Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve been running a lot recently, and when I run, I think. Here are a few things that have been bouncing around my brain while dodging traffic.
- Is it just me, or is every “viral” map that hits the internet lately powered by either CartoDB or Mapbox? It’s pretty impressive to see these two companies gain traction and grow, especially in the non-traditional geo-crowd. If anyone one sees a “viral” map from Esri, that wasn’t made by Esri, let me know.
- Recently at work I’ve been building a custom interpolation algorithm to analyze some model output. The out-of-the-box tools in the standard GIS suites usually aren’t flexible or fast enough for my work, so I have been using scipy and numpy to code some stuff up. I hadn’t used the spatial component in scipy until this project. Scipy spatial, in combination with numpy, has been a powerful alternative for coding the analysis. If you haven’t, you should check it out. Since I am working in a modeled spatial environment (sparse and standard grids), I’ve been using Jupyter Notebook for an IDE and matplotlib for on-the-fly visualization, both of which are awesome.
- I am excited that Boston has been chosen as the host city of FOSS4G 2017! I haven’t been to a FOSS4G conference yet, but I am 100% going to FOSS4G in 2017. Big thumbs up to Avid Geo, the folks at AppGeo, and others in the Boston geo-sphere who put the proposal together. FOSS4G is the future of geo and GIS. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it.
- Rant time – We, as an industry, need to get colleges and universities to stop providing (or drastically improve) GIS certificate programs (also, we need to end “technical certifications”, but that’s a whole other rant). For the most part, many don’t do enough to really help someone trying to become a geo-professional or improve their skills if they are already working in the field. In many cases, I believe they can railroad students into a skillset that is really only viable in the very narrow role of a GIS technician. Those departments that teach GIS and geospatial analysis should work more on developing and integrating cross discipline geospatial curricula that provides technological depth, solid analysis skills and strong problem solving skills. All too often I have seen the “Open ArcMap, push some buttons, use some shapefiles, and make a crappy map project route” approach to fulfill requirements. This is a horrible disservice to students, many of whom are competing for jobs that are becoming increasingly tougher and tougher to land. Geospatial higher education has to be better. Colleges and universities don’t need to be career training centers, but they should teach the skills necessary to for their students to be able to compete in today’s environment.
That’s it for now! Have a good holiday season.