What's New

Unveiling the Power of Sunrise Engineering’s Exceptional GIS Team

In the dynamic world of engineering and geographic information systems (GIS), the team at Sunrise Engineering and Utah Testing shines as a beacon of excellence. With National GIS Day just around the corner on November 15th, it’s the perfect time to take a closer look at the history, capabilities, and outstanding achievements of the GIS department at Sunrise. In this article, we’ll delve into the Q&A with Dustyn Shaffer and Jarom Hlebasko to explore the remarkable journey and remarkable contributions of this dedicated team.

History of GIS at Sunrise Engineering

The GIS department at Sunrise Engineering has come a long way since its inception back in the 1990s. The department’s initial focus was on updating utility maps for clients, providing valuable hard-copy wall maps, and map books. These resources were periodically updated to ensure accuracy. The GIS journey at Sunrise started by addressing a significant need within the industry, aiding clients in maintaining their infrastructure data.

As technology evolved, Sunrise Engineering embraced the potential of ArcGIS Online. This revolutionary platform opened new doors for both Sunrise and their clients. Suddenly, GIS data became accessible on the go, and cities started recognizing the power of having infrastructure data available for field location and asset management. The integration of GIS into budget planning for municipalities and utility providers became the norm, prompting an industry-wide transformation.

Notably, Sunrise Engineering acquired an enterprise server, collaborating with ESRI to develop a platform for hosting GIS data. This initiative brought an opportunity for smaller clients to leverage GIS without the burden of software acquisition and management. Today, Sunrise hosts GIS data for nearly 100 clients, illustrating their dedication to democratizing GIS technology.

GIS Services

Sunrise Engineering’s GIS team offers an impressive array of services. These services cater to a wide spectrum of needs, including:

  • Utility Mapping
  • Cemetery Mapping & Management
  • Parcel Mapping
  • Lead & Copper Inventory Solutions
  • Community Development Services
  • Construction Administration Services
  • Construction LiveStream & Survey123
  • Field Collection
  • Gas Mapping
  • Transportation Mapping
  • Mosquito Abatement Management Services
  • ArcGIS Online Support

These services highlight the versatility and depth of Sunrise’s GIS expertise, ensuring that clients receive solutions tailored to their specific requirements.

The GIS Team

The Sunrise Engineering GIS team comprises 35 dedicated professionals scattered across multiple offices, including Cache Valley, Salt Lake City, Springville, Fillmore, Cedar City, St. George, Vernal, Las Vegas, Kingman, Mesa, and remote locations. Their extensive reach ensures that clients receive top-notch GIS services wherever they are.

The team’s structure thrives on individual-focused responsibilities, orchestrated by team leaders. These leaders manage tasks, workflows, and projects based on the workload. The success of the GIS department starts with each individual, with collaboration among team members amplifying their collective achievements.

The GIS team at Sunrise is not only innovative and hard-working but also deeply passionate about their work. Each member brings unique strengths to the table, enhancing the department’s ability to support development and optimize processes. The leadership at Sunrise Engineering couldn’t be prouder of this remarkable team.

Internal and External Collaboration

The GIS team at Sunrise Engineering thrives on collaboration both within the department and across various project and department boundaries. This synergy produces remarkable outcomes. Some notable instances of collaboration include:

  • Construction LiveStream development in collaboration with Greg Potter and Phoenix office staff
  • Lead & Copper Rule Revision solutions developed with engineering staff to help water systems meet EPA requirements
  • Transportation project development with Randy Smith
  • Community Development support for general planning
  • Building inspection surveys with Ryan Brown and Utah Testing
  • Company wellness program

These examples showcase how GIS professionals work closely with colleagues from various disciplines to create holistic solutions. Sunrise Engineering’s GIS experts extend their influence beyond the organization to collaborate with external partners and clients. Some notable partnerships include:

  • State of Utah contract to provide inventory solutions for LCRR
  • WSP partnership for the state of Colorado LCRR

These collaborations help extend Sunrise’s GIS footprint, benefiting a wider audience with their expertise, ensuring the pinnacle of accuracy and reliability!

For GIS professionals, accuracy is paramount. GIS data serves as the foundation of location-based decisions, and the Sunrise team employs mapping and survey-grade GPS equipment for precise data collection in the field. This information serves as a solid base for Sunrise’s GIS solutions, ensuring that clients receive reliable and secure data through platforms like Sunrise Cloud SMART GIS® and ArcGIS Online.

Major Clients

Sunrise Engineering’s GIS services have garnered recognition from significant clients, including Southwest Gas Nevada and Central Arizona, the State of Utah, Duchesne County, Juab County, and many more. The GIS department hosts data for almost 100 entities, demonstrating their impact across multiple industries.

Celebrating GIS Day and Building a Strong Team Spirit

In celebration of GIS Day on November 15th, the Sunrise GIS team makes a concerted effort to involve everyone, no matter where they are located. They organize events that transcend the confines of the GIS department, encouraging camaraderie and collaboration with other teams. Activities like pie sharing, distributing globe-shaped squishy balls, and even themed competitions create a vibrant atmosphere that promotes unity and team spirit.

The Future of GIS and Sunrise Engineering

The GIS specialization is poised for a promising future, serving as both the starting and ending point for a majority of projects at Sunrise Engineering. Automation and scripting are becoming increasingly crucial, enabling the team to tackle repetitive tasks efficiently and explore new avenues. As we look to the future, the GIS team at Sunrise Engineering and Utah Testing is poised for further growth, innovation, and industry leadership.


In conclusion, the GIS team at Sunrise Engineering is a powerhouse of expertise, dedication, and innovation. Their remarkable journey from the 1990s to the present, extensive service offerings, distributed team, collaborative spirit, and passion for excellence make them a driving force in the GIS industry. As we celebrate National GIS Day, we applaud the entire team for their unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding GIS solutions to clients and partners alike.