A Passion for Patterns


Jenni Ellsworth has a passion for patterns. This passion permeates everything she does and is the foundation of her unique insights into the field of GIS. Even in her free time, her paintings and mixed media projects don’t take shape until she starts to see a pattern.

 “My passion is finding the best way to take all the data and numbers related to a problem and make something visible that can be shared easily and is readily understandable. Patterns are everywhere, and it’s by looking at the problem with that in mind that I’m able to create these visible representations to solve problems.” – Jenni Ellsworth

Jenni’s picture belongs in the dictionary next to “larger than life” because of her bubbly personality and the enthusiasm she injects into every project she tackles. She can’t help but spread her love of GIS to her community. Jenni recently assisted community organizers in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, to create a map of the newly established disc golf course. She also taught GIS classes at John Tyler Community College in Richmond, Virginia, for nearly four years.

Virginia Statewide Land Use/Land Cover Project

Jenni was an integral part of the GeoDecisions (formerly WorldView Solutions) team that worked on the Virginia statewide land cover project, an essential component of the current Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model update. The team’s final 1-meter resolution land cover dataset for all counties within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed is now freely available for use.

Creating this dataset required Jenni to use her skills in identifying land cover patterns to develop the common methodology used by the various partners involved, including the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR), Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN), and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Next Generation 911

Once again Jenni demonstrates her strong leadership skills – leading the charge to develop the core methodology for and coordinating all the Next Generation 911 preparedness projects for local public safety groups. Identifying the necessary 911 data sources to compile the required local data layers is only the first step. More important are the efforts to increase the precision and consistency of all the GIS data through several data analysis and improvement workflows explicitly developed to compare the roads and addresses across these data sources for completeness and accuracy.

Jenni’s dedication to ensuring the continued sustainability of data integrity sets her apart. The initial cleanup efforts will go to waste if the data are not maintained accurately moving forward. She worked with the team to implement multiple automated data maintenance tools and produces detailed manuals that describe the processes and procedures for each client to reference as they make future 911 data updates.

What’s Next?

Jenni is excited about the potential of using ArcGIS Urban to improve public feedback. ArcGIS Urban provides a 3D city landscape which you can overlay with data such as suitability analyses to show where project plans are happening. You can include links in the model to collect public input.

She is also exploring the next generation of open data portal sharing, such as Esri’s ArcGIS Hub – a new open data portal. She has been learning its capabilities to create initiatives to crowdsource web apps as well as develop dashboards and surveys. Users can see the overall project progress and provide their input, making it an excellent tool for decision making and keeping the public engaged.

Jenni Ellsworth is a GeoDecisions GeoInnovator, continually searching for opportunities to find patterns, harness new technologies and find solutions for our customers.


GeoInnovator is a new blog feature where you will find our amazing staff highlighted throughout the year. Everyone is important, but the staff in this spotlight exhibit a contagious enthusiasm for producing innovative geospatial solutions. They are GeoInnovators, and we want you to get to know them.