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Archive for the ‘Staying Current’ Category

Passion of the GIS

Ask yourself: do you love GIS? Now ask: why do you love GIS? Why did you choose to study it in school? If you didn’t study GIS in school, why are you interested in it now? Would you incorporate GIS into your career or into your life even if it wasn’t your primary concern or even if you weren’t being paid to deal with it?

These questions should answer where your passion lies. I’ve seen too many people studying GIS or looking for a job involving GIS who simply have a look of apathy or hopelessness in their eyes. If you happen to receive a job interview, an interviewer will notice this. People can usually tell whether you’re excited about an opportunity or not. And I don’t mean “excited” because you’re desperate for a job but excited because you love what you do and you want them to know how much you love it. You should love talking about it. You should get giddy mentioning it…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!

What Happened to the GIS Analyst?

 

New data capture devices. New data sources. New media. New types of distribution. All of these have a foundation in the realm of GIS development and technology and will not go away anytime soon. There will always be something new around the corner that’ll require some sort of technical/computer programming know-how in relation to GIS.

However, what happened to the GIS analyst? Plenty of developers can create a mobile device application that collects geo-locations of people who bought coffee this morning and then display their locations on a map. So what? What good is that data? Will it improve society and tell us more about ourselves? Where is the analysis? Do not misunderstand. These new Web 2.0/NeoGeo data collection and display applications are awesome. They’ve driven the GIS industry to new and interesting places. But how can we have all these great new data and applications and no new analysts?

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!

Neogeographer: Become One…Or Don’t…

As you search around for jobs related to GIS, you may run across the terms “Neogeographer,” “Neogeography,” or “Neogeo.”  Don’t be afraid of these terms. They grew out of the need to describe how people acquire knowledge or how they do their jobs relating to new ways of collecting, distributing, and viewing spatial data.

For those of you wondering what these terms mean or even if they apply to you, the best place to start is by first defining “Neogeography.” The definition is debatable, but in general Neogeography is associated with geospatial technology that developed outside of the classic GIS realms of institutional Geography departments and proprietary software applications. In other words, those with location-based data, time on their hands, and a knack for innovation set out to create something that would be interesting, fun, and accessible to many through the Internet or mobile devices. Google Earth, OpenStreetMap, Foursquare, Layar, could all be considered products of Neogeography. O’Reilly Media actually published an entire textbook in 2006 named Introduction to Neogeography, if you are interested in more details.

So is it good to be a neogeographer?…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!

Free GIS E-Newsletters, Don’t Miss an Opportunity!

There are many FREE GIS-related newsletters and/or e-magazines out there that you can feed to your email account or Google homepage through an RSS feed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Many of these newsletters contain not only GIS industry information but also GIS job information.

It can get a bit annoying having all these feeds crowding your inbox along with information flowing in from GIS blogs, Twitter accounts, and Facebook posts. However, here are the facts: if you aren’t reading these, someone else is. And guess what? They are your competition! If you really want to land that great job opportunity, you’ll need to spend 30 to 60 minutes per day doing research. The early bird does not get the worm anymore. The bird who gets the worm is the one who never went to sleep in the first place.

Subscribe to the following major email GIS newsletters/e-magazines. All for free…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!

Which Database Platform is Best to Know for GIS?

Databases are the backbone of any GIS system. They are the “I” in GIS. This means that a knowledge of databases (particularly the software used to manage them) should be somewhere in your repertoire. And by “knowledge,” I mean learn the basics of a database system. How to access a table. How to make a query. How to log in. These are all considered basic skills. When you finally get that GIS job you want, you’ll likely either need to link map files on your desktop or from the Internet to records stored in a database. Or you’ll need to store all of your data records, including map files, in a database management system. Of course, knowing how to operate one database platform doesn’t mean you’re automatically familiar with all of them. Regardless, knowing even one DBMS gives you two advantages: 1) It shows an employer that you’re familiar with the concepts of a DBMS.  2) It shows an employer you can learn how to work with different database platforms.

I’ll bet you’re wondering this: “Which database system should I become familiar with?” A more important question to ask is this: “Which database system CAN I become familiar with?”…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!

Watch the GIS blogs!

Staying ahead of the curve is necessary when trying to attain a job in GIS. Better yet, knowing what’s possible is often even more necessary when trying to attain a job in GIS. Your experience and educational background in GIS may relegate you to very narrow exposure of what can or should be done with GIS. You may not be aware how to best apply your skills or in what directions you can travel with the knowledge that you’ve attained. Teachers and professors may be presenting you information that is crucial to your education but doesn’t expand your horizons or allow you to push the envelope.  What can enlighten you? Blogs.

A couple of different websites have made various lists over the years of the best GIS blogs to check out on a regular basis. Most of them are GIS blog sites themselves…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!

Social media and GIS

Joining various social media networks can help you in many ways when it comes to staying relevant in the world of GIS and/or searching for jobs. Better yet, all you have to do in many cases is sign up for an account.

LinkedIn is the professional networking site of choice. LinkedIn lets you build a profile showcasing your experience and lets you connect with other professionals in your field. Once you create an account on LinkedIn, subscribe to as many groups as possible. Within the LinkedIn website, just go to Groups and search GIS. The whole list will appear before you. Don’t be overwhelmed. Some groups have much more active discussions than others, so try to stick to the ones that have regular chatter. Also, there would be no need to join the [insert home city, state, province] GIS Professionals Group if you don’t live there. But if a move is in your future, then definitely get cracking on making some new contacts with local/regional GIS groups. You are limited to 50 groups so stick to ones that will actually be useful in terms of networking or locating a potential position.

Within most of these groups, you can become part of various discussions and receive interesting news about what other users may be doing. Or better yet, you’ll get information on who has jobs available. Don’t be afraid to start discussions with some interesting questions. There are a lot of group members out there monitoring the discussions, and the right topic may get them talking about a subject that is near and dear to you.

Twitter is another network that is extremely useful…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!

Congregate with your own kind

A good way to find a job in the GIS industry is to stay on top of what new innovations may be out there – software, technology, or analysis methods. Attending conferences and meetings will give you exposure to new things and possibly give you new creative ideas on how you can apply your talents. These events are crucial for networking as well. Getting a chance to talk with other GIS professionals face to face is extremely valuable.

So which conferences should you attend?…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!