[Geowanking] Urban Mapping seeking Data Wrangler

Ian White ian at urbanmapping.com
Thu Sep 10 08:13:40 PDT 2009

It's a function of the job market--some candidates will find such tests arrogant and dismiss those employers out of hand while others find them attractive ("oh, this company 'gets' it") . All employers want to identify and cultivate talent that likes a challenge. Also, nobody wants to waste time on a bad employee/employer match. I've heard some ad agencies make candidates develop an entire campaign in preparation for a job interview, something that clearly takes a significant of time.

Ian White :: Urban Mapping Inc
690 Fifth Street Suite 200 :: San Francisco CA 94107
T.415.946.8170 :: F.866.385.8266 :: urbanmapping.com/blog

From: geowanking-bounces at geowanking.org <geowanking-bounces at geowanking.org>
To: geowanking at geowanking.org <geowanking at geowanking.org>
Sent: Thu Sep 10 09:46:35 2009
Subject: Re: [Geowanking] Urban Mapping seeking Data Wrangler
Reminds me of a job I applied for at a cabinet shop quite a few years ago. They made me go to the back and measure pieces of wood. It was a good thing my dad taught me how to use a tape measure. (I didn’t get the job at the cabinet shop. It was a good thing Safeway was hiring at the same time.)

I wonder if this type of practical testing is more common now that the job market is in the employer’s favor. It makes me glad I still have a job. :]

Office Phone Number: (209) 946-0268
Cell Phone Number: (209) 992-0658

From: geowanking-bounces at geowanking.org [mailto:geowanking-bounces at geowanking.org] On Behalf Of Ian White
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 6:27 PM
To: geowanking at geowanking.org
Subject: [Geowanking] Urban Mapping seeking Data Wrangler

Apologies for the crass commercial intent behind this note, but the only place worth fishing is where the fish are…

Despite challenging economic times, we’re on the hunt for somebody new. If this sounds like you, please consider yourself a candidate! Urban Mapping is looking for a recent CS/EECS/CogSci/SymSys graduate with 1-2 years professional experience, solid academic background and experience working with large-scale datasets, databases, geodata and maps. You understand good software design, can build robust tools and know how get things done with magic on the UNIX command line or scripts. You are confident in your skills and potential, know when to RTFM, and aren’t afraid to ask questions.

Urban Mapping is an established startup (read: we have paying customers) in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood.  Our innovative work with geospatial data and technology is always presenting new challenges. Currently, we need help to create and manage a massive datastore of geo- and related data.  You will work in engineering as the de facto Data Wrangler but enjoy the entrepreneurial challenge and will find many areas to shine and learn.

Essential knowledge:
- Linux, shell scripting
- Intermediate to advanced SQL
- Very confident in one of: Python, Ruby, C, Perl, Java
- Exposure to GIS and geospatial tools
- Attention to detail

The ideal candidate will:
- Have FOSSG experience: PostgreSQL/PostGIS, GeoDjango, OSM
- Know rendering and tiling tools (TileCache, Mapnik)
- Understand cartography, projections, etc.
- Server-side web development experience
- Python/Django guru
- WhereCamper!

If this sounds of interest, please visit our blog to learn a bit more about us: urbanmapping.com/blog. This is a full time position with salary, health insurance, other benefits (Fri lunch on the company, occasional outings/retreats) and equity compensation. To apply, send your solutions the following two problems, resume and a cover letter to talent at urbanmapping.com<mailto:talent at urbanmapping.com>.  Credit given for effort, and incomplete submissions will be ignored.

Problem #1 – Show code to extract a list of unique IPs/apikey pairs from a log with following format:

napi.urbanmapping.com - - [09/Sep/2009:10:43:11 -0700] "GET /neighborhoods/rest/getNeighborhoodsByLatLng?lat=43.6366595&lng=-79.4250212&format=xml&apikey=8k3pent5qzztwn HTTP/1.0" 200 1105 "-" "Drupal (+http://drupal.org/)" "Basic" getNeighborhoodsByLatLng 1

tapi.urbanmapping.com - - [09/Sep/2009:10:44:44 -0700] "GET /find/stations/near_point.json?lat=40.756945&lng=-73.978243&searchrange=1000&transit_system_id=&apikey=a2de289b1a93a8541f998 HTTP/1.0" 200 2434 "-" "Pingdom.com_bot_version_1.4_(http://www.pingdom.com/)" "Proximity" prox_stations_near_point 1

Problem #2 – You have a dataset of geographic boundaries (Census Blocks) which aggregate demographic statistics.  You want to estimate the same statistics for an arbitrary polygonal region.  Describe a process for calculating these stats and discuss any problems with your solution.

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