Steve Kwiatkowski ’07 didn’t don a helmet or run on the field during the Super Bowl game, yet he was an important part of the team responsible for making football’s grand finale a success the past two years.
A geography alumnus, Kwiatkowski is a geospatial analyst who helped map out the logistics for the 2011 Super Bowl in Arlington, Texas, as well as the 2012 game in Indianapolis.
Kwiatkowski works for Esri, which is the country’s premier provider of geographic information systems (GIS). Headquartered in California, Esri works globally to protect the environment and assist with disaster response by analyzing and managing geographic information.
Kwiatkowski has been involved in GIS assessments of catastrophes. He worked with the U.S. response to the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011, as well as Hurricane Irene that same year.
His work for the Super Bowl games was done to avert a different type of crisis, as the host cities needed significant help with crowd control, traffic flow, and security issues for the entire community. As Kwiatkowski told a class of geography students during a spring semester campus visit, the effort involved creating nearly 200 maps that required constant updating.
The work began months in advance of the game with a determination of what kind of maps were needed. The location and scope of the event dictate what data must be considered. For the Super Bowl, Kwiatkowski looked far beyond the venue itself to a radius of 60 miles around the stadium. This broad view was needed to examine HAZMAT routes, pipelines, emergency services, and law enforcement locations. Including such a range meant working with multiple jurisdictions, which resulted in the need to share and compare information.
Kwiatkowski’s current work is in the hands of even more top-level officials, as he has moved from mapping the Super Bowl to handling national security issues for Esri. He now prepares maps for the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marine Corps.