I'm Eric Gaba, aka Sting on Wikipedia, French born in 1966 and live in Brazil. I'm helicopter pilot and photographer.
I joined Wikipedia in November 2004 with my passion for Greek Antique history and in 2005 the Graphic Lab on WP-fr. With the lack of schemes or maps in the project to illustrate articles, I started to learn about Inkscape and create my own pictures. Still not satisfied with my maps due to the difficulty of finding sources of good quality, I heard about Digital Elevation Models provided for free by the NASA or other US government agencies in early 2007. This was really the starting point for me creating good quality maps for the project.
As pilot, I like very much see a map with the representation of the relief as it explains many things : the location of settlements, borders, movement of armies, etc. And the DEMs provided almost all I needed so I got more and more specialized in that area. Gaining experience with the software, I started to extract elevation layers and vectorize them in order to create topographic maps and wrote tutorials to help other contributors to draw maps of different types using DEMs.