Welcome to the future, 2016. It’s nice to meet you.
2015 was a great year. I did a lot of cool stuff, and almost all of it wasn’t geo-related. Seriously, like 95% of the things I did this year had nothing to do with geo or GIS. That’s all fine and good, but I really love geo. I went to school for a long time to just kinda give up on it in the past year.
During the last few days of 2015 I made a list of things I want to do in 2016. The list is fairly short. I want to start to learn Mandarin Chinese, become a better runner, read more, remember my passwords to stuff, and get better at what I do. Geo is “what I do” and I really want to get better at it in 2016.
I know the path to meeting a couple of my 2016 goals, but how do I get better at geo? I’ve been working in geo for almost 10 years. I have a job that allows me to challenge myself on a regular basis, and do a lot of geo work.
In this case, I think the path to getting better is by doing more. Practice makes perfect. In 2016 I will strive to create more maps, tools, algorithms, datasets or anything else. This, I hope, will force me to learn new skills, hone my existing skills, and inspire me to try new things and test new ideas. I won’t just leave ideas written down on a post-it note on my desk.
I will make some maps from those ideas I have written down, post tools and code I create to my deserted github account, write more technical and research/analysis GISDoctor.com posts (even if they aren’t any good), contribute to my local geo-community, and make a real effort to add to OSM more than I have in the past.
By doing more, I think I can keep challenging myself to expand but also refine and tighten my geo-skills. More importantly, I will keep myself motivated and interested in geo! I’ve definitely already put the first 10,000 hours in. Maybe the next 10,000 will really define who I am as a professional geographer and member of the geo-community.
Here’s to what is hopefully the most productive and inspiring geo-year of my life!
In 2017 I will stop over using the prefix Geo.