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40 Under 40, 2017: Nikolas Smilovsky





NIKOLAS SMILOVSKY ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA for a BA in history, but lateral studies instilled an affinity for geography. Anthropology and archaeology classes culminated in a semester abroad in Italy, sharpening his skills in GIS and CAD. Following college, he worked as an archaeologist, performing excavations and completing related digital mapping projects. While working in the Phoenix area, Nikolas attended Arizona State University for a Masters of Advanced Study in GIS. ASU invited him to be a part-time associate faculty member, teaching classes in analytical cartography and data technologies; he has been instructing and working full time for the last seven years.

Nikolas also earned and completed accreditation as an ISA-certified arborist and a certified geographical informa- tion systems professional (GISP). His work in academia and private firms has built his reputation as a rising star in the region’s geospatial community. Currently Nikolas serves as the mapping department manager at a company that specializes in utility and telecommunication infrastructure. He uses technologies such as lidar, remote sensing, UAS, and GIS. Nikolas also was recently elected secretary of the central chapter of the Arizona Professional Land Surveyors Association.

By leveraging specialties in mapping, cartography, computer programming, and spatial statistics, Nikolas explores the connections between spatial correlation and cognition. These mental representations of physical places were coined “Cognitive Maps” by psychologist Edward C. Tolman. Nikolas would like to further his studies in this field by augmenting and testing them with new technologies and devices such as Microsoft Holo- Lens. He is married to fellow 40 under 40 honoree Danielle Smilovsky; they are a well-known geo-power-couple in the southwest U.S.

The Smilovskys

The Smilovskys

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