First, we take a peek into our Methodology Cave. Kaisa V. is your go-to Methodology Specialist. She always welcomes questions and curiosity with a kind smile. She’s been at Positium for nearly five years, developing the methodology we use today and keeping it updated. It’s definitely a career that keeps the mind on its toes. “It’s an interesting challenge,” says Kaisa V. “I have to be up-to-date with all the background information about the region where we currently implement our MPD-based methodology or analyse data. It can start with all the geographical aspects of the region and end up with societal and cultural aspects that can influence human spatio-temporal behaviour and therefore MPD. This knowledge forms the basis for interpreting results and analysing if our chosen methods have been correctly implemented.”
Although her interests currently lie in understanding human behaviour, Kaisa V. got her start in environmental engineering: “I ended up switching my major to human geography. That is when I first got to know more about mobile positioning data and the ways it can be used to make informed decisions.” She describes that as one of the perks of her job - being able to contribute to helping decision-makers make informed decisions and tackle issues related to sustainable mobility.
The biggest perk, however, is MPD itself. “You will never find yourself bored with MPD because there is always something hidden that awaits to be discovered, explained or used. There are so many questions that can be answered by analysing MPD, so many methods to approach certain aspects of the data, so it keeps you constantly on your toes by making you learn new things, and I think that is what motivates me the most.”
Outside of the office, you can find Kaisa V. going on a wide variety of adventures, both in Estonia and abroad. Aside from year-round training in badminton, she recently took up diving, too! “I did quite a bit of underwater exploring last year and cannot wait for spring to start here in Estonia to continue with that,” she cannot hide her excitement, explaining that she finds “diving to be the most relaxing thing as it simply just keeps all the focus in the present moment.” Kaisa V. is also a passionate reader, often escaping into a book, be it a sci-fi novel or a non-fiction history book. “I usually never leave home without having a book with me in either paperback or audio form and I get most of my travel destinations from the books I read.”
Our other Kaisa - Kaisa L. - joined the team at the end of May 2019. She is an Information Designer, taking findings from MPD and turning them into grasping visual materials and enticing maps. “Most of my work is connected to project reports. I also work closely with the other members of the Sales and Marketing team, helping them make illustrations for our web, blog and other marketing and sales materials.” Like a big part of our team, Kaisa L. is also a geographer by education, splitting her time between work and her Master’s studies at the University of Tartu. She’s intrigued by urban planning and human geography, which are what brought her to Positium.
As an Information Designer, Kaisa L. often gets asked what her job entails. “I once went to see an occupational health specialist and she essentially thought my job was to draw flowers around numbers,” she laughs. In reality, Kaisa L. is a visual storyteller: “I think one of the most challenging and interesting aspects of my job is figuring out how to illustrate very abstract and complicated processes in a simple and understandable way.”
Although she splits her time between university and our office, Kaisa L. says Positium “feels like home” as it is closely linked to the university’s Department of Geography. “I really like the atmosphere here. People are really cool and usually relaxed, and they share similar world views. It’s great fun! Of course the field we operate in is very interesting in itself. I like how knowledge-intensive and science-related it is.” Like Kaisa V., Kaisa L. highlights the social impact working with MPD can have: “We strive to make the world a better place, and this is important to me.”
In her spare time, Kaisa L. likes to play board games with her friends. She is a creative person outside of work, too. Music has been her hobby since childhood - nowadays, her main outlet is choir singing. She is also a member of EGEA-Tartu, an association for geography students.