Coming from a background in applied conservation management, Tim Sutton became involved in the practice of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in 1998 when he joined and helped to set up the GIS division of for the Scientific Services group of the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board, South Africa. During this time he completed a Masters Degree in GIS and Conservation (cum laude). Realising that proprietary GIS was always going to have a limited penetration into third world and poorer economies, Tim started investigating and familiarising himself with FOSS GIS options early on in his GIS career. The FOSS GIS choices at that time were pretty much limited to GRASS and UMN Mapserver – both robust and well established projects, but neither particularly user friendly or aimed at desktop GIS users.
Tim joined the QGIS project in late 2002 (around 6 months after it started) while he was resident in the UK for 5 years. He continued with his involvement in the project during his 2 year stay in Brasil and his subsequent return to his homeland, South Africa. Tim has contributed to many areas of the code base and the creation of the QGIS community over the last 16+ years. In addition Tim has served on the QGIS Board (as Chair) and the QGIS Project Steering Committee (as an elected member). In September 2018 Tim was awarded Honorary membership for life on the QGIS Project Steering Committee in recognition of the contributions he has made to the QGIS project over its lifetime.
Tim has also made significant contributions to a number of other FOSS projects including openModeller (http://openmodeller.sf.net), osm-reporter (as primary author – http://osm.kartoza.com), and various other projects. In early 2012, Tim joined and became a major contributor to, and eventually project lead, on the InaSAFE (http://inasafe.org) project.
Tim has experience working internationally, both in the United Kingdom (2001-2006) where he worked as a research assistant at the University of Reading, and in Brazil (2006-2008) where he was awarded a FAPESP fellowship to work on the openModeller project. When Tim returned to South Africa in June 2008, he and his wife & business partner established their own business, Linfiniti Consulting which they operated from the small town of Swellendam – close to the very southern tip of Africa. They provided services to clients based around the FOSSGIS stack including QGIS, GeoDjango, OpenLayers, UMN Mapserver and various other FOSSGIS tools. Linfiniti had the privilege of providing services to a number of prestigious clients including the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), the South African Department of Land Affairs, the University of Oxford, AUSAID/AIFDR and numerous other clients. Under their curatorship, Linfiniti grew to a complement of 4 full time staff and 3 part time staff – all focussed on delivering excellent service to their clients.
In July 2014, Linfiniti Consulting cc joined forces with Afrispatial cc to form Kartoza (Pty) Ltd, where Tim now serves as a partner along with Gavin Fleming and Christian Christelis. Tim continues to focus on the technical aspects of the business, developing and designing the architecture for software solutions for clients around the world.