SOftware Engineer - Geospatial
Location: Philadelphia, PA


Azavea is a Philadelphia-based civic technology firm that uses geospatial data to build software and data analytics for the web. They are looking to grow their Geospatial Insights team that develops custom web and mobile software for public health, climate change, law enforcement, elections and civic applications as well as the HunchLab, open source DistrictBuilder and  Cicero products.

They are looking for a software engineer that is passionate about building applications that will have a positive impact – someone interested in public service, but not necessarily in working for a government or a non-profit organization. Someone who thrives on working in a variety of technology environments, and wants to build visually slick applications that have well-engineered architectures and provide a responsive user experience.

Azavea is a B Corporation committed to working on projects that have social and civic impact and advancing the state-of-the-art through research. Customers are local governments, non-profit organizations and academic or federal research projects. They build custom apps; perform geospatial analysis; manage several open source civic software projects (DistrictBuilder,OpenTreeMap, and others); and develop an open source, high performance computing framework, GeoTrellis, that enables them to build fast analytical applications by distributing the geospatial data processing. Developers work across the technology stack from database and application servers to modern, browser-based front-ends.

Azavea has five software teams, all of which develop web software for processing and visualizing geospatial data. The teams differ in terms of the specific projects they develop and whether they are primarily product teams or professional services teams. The Geospatial Insights team works on a couple of custom software projects, but its current primary focus is on developing three leading edge SaaS products: HunchLab, a web application for forecasting of geographic crime risk; Raster Foundry, a toolkit for processing aerial and satellite imagery at scale; and ModelLab, a spatial data processing framework.  HunchLab is sold as a SaaS product to law enforcement agencies and applies a mix of clever software, statistics, machine learning and AWS clusters to create a powerful analysis tool that is being used to improve public safety in communities around the world.  The other two products are just beginning development and are funded by research grants from the US Department of Energy and NASA, respectively. The Geospatial Insights team is particularly strong with JavaScript, Python, R, Scala, Spark, PostgreSQL, and architecting solutions for the AWS platform.

With the new research grants, Azavea is looking to grow the team.

What You’ll Do:

  • Implement application code, APIs and web or mobile clients based on wireframes and designs developed by UI/UX Design teams.
  • Engage in multidisciplinary work that applies an agile process (scrum board, daily stand-ups and two-week iterations) to database design, architecture, development, testing and deployment.
  • Optimize database, server and client performance to create applications with both functional and responsive user experiences.
  • Build, provision, and deploy servers in a repeatable way to a cloud environment.
  • Contribute to both a growing company and to the open source communities that support their work.

You should:

  • Know how to build and support scalable web applications in Python/Django or another MVC framework (C#/.Net, Ruby/Rails, JS/AngularJS, Java/JVM/Spring, Scala/Play). They do a lot of work in Python/Django, JavaScript, and Scala and dabble in others depending on client and project requirements.
  • Demonstrate fluency in core web technologies (HTML/CSS/JS) and contemporary Javascript libraries like jQuery, React, or AngularJS.
  • Express solid understanding of MVC architecture, RESTful design patterns, and the DRY principle.
  • Be comfortable managing VMs and working in a Linux environment.
  • Be interested in working with a small, collaborative team on meaningful projects.
  • Get excited about a diversity of both projects and technologies.

You get extra points for:

  • Background in math and statistics or experience with R.
  • Experience with open source or commercial geospatial toolkits like OpenLayers, Leaflet, GeoServer, PostGIS, CartoDB, ArcGIS, and GoogleMaps.
  • Experience with mobile apps (Objective C, Android or responsive HTML).
  • Experience scaling apps within AWS.
  • Experience provisioning servers with Ansible.
  • Knowledge of distributed data processing frameworks, like Hadoop, Amazon MR, etc.
  • Demonstrating your open source or other community service contributions.

Office and Benefits

The Philadelphia office is located in a brightly lit office on the 4th floor of a converted factory building in the Callowhill neighborhood, a short walk from Center City, the Reading Terminal Market and SEPTA subway and regional rail stations. For bicyclists, they have in-house bike parking, a shower and lockers. It’s an open office plan with several smaller rooms for team meetings, private space and concentration time. You get a top-end Linux workstation, Mac or Windows laptop with a pile of memory for VMs and extra monitors. They have flex-time to deal with personal stuff, and most employees work a 40 – 45 hour week on a regular schedule. After the first six months, developers can also spend up to 10% of their time on a geospatial open source, professional development, or R&D project.

They offer a salary commensurate with skills and experience and a benefits package that includes:

  • Fully subsidized health care, dental, prescription plan, including for spouse/partner and children
  • Medical reimbursement plan to cover what the health insurance does not
  • Retirement plan with matching percentage
  • Almost 4 weeks paid vacation plus sick/personal time off
  • Family and medical leave
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Paid maternity and paternity leave
  • Paid time off for voting and volunteering
  • Education assistance plan
  • Student loan assistance
  • Public transit and biking reimbursement plans
  • Monthly lunches on the house
  • 10% time for Research or Training Projects
  • Profit-sharing bonus plan
  • Financial transparency through an open book policy
  • Kind, capable and thoughtful colleagues

Azavea welcomes qualified candidates from all walks of life and value diversity in our company, and prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, military service, disability unrelated to job requirements, marital status, or domestic partner status.


Email Dave