Roger Schulz


Big Rock Goes West: Esri User Conference ’19

San Diego, CA | July 8-12th, 2019 | San Diego Convention Center

Big Rock is excited to have Senior Data Manager Roger Schulz on the ground in San Diego, as he joins 19,000 GIS professionals from around the world at this year’s Esri User Conference. The 2019 conference will be a tremendous learning opportunity with over 1,000 sessions and 770 hours of training, not to mention invaluable networking with professionals from numerous growing industries. Despite a packed itinerary of sessions to attend, Roger will also be contributing to the Mining Track with a technical talk this Wednesday drawn directly from his experience implementing modern digital tools at Big Rock. 

Roger has successfully led the development and implementation of new digital tools from the Esri platform that have helped revolutionize the quality, quantity, efficacy, and efficiency of Big Rock’s data-driven deliverables for their field geology & grassroots exploration programs.

If you’re attending this year’s conference make sure to stop in for Roger’s talk, ‘Modern Field Mapping Techniques Using ArcGIS and Survey123.’ If you’re not able to see the talk live, Roger will be sharing his key takeaways from conference and a recap of the talk here on the Big Rock blog in the coming days. 

Big Rock Insights: A Look At Modern Field Mapping

Integrating Esri’s Digital Tools To Drive Discovery

One of Big Rock’s core competencies in mineral exploration has always been our field mapping capabilities. An effective exploration program is really only as good as the data collected. To a geologist at an outcrop, this means blanketing the area with observational data; collecting notes, sketches, photos, maps, and measurements. A geologist must also collect extensive sample data from rocks, soils, water, and foliage. With exhaustive collection complete, the path for a mineral discovery has been laid out but the mountain has only just begun to be climbed.

In order to continue on the path to success, the data must be effectively managed, processed, analyzed, and interpreted to tell a coherent and compelling story. The nuanced ability to blend art and science in a way that illuminates the unknown is central to the geologist’s mission. Therefore, as individual scientists and as a company we’ve continuously looked for ways to innovate and improve this unique ability to bring data to life. While the traditional toolkit of the explorer will always remain foundational, new technology is offering an extremely valuable and complimentary set of modern tools.

Remaining at the forefront of scientific investigation means that producing the highest quality data is paramount, and this is where digital tools begin to flex their muscles. Data that is accurate, precise, and error-free ensures all of the insights from laborious field work can be assembled into a definitive, high-resolution picture. By utilizing Esri’s ArcGIS and Survey123 applications, the Big Rock technical team is more efficient and efficacious while field mapping, which reduces operational and opportunity costs across the board. With these gains in time and productivity, the team can dedicate their focus to the most high-value steps in their process.


The primary objective of Big Rock’s digital leap in exploration has been to develop a superior deliverable that enables our client’s sounds strategy, informed decision-making, and sustainable business growth. The capabilities of an integrated data platform allows us to provide an interactive, customizable, and relevant deliverable in real-time. Ultimately, this key innovation is more valuable, more cost-effective, and a huge step forward towards increasing the probability of a mineral discovery.

As we look to the future with all of the potential and promise of advanced technologies, like the ‘intelligent nervous system’ of GIS (this year’s conference theme), the necessity and criticality of minerals becomes unequivocal. Minerals are the key to a sustainable and prosperous future on Earth and beyond, therefore the data science of exploration must continue pushing us closer to the next big discovery. 



“Minerals are the key to a cleaner future, advanced tech, modern convenience and the power behind the products that run our intelligent nervous system and the GIS community.”

Roger Schulz, Senior Data Manager