Christopher J. Bessert: Resume

1753 Morning Dew Drive, SW
Byron Center, Michigan 49315-8431


Major: Geography with a concentration in Cartography and Remote Sensing
Minor: Journalism
Degree: Bachelor of Science
Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859
Graduated: December 16, 1995


GIS Coordinator
April 2015 to Present
Kalamazoo County Department of Planning & Community Development, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Serve as the coordinator of all Geographic Information Systems (GIS) activities across County government. Duties include developing new and maintaining existing GIS layers, performing analyses and answering spatial queries, documenting current and new procedures, maintaining metadata, acting as GIS liaison within County, educating and assisting GIS users, and coordinating current and new GIS projects. Major projects include development and deployment of ArcGIS Server, replacing outmoded online mapping system with a new environment, deployment of various data layers in support of centralized emergency dispatch system, and creation of various publications, including the Official County Road Map.

GIS Analyst
June 2008 to April 2015
Allegan County Land Information Services, Allegan, Michigan

Responsible for various processes across the department. Land Information Services (LIS) is responsible for creation, retrieval and analysis of geographic information and maintaining a wide variety of GIS data and maps of the county utilizing MapInfo 10.5, ArcGIS 9 and numerous related applications. Coordinate documentation and preparation of user training materials as well as create the Official County Road Map, issued biannually, and other publications. Work collaboratively through several cross-functional teams on website design and maintenance, web-based applications, and employee engagement activities.

GIS Specialist
February 2001 to March 2008
REGIS, Grand Valley Metropolitan Council, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Supported application development and deployment, data coordination and editing, as well as user training and support within one of the largest multi-participatory GIS projects in the nation with over 20 members. Responsibilities included testing and deployment of ArcGIS 9 environment, assisting with the development of GIS applications, coordinating editing and maintenance of numerous data layers, helping link GIS with CAD and hardcopy data, and coordinating user training and communication. Also, webmaster for REGIS and web support for all other GVMC websites.

Cartographer & GIS Manageent, Freelance
January 1998 to Present

Occasional cartographic freelancing on a wide variety of mapping, GIS, GPS, transportation planning, and other related projects. Some projects have included mapping for tourism, snowmobiling, and other recreational pursuits. I also assist with regional transportation planning data collection and document layout and design. A sampling of this work can be found in my online Portfolio.

Systems Engineer Development Program
February 1996 to January 2000
Electronic Data Systems, Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan

GIS Analyst, EDS Geographic Decision Services, Detroit, Michigan.
Worked with a wide variety of customers offering an array of products and services, including custom mapping, reports and analysis. Closely worked with General Motors’ dealer network development team, helping to pinpoint dealership locations and map out customer areas. Developed and worked with scripting programs to automate mapping processes. Assisted in employee training.

System Engineer, various EDS groups, Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan
Assisted with a wide variety of software and hardware problems and a large, non-technical user base. Trained in COBOL, UNIX script, and Java programming.

Research Mapping Assistant & Internship
May 1995 to December 1995
Central Michigan University, Department of Geography, Mount Pleasant, Michigan


Experience with Microsoft Windows, MacOS, UNIX, and various mobile computing platforms. I use a variety of software, including GIS, vector drawing applications, database software, word processing, and desktop publishing applications. Also, experience with web-based programming, coding in HTML and website management. The following is a listing of many of the programs and tools I use or have used regularly:

  • Geographic Information Systems:ArcGIS 10 (ArcMap), ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Online, ArcSDE, MapInfo 10.5, MapBasic, QuantumGIS, Avenza Maps, AccuGlobe, Google Earth, familiarity with RoadSoft, TransCAD, Microstation and others
  • Vector Graphics: Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia FreeHand MX, Adobe Fireworks, WiseImage
  • Desktop Publishing/Word Processing: Adobe InDesign, Adobe PageMaker, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Acrobat Professional, Fontographer
  • Database/Spreadsheet: SQL Server, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, BS&A Equalizer
  • Raster Imagery:Adobe Photoshop, IrfanView, OCR, large-format scanning and processing
  • Presentation:Microsoft PowerPoint, familiarity with Adobe Flash
  • Network/Internet: Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft FrontPage, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, TCP/IP, FTP, HTML, CSS, Java (some), JavaScript (some), Microsoft Outlook


  • NACIS: North American Cartographic Information Society
  • MiCAMP: Michigan Communities Association of Mapping Professionals
  • IMAGIN: Improving Michigan's Access to Geographic Information Networks


I have always enjoyed pursuing geographic, cartographic and transportation-related interests on a personal level, as well as professionally. I explore cartography, GIS, GPS, and transportation subjects beyond work. I am also interested in outdoors activities including camping, hiking and sightseeing, as well as reading and travel.

Additional career-related information, as well as electronic versions of this resume and a portfolio of a sample of my work is available online at


A variety of professional references are available upon request.


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This is a website created, authored and maintained by Christopher J. Bessert as a portal for information about him, his GIS, mapping, cartography, transportation-planning and webmastering projects, as well as a home for his resume, portfolio and a listing of many of the computer technologies and softeware he knows how to use.