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From Askania to Matterport: Tracking the Career Trajectory of an Early MSP

My interest and love of science and technology started at an early age.  I grew up in New Mexico close to White Sands National Monument and my Dad worked at Holloman Air Force base, putting his degree in math to good use by processing telemetry and Askania film data.  

In 1959, the Askania camera was a state-of-the-art movable camera which captured film data used for tracking objects in motion. In order to get usable data from the camera, the engineers took derivative data to determine velocity and acceleration of a moving target. It was an involved and complex process by the standards of that time. The Askania camera is a cinetheodolite which, simply stated, is an instrument used to collect trajectory data. This type of data is acquired in the testing of missiles, rockets, projectiles and aircraft. A cinetheodolite is a combination photo-recorder and surveying instrument used to track and photograph targets in flight and used by our Defense Department to evaluate the performance of our missiles and aircrafts. I knew little about what my father did for a living while we were growing up, but oddly, years later when I first began researching Matterport’s 3D camera, I recalled his work at Holloman AFB using these high-tech cameras.

Technology in the 1980s

Looking back on the trajectory of my career, one would never have guessed that I might end up running a Matterport Service Partner business one day. As a young adult, I was employed at several high-profile establishments including Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Working in the Academic Computing department was an exciting place to be in the 1980s! We provided support for many different types of computers and we were expected to teach our peers something on a regular basis: some taught HTML, how to set up email, create websites, etc.

At JHU we provided support for the Eisenhower Library’s VM system (Sun Microsystems, to name a few) as well as the personal computers used by students and faculty alike. Personal computers were becoming more commonplace but at the time, I recall my father saying “who would want to buy their own computer and have it at home?" Boy, I did!

Not too long after Johns Hopkins I worked at Goddard Space Flight Center as a Data Analyst on the UARS project (Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite). We provided 24/7 support to the principle scientists on the project. There were 10 instruments on the satellite, each monitored by a different scientist. The scientists were studying the distributions and concentrations of different gases in the ozone layer.

The years I spent at the Flight Center a fantastic journey for a lover of tech and science like myself.

Fast forward to 2016

As luck would have it, in 2016 I stumbled upon an article online and saw a picture of the Matterport Pro 3D Camera. Learning about such a camera was exciting to me and reminded me of the days when my father worked on the Askania camera. Compare the entire process of the two technologies and you get a sense for how far we’ve come!    

I bought my Matterport camera shortly after learning about it. Even though I’ve had the camera for some time now, I still feel like I learn something new on every shoot and try to ensure that each one is better than the one before.

I did one of my first large scan jobs two months after I bought my camera. The space was so large and it felt like it took forever – mostly because I kept getting turned around and losing my bearings. Almost every assignment I’ve been presented with a learning opportunity!

One of the things I most enjoy about being a Matterport camera owner is that I get inspired by other Matterport camera owners when I see the incredible work they have done. I am re-reading Bill Robinson’s post from March 18th, 2016 and continue to find it so inspiring that I want to quote some of it and re-share. Bill is truly an artist; a man with high standards and someone to aspire to.

“Since the beginning, I’ve always included an ‘easter egg’ in almost every Space: a shot of myself, hiding behind a column or in a reflection. I turn those positions off for my customers, but I imagine that, 100 years from now, some Martian may find me in this early 3-D recording.” -Bill Robinson

Fun challenges ahead

I’ve been working on expanding my portfolio and pushing the boundaries of the places I’ve scanned. To date, my largest scan is an old warehouse used by the film industry. This building was originally owned by Wells Fargo and renovated in the 1980s.  It's not glamorous like some of the models my Matterport 'Heroes' have shot but I earned my stripes on this one!

Currently, I’m shooting the Convention Center for Tourism Santa Fe (40,000 ft.²) with the  hope that the Matterport 3D Showcase created will entice more businesses to utilize the city’s facilities.

Every scan so far has presented learning opportunities and working with the city may present more high-profile opportunities in the future -- like the opportunity to scan the Santa Fe Opera House or even Carlsbad Caverns!  



Lisa Headshot