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  • Writer's pictureJeff Lamb

The Power of Storytelling with Julie Spangler

Updated: Jan 20

In this Pathfinder episode, we speak with Julie Spangler about her journey in the Geospatial Industry. Julie is a Director of Client Services and for more than 20 years she has been bringing people together through the power of data driven story telling. Julie joins us from her office in Frederick, Maryland and shares with us her passion for working with people and her desire to create a positive, engaging and empathetic team culture. She loves the challenge of helping others outside of GIS solve complex, real world business problems using maps.

Jump to a section:

Quick Clip | What is GIS? | Education | Passion | Action | Tenacity | Humility | Contact


As Julie has traveled along this career path, she has learned a few lessons that she shares with our Pathfinder community.

1) It is OK to take time in the early part of your career to understand what you want and what you don't want. Don't worry about switching gears. You always want to have a plan but one of the aspects of the plan has to be abandoning the plan and take advantage of whatever alternate paths are presented to you. 2) When confronted with difficult people, take time to listen and try and put yourself in the other persons seat. Don't be afraid to ask questions and try to understand how they arrived at the position they are in. Be transparent in your responses and share openly to bring people together. 3) Your attitude frames not only how you come across as a person but also frames the story you are telling at the time. Your attitude colors what you are saying to your audience. Choose your attitude because other people feel it.


Passion - Julie has the unique opportunity to meet people from many industries and areas of life and she loves the safe space that a good data informed and map based story brings to the conversation.

Action - She recognizes that every map holds a story with lessons learned. She enjoys sharing those stories of success, in customer calls or at conferences, because there is always someone out there who can learn and benefit from them.

Tenacity - There was a time early in her career when she thought only GIS people wanted to hear her story. She learned quickly that the GIS people are the easy ones to convince and the real power comes when you're able to share that same story with someone outside of GIS and the real joy comes when they use the story to inspire others.

Humility - Julie knows that the work is always about people. Over the years she has learned to play to her own strengths and that you don't have to be good at everything. There is more to gain through sharing and collaboration then keeping secrets and even more to gain through sharing stories.


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