Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Personal Project Tracking

    Posted 08-11-2022 03:29 PM
    Sometimes it is easy to get swept up in moving from project to project without realizing how far you've come in your career.
    Do you have a way you track the projects you've worked on? I'd love to hear about your system!

    When I started full time after graduation, I started a file on Google Earth with a pin on each of my projects. It started as a way to help me when it came time to apply for the PE and I needed to list some of my project contributions. I've continued to use it since licensure because I realized it is neat to zoom out and see all the projects visually laid out.



    I have the pins in a folder on Google Earth that I occasionally export as a kmz file as a backup so I won't lose my data

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    Heidi C. Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE
    Tulsa, OK
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  • 2.  RE: Personal Project Tracking

    Posted 08-12-2022 10:34 AM
    Heidi:

    I'm doing a similar thing with Google Earth pins.  As a geotechnical engineer, I'm doing a lot more projects that are each on a smaller scale than some other types of civil engineers.

    My pro tip for this - use Excel for the data entry part.  Once you have a set of data, then use an online Excel to KML converter to send this database into a map.  Using this method does several things:

    • You automatically have a backup file for the data.
    • You can choose to display the project name on the icon (for the map) or in the description (not on the map)
    • Consistent pin formatting - important if you have a lot of pins (I'm around 1,100)
    • Consistent data on each pin (lat-long, project name, city, state, icon color, icon scale, project type)
    • Pin-splitting options - my map below is by employer, but you can also arrange the data for other means
    • Ex: put an if-then statement on each icon column in the database, so "Utilities" show up in yellow and "Retail" shows up in green
    • The ability to make a master map, or use data subsets if desired - "Show all my pins in Kansas" for a marketing presentation


    I'd also suggest only sharing screenshots of this map if you are changing companies or using this in a customer-facing way.  If somebody has the full KMZ, they could theoretically say, "Oh geez, you worked on Aunt Margaret's house?" or parse the data to say "You had a master contract with that restaurant chain?"  And be careful with the zoom - I only with zoom in as far as a city-wide or suburb-wide level when sharing to protect the underlying data.

    Hopefully this is helpful for everybody!

    Pin Map


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    Joseph M. Rozmiarek, P. E., M.ASCE
    Principal Engineer
    Marine on Saint Croix, MN
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  • 3.  RE: Personal Project Tracking

    Posted 08-12-2022 11:19 AM
    My project tracking also started out as being for applying for my PE, but I have kept is going since.  I work for a town-wide utility, so I don't really have reason to put mine in Google Earth, but I have kept mine simply in an excel file.  This is also where I track my daily work.  I have one sheet that is simply a lines each day of what I did and which projects I worked on in a given day.  I don't keep this up as much as I would like to, but when I do it is very handy to search back on when a phone call or particular part of a project occurred.  The second sheet of my excel file is my on-going projects list.  For each project I may a single line or several lines if there are multiple phases to the project.  For each line I track the intended implementation year, date I started working on it, date I finished (or the project finished), length (just calculated from start & finish date), and what my involvement or general tasks were on the project.  I also ended up adding a "status" for each on as some of them started to drag on for a long time or get postponed.  To keep things a bit cleaner and less cluttered, around once a year I take all the 100% complete projects and move them to a third sheet of completed projects.

    I have found this method of tracking was very helpful for my PE application as well as updating my resume.  It gives me a brief snapshot of the projects I've been involved with, but it also jogs my memory of how I was involved.  It certainly doesn't look as cool as a Google Earth map, but it is functional.

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    Nancy Simpson P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
    Muscatine Power & Water
    Muscatine IA
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