manager with 11 plus years’ management experience. An inspiring leader with the ability to think laterally, provide solutions and exercise independent judgment in the resolution of problems. Successful track record in making significant contributions to business growth. Energetic performer with an upbeat, positive attitude. Able to interact with people at all levels in the organisation and from diverse backgrounds. Creative, proactive and innovative.

Charles Ashley Dixon-Paver

Software Developer

Just a simple autodidact from the sunny shores of Durban South Africa. Passionate about Open Source and leveraging code to change the world. A strong self starter with entrepreneurial spirit, along with a range of experience in a diverse set of technologies, allows me to get hands on throughout every stage of the project life cycle.

Irwan Fathurrahman

Software Developer

Irwan is a highly competent and innovative full stack web application developer with additional experience building Android applications. He thrives on buildings modern, human centered user experiences for our clients. Problem solving is one of Irwan’s favourite work activities, where he uses his knowledge and insight to f ind novel and efficient ways to deal with technical challenges.

Irwan has been working in a commercial environment since 2011 with a deep knowledge of Python and Java based applicationdevelopment. Irwan is highly competent in building applications using Open Source technologies (PostgreSQL/Python/Django and various Javascript libraries) and is the lead developer of the Open Source Healthsites.io project.

Zulfikar Akbar Muzakki

Software Developer

Zakki is one of our developers from Indonesia and is based in Purworejo, a small town in Central Java. He studied Information System in Universitas Indonesia. His journey with Python and Django started when he first worked as a web developer. After discovering the simplicity and power of Python he has stuck to it. You know what people say, “Once you go Python, you’ll never move on!”. His interest in GIS stemmed from his activities exploring random things in the digital map. He looks for cities, interesting places, even following street view from one place to another, imagining he was there physically. Zakki is a volunteer in kids learning centre, where he and his team run fun activities every Sunday. When he is not dating his computer, he spends his time sleeping or watching documentary and fantasy movies. Give him more free time, and he will ride his motorbike to someplace far away. He enjoys watching cultural shows and learning about people, places, and cultures. He also loves singing and dancing, but that doesn’t mean he is good at it.

Samweli Twesa Mwakisambwe

Software Developer

Samweli is an multi-disciplinary problem solver who is able to quickly grasp new technologies and use his problem solving skills to understand problems at a high level and then dig into the technical details to solve them. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science with Statistics. He has been working in a production environment since 2015, building web applications and plugins for QGIS. He has been an active contributor to OpenStreetMap and has published or participated in various geospatially related Open Source projects. He uses his natural leadership skills to bring out the best in his teams. He loves playing board games, especially a Tanzanian version of checkers and loves watching sci-fi movies.

Admire Nyakudya

GIS Product Developer

Admire is an articulate, motivated and qualified graduate in GIS and Remote sensing. He is a results oriented professional with working industry experience since 2009 in geospatial information technology and remote sensing analysis. He has experience in managing multiple database management systems. He has worked on a wide range of GIS related projects and is adept at working on multiple projects simultaneously. He is an advocate of Open Source and enjoys imparting knowledge in the Open Source world. Admire is an active contributor to the QGIS project where he helps to maintain the plugin repository. He also maintains the extremely popular public Kartoza docker images for GeoServer and PostGIS. He thrives on helping customers to migrate to using Open Source technologies, and to supporting customers with existing Open Source deployments. He serves as the country representative for the South African QGIS User Group. Admire enjoys family time and outdoor sporting activities during his spare time.

Petra Paton

Administrator

I ensure the smooth and efficient running of ‘virtual’ offices, organising logistics, travel operations, and convening our regular training courses. My goal at Kartoza is to make the interface between our clients and our staff as seamless as possible. I am always happy to assist anyone with queries and provide support services where needed. I have good organizational skills, I am reliable, dedicated, dependable, work independently, show initiative, a team player and have the ability to multitask! I have excellent interpersonal skills and enjoy communicating with our various staff members, clients and suppliers from executives to junior office workers.

Suzanne Sutton

Financial Administrator

Suzanne has many years of experience in the administration arena having fulfilled various roles with substantial responsibility in this regard but has been part of the Kartoza team since 2016 where she is specifically responsible for the accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll. She prides herself on an efficient and effective, yet friendly, work ethos. She also has a BA English Psychology degree from UNISA.

Seabilwe Pontso Leah Tilodi

Software Developer

Seabilwe holds an MSc in GIS and Remote Sensing at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has an Honours degree in Geography and a BSc in Geological Science, both from the University of the Witwatersrand. She works at Kartoza as a Junior GIS specialist. Not only that, but she is passionate about the application of open source software in solving complex issues in the field of agro-climatology and also exploring different open source packages used for image processing and analysis. Seabilwe is also passionate about education, that is why she tutors because she is allowed to be versatile and come up with different teaching methods that will not only help make learners understand a concept but also the application of it in the real world. She has taken up photography as her hobby, mostly taking shots of flowers. She enjoys baking, listening to music and watching anime or cartoons with her little sister.

Dimas Tri Ciputra

Software Developer

Dimas is an exceptionally well organised and productive software developer with deep coding skills and problem solving abilities who strives for the highest levels of perfection and quality in his work. He is a graduate in Informatics Engineering, holding dual Bachelors degrees in this feld. He has been working working in a production environment since 2013, building mobile (both iOS and Android) and web applications. He loves building beautiful and functional user-facing applications and is equally happy to dive into the technical details of an application backend. He has been an active contributor to various Open Source projects since 2015. Dimas is a passionate gamer - he built several mobile games and also won a number of ‘hackathons’ with game concepts he developed during his student days.

Amy Burness

GIS Product Developer

Amy is a Graduate Environmental scientist. She has an Honours degree from the University of Pretoria and a Masters in Environmental Science from The University of the Witwatersrand. She Works at Kartoza as a Junior GIS specialist and GIS Technician. Amy is passionate about the environment and using GIS to solve complex ecological and environmental issues. She is also creative and enjoys nothing more then making beautiful and functional maps using open source technology. She also enjoys creating and editing videos and other multimedia projects for education and inspiration. She loves creating social media content and interacting with the vibrant QGIS and open source community through Open days and other initiatives.In her spare time Amy can be found hiking, camping, birding or on almost any outdoor adventure. When she is not hiking up a mountain, she enjoys slowing down with a number of creative pursuits, including drawing, embroidery, and laser engraving / cutting her latest designs.

Faneva Andriamiadantsoa

Software Developer

Faneva is from Madagascar. She graduated with a Masters in Information Technology – Mobiquity, Database and System Integration from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in 2017. She had the opportunity to work on the OpenDRI project in Madagascar. Thanks to this project, she could attend training on how to create data on OpenStreetMap, QGIS, InaSAFE, and GeoNode. From this, Faneva became interested in the GIS field. Other than gaining knowledge from this, she has been self-taught using online resources such as OSGeo forums and mailing lists. She then developed a QGIS Plugin while working for a GIS company in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Faneva has been inspired by people she has met during conferences and summits she has attended. She has made a small contribution to the QGIS project. Due to her fluency in French, she has contributed to correcting linguistic errors on Geonode.

Faneva is very happy to be a permanent member of the Kartoza Team after the GIS training she conducted as a Contractor to Kartoza, part of her GIS journey.

Living in Antananarivo Madagascar, she likes walking in small villages around the city. In her free time, Faneva enjoys reading and also tries to practice yoga and meditation.

Victoria Neema Nyaga

Junior GIS

Victoria is a Junior Developer based in Nairobi, Kenya. She completed her BA of Engineering (Geospatial Engineering) in 2022. Her passion for using open source GIS and Remote Sensing software stemmed from her undergraduate research project to develop a method to map paddy rice in Kenya at low cost. Her journey with Python began when she took the Applied Data Science course offered by World Quant University, and she hasn’t looked back. In her free time, Victoria enjoys trying new recipes in the kitchen and listening to fantasy and mystery podcasts.

Divan Vermeulen

Software Developer

Divan is a South African who lives close to Cape Town in the Western Cape. He studied Geo-informatics, which focuses on GIS, remote sensing and computer science, at Stellenbosch University.

He worked for the Centre for Geographic Analysis (CGA), starting as an intern in 2009 and as a spatial data analyst employee from 2011 to 2021. While working at the CGA. He did his MSc in Geo-informatics, utilizing remote sensing and GIS for agricultural saline soil mapping. During most of his career he made use of several python modules to accomplish his tasks, ranging from spatial data processing, terrain analysis, and machine learning for spatial data analysis. In recent years he made more use of open-source python modules for spatial data processing and analysis.

Living alone in his apartment, Divan keeps himself busy making food, playing an RPG or city simulation game, or reading a sci-fi/fantasy novel.

Lin-Mari Volschenk

Junior Bookkeeper

Lin-Mari started her career as a data capturer before joining a family business. She started as a Sales Representative for a few months and then became a Personal Assistant to the Directors In 2019 Lin-Mari started taking on additional work other than the PA duties, she started doing stock lists and kept track of sales as well. In 2020 Lin-Mari even took on the Warehouse Manager role. Lin-Mari completed a certificate in Bookkeeping to Trial Balance as well as courses in Pastel and an ICDL course. Lin-Mari is a team player and always strives for success and the top. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family or just some quiet time where she reads or paints.

Thiasha Vythilingam

Junior GIS

Thiasha is a BSc Geography graduate from the University of Pretoria with a passion for the environment as well as sustainable living and rural development. This inspired her to get her Diploma in Energy Efficiency and Sustainability through UCT. She is now a Junior GIS Specialist for Kartoza.

Thiasha enjoys expressing herself through the creative arts and spends her leisure time in the pottery studio. She also enjoys hiking and being out in nature.

Thiasha is an adventurous soul whose love for the outdoors and art inspires all aspects of her life including her work and her drive to make the world a better place.

Jeremy Richard Prior

Junior GIS

Jeremy is a BSc Geoinformatics graduate from the University of Pretoria. He first discovered a passion for Geography, and in turn GIS, when he was still in school. This passion led him to study Geoinformatics. He is now a Junior GIS Specialist for Kartoza. Jeremy enjoys making maps using open source technology but particularly enjoys the conversion of raw data into useful visual interpretations. He mostly enjoys the cartography and visual side of GIS but does enjoy the problem solving associated with the coding/scripting side of things too. Ideally, one day, Jeremy would like to have a farm where he can grow his own food and work on various projects with his hands from wood working to tinkering with engines. For now, he contents himself with getting out of the city (to go fishing, hiking, and dabbling in water sports) and practicing escapism with books and games.

Mohab Khaled

Software Developer

Mohab is a Software Developer at Kartoza, he comes from an AEC background and graduated as a Survey Engineer from Sudan University of Science and Technology, then worked in different Sudanese Aerodromes before completing MSc studies in Geoinformatics and leaned towards spatial applications development. Mohab is a pythonista and a JavaScriper, currently extending his knowledge to other compiled languages (C++, go, ..). He is interested in OSS, distributed spatial services in the cloud, Spatial DBAs, DL for digital image processing, WebGL and located AR.

Outside work Mohab, like many fellow Sudanese, he enjoys football and argues politics(pro tip, reduce those, they are bad for your health), he thinks of the remote first approach of Kartoza is an excellent case to pick a new travelling habit.

Tharanath Ganesh Prabhu

DevOps and System Administrator

Tharanath is based in India. He lives in a small village in Kerala popularly known as God's Own Country.

He graduated from Cochin University of Science and Technology with a BTech in Electronics and Communication Engineering. After that he started a career as a Linux System Administrator and then gradually shifted to DevOps. He is always eager to learn new technologies and loves to use them effectively in day to day activities. He is a highly motivated and enjoys to take on responsibility.

In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, listening to music or travelling to new places.

Rudolf Jacobs

Software Developer

Rudolf comes from a humble upbringing in a small town called Meyerton. His parents raised him to be independent with a strong desire to learn and grow.

Rudolf has completed his degrees in BCom Chartered Accountancy in 2012 and Hons in Financial Accountancy in 2013.

Rudolf also completed his 3-year accounting articles in 2018 and passed his Professional Evaluation in that same year to become a registered Professional Accountant (SA) at SAIPA (The South African Institute for Professional Accountants).

During his accounting career, Rudolf continuously incorporated various programming tools to assist in his day-to-day responsibilities which stems from his philosophy to automate repetitive tasks (of which there are many in accounting). This enabled him to perform his duties at a much quicker pace than normal and granted him many successes.

After being inspired by his wife, who was also studying towards a new degree, Rudolf decided to formalise his programming skills and enrolled at UNISA for BSc Computer Science in 2019 and is expected to complete the degree in 2022 with only 9 modules remaining.

During this period, he was headhunted by Three I Developments (Pty) Ltd as their internal auditor in charge of implementing financial internal controls and started his own business AI Solutions (Pty) Ltd.

Whilst working for Three I, he was forced to use an internal system which was extremely slow and hard to use. After applying numerous updates and internal controls, this system was used to its full potential, but still remained cumbersome and slow to work with.

This inspired him to create an ERP system of his own called AI Construction.

In 2020, after vigorous research, Rudolf discovered Django, a Python based open source Web Development framework, which he immediately fell in love with because of its strong focus on rapid development and the DRY (don't repeat yourself) principle.

Using Django, Rudolf was quickly able to create his new website during the 2020’s Covid-19 hard lockdowns, which was used to replace Three I’s existing product. This website is still in use today, and has made the lives of his client much easier.

Given his success with AI Construction and nearing completion of his Computer Science degree, Rudolf decided to expand his horizons even further, and joined the Kartoza family.

Rudolf lives with his wife in Vanderbijlpark with their dream to one day work remotely from an island somewhere far away and beautiful.

His hobbies include cycling, gaming, walking the dog, 3D Printing and spending time with his family.

Leon Greyling

DevOps Manager (Technical)

Leon is an IT specialist with over two decades of experience in the IT industry. He has experience in development, systems administration, database administration, DevOps, solutions architecture, and management.

In 2013 he started his DevOps career and was a team member and lead on several DevOps projects for a multinational company.