May 17, 2018

Mesa College to Send Student Veteran to National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence

By Office of Communications

nicholas case

This May, Navy Veteran and Mesa College student Nicholas William Case was selected by the National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence (GeoTech Center) as a winner in the 2018 GeoTech Center’s Geospatial Technology Student Competition. This summer on June 4 to 6, the GeoTech Center will host Case and other selected students at the GeoEd ’18 Workshops to be held in Louisville, KY on the Southwest Campus of Jefferson Community and Technical College.

Case will participate in various workshops and attend events hosted by the GeoTech Center. He plans on attending three events – Drones and Data Analysis, Python Mapping, and Humanitarian Mapping. Case shares, “I am most excited for the Python Mapping workshop… I hope to learn how to automate my workflow.”

Among the several student submissions they received, Case was chosen as the second place winner among community and technical colleges and chosen as the winner of the use of open source software. He has spent his recent time at Mesa working towards his Associate of Science Degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and used his knowledge to work on preparing his projects for student based competitions like this.

Case has a strong interest in archaeology and was interested to see how the, “utilization of new technology to document and preserve archaeological data” could allow archaeologists to complete their work without facing barriers like financial costs or time conflicts. His previous education – an Associate of Arts in Anthropology from Mesa, and his Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from SDSU – have served him well in creating an academic foundation for his career goals that are tying in to his GIS studies.

For his Open Source Software project, he used OpenDataKit which provided him with a server – ODK Aggregate Virtual Machine – that allowed him to configure the system to this specific study and the field objectives. Through the GIS software and the document methods he used, he was able to display the necessary information, and keep it available with recorded reports that are accessible to other archaeology and geography associates in the industry. To see Case’s Open Source Software project, please visit his online portfolio: Digital Archaeology in Mongolia: Visualizing the Data.

For more information on Mesa’s GIS Program and ongoing student projects, please contact Department Chair Carlos Toth at To learn more about Anthropology and Archaeology educational opportunities, please visit the Anthropology Program page.

Tags: GeoTech Center, GIS, National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence, Geographic Information System, GeoEd '18 Workshops

Additional Information


Jennifer Nichols Kearns
Director of Communications
(619) 388-2759