Eadie started applying for jobs all over the world, and in 1989 won a lottery US immigration “green card” arriving into Boston the week before Thanksgiving. “I would sneak into to the libraries of Harvard or MIT and print out resumes and then mail them all over the country using the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) as a guide to the business I would be interested in working for.” By February he had landed four job offers, ending up in Analytical Surveys in Colorado Springs. “I worked for a company that was on the forefront of technology and one of the first aerial mapping companies to go from paper to digital.” But the kid in Eadie that dreamt about going off to explore places on the map reappeared after a few years, so he quit his job and took off. “I had been working the night shift some, and you know, right out of college you can think you’re a bit entitled. I had a master’s degree… whatever,” Eadie laughs. “I thought the production work was beneath me, so I took off and went to Mexico and Guatemala for three months just traveling around with a couple friends.
In fact, they drove all the way from Colorado in a very old Ford F150 pickup truck that broke down about every 100 miles. “It was quite an adventure. Staying at farmers' houses who would help us repair the truck and get back on the road. At one point, my two friends were overcome by altitude sickness, so I decided to go by myself up Mexico’s highest mountain, Orizaba, only to get lost on the way down – there were no maps! I foolishly nearly killed myself. I ended up sliding down the side of a huge ice field and tumbled off a cliff, luckily landing without breaking body parts. I spent the night in the freezing rain, and then hobbled back over 20 miles to basecamp at daybreak – the others were glad to see me still alive, and we continued our journey southward into the jungles of Chiapas.”
All good roads stories eventually come to an end – Eadie didn’t run into more trouble, but merely ran out of money. He headed back to the U.S. where his adventures took a different tack that moved him back and forth across the country to take on jobs in an industry that was transforming rapidly. Eadie worked for EOSAT which managed the Landsat program on the East Coast. Once the government made that data free, and he was laid off, Eadie once again looked West toward Colorado. He landed at EagleScan, a pioneering LiDAR mapping company that flew projects all over the U.S. From there, Eadie joined MapMart in 2008. MapMart was acquired by Harris Corp. in 2015 and today is part of L3Harris Geospatial. Eadie has now been with the company in some form or another for more than 15 years.
Eadie’s professional and personal narratives converge with the perspective he’s acquired, not only of the past, but of thinking about the future. “My philosophy has always been to be very direct and honest with our customers. That high level of integrity will stand to your benefit in the long run because the customer that you worked to build that relationship will be a customer for life,” says Eadie.
Because I've been in the industry a long time, I can make things less complex and scary for somebody new to mapping. I try to guide them to a solution that will be within their budget and meet their expectations,” explains Eadie. “I don’t ever want to fool anybody with unrealistic expectations, so I set the expectations early so that there's no surprises down the road.