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Kai Funahashi joins SSMMA’s GIS team

Please join SSMMA in welcoming Kai Funahashi as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst team member. Kai has prior experience as a Traffic Intelligence Officer at the Illinois State Police (ISP) Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center in Springfield. There, he collaborated with ISP and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to disseminate traffic crash patterns and trends to ISP district commanders using Esri’s online platforms. In addition, Kai fulfilled mapping requests; composed python scripts to automate routine tasks to update data in enterprise geodatabases; collaborated with safety liaisons and experts; composed monthly traffic newsletters and more.

Prior to that, Kai was a geovisual mapping laboratory employee at Northern Illinois University where he updated county-wide data GIS data; updated building footprints using aerial photography; assisted in data capturing; and more. Kai also served as a GIS intern for the City of DeKalb where he created professional-quality maps; assisted in gathering and presenting databases that can help with the city’s decision making; created and updated GIS and datasets; published map services for DeKalb’s GIS data webpage and more. He also likes teaching and has worked as a teaching assistant and a tutor while in school.

Kai is bilingual in English and Japanese. He has a master’s degree in geography and a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. He resides in the Hyde Park community of Chicago, and in his spare time, composes songs and plays the piano and saxophone. He can be reached at or 708-922-4600.

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