We posed the What Is GIS challenge and some of you responded. Thanks to everyone who participated and also to anyone who took a few minutes to ponder what a GIS elevator pitch might sound like. One thing I’ve learned in life: words matter. Communicate effectively and you have a good chance of winning the contract, job, or customer. If you speak a language that’s foreign to your audience, you court rejection or, worse, setting unrealistic expectations that you can’t deliver on.
Now, imagine a drum roll please. The winner is…oh, that’s right, wait. Continue reading
May 21, 2013 update: We have selected a winning entry. Thanks to everyone who submitted a response.
Recently, while perusing a long thread of comments by GIS professionals discussing a lack of awareness about the technology and its value, I got to thinking about the perennial problem of describing GIS to people who have never heard of it or who have a vague idea (usually wrong) about what it might be (it’s GIS, not GPS). Family, friends, new acquaintances, teachers, customers, the occasional coworker.
When you’re trying to sell a product, borrow money, get a job, reassure Mom, or influence change in some way, They says you should prepare an elevator pitch—a short, simple description that captures the essence and leaves the listener interested enough to follow up. When you meet someone you want to connect with, you deliver your elevator pitch and ideally, the connection blooms.
Well, how do you explain GIS to Mom? Continue reading
Story maps are popular. Their visual, interactive nature makes them a great medium to share interesting information about a place or topic and spark discussion on real-world issues. To make a story map, you start with a web map. There are lots of ways to make a web map and just as many ways to make a story map.
The KISS principle is my preferred approach whenever possible; overcomplicating things makes it hard to get stuff done. I found a simple way to make a web map. Here’s a simple four-step process to craft a story map. Continue reading
Registration for the 10.1 versions of the Enterprise Geodatabase Management Associate and Web Application Developer Associate exams is now open. These exams were planned to be released a few weeks ago—but unsurprisingly, the process took a little longer than expected.
We’ve said before that the process to create a certification exam is rigorous and time-consuming. In fact, we get a lot of questions about how exam questions are developed. Who writes them? Who validates them? Why does it take so long?
To answer these questions, here’s a high-level overview of our exam development process. Like many IT certification programs, we use a third-party consultant for test development. For each certification, we hold a series of workshops, one of which is the question development workshop. Continue reading
Experts say the outlook for formal skills development in 2013 is rosy. According to a recent study, overall spending on training increased by 12% in 2012, and the technology sector saw a 20% increase.
“As the pace of innovation accelerates, and companies look to expand their operations, employees should acquire more specialized skills and adapt to a workplace that grows more transient, mobile and self-serving – what we call the ‘borderless workplace,’” said Bersin by Deloitte’s Karen O’Leonard, lead analyst, benchmarking, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Perhaps you will be attending a training class this year. Here’s a question to ponder before you start crafting your out-of-office auto-reply:
If you initiated the training request, you should be able to answer quickly with one or more job-related benefits because, for lots of us, submitting the request means providing a justification. At most organizations, gone are the days when you can take a class just because it sounds interesting. Typically, the justification documents how the training relates to your current job responsibilities (or references your professional development plan if your organization uses those). Continue reading
Our training catalog includes quite a few courses that cover fundamental GIS and ArcGIS topics. Designed for people with no academic or workplace experience with GIS, historically our introductory courses have been among our most popular. They likely always will be. As more and more organizations adopt GIS, more people require introductory-level training so they can perform the new workflows made possible by the technology. Makes sense.
If you’re someone who has mastered the fundamentals, you may be wondering what courses you should take next. You’ve learned the basics, you want to continue growing your GIS skillset, but you’re not ready to tackle 3D terrain analysis with lidar data. We get the what’s-next question a lot.
But what’s next does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. Continue reading
While I work at the motherland of GIS services and web maps, I don’t have ArcGIS for Server or even a web server installed on my local machine. Odds are, many of you don’t either. For me, getting set up with a virtual machine configured with all the right software is completely doable…but not done. Things came to a head recently when I wanted to visualize some Excel data on a web map.
Of course, I could bring the Excel data into ArcMap and visualize it there, but I wanted to make a web map so I could easily share it with coworkers who don’t use ArcGIS in their day to day. Continue reading
Colin (left) and David (right) in the studio.
Last week, over 2,000 of you tuned in to watch our live training seminar, Layout Design Essentials for ArcGIS 10.1, presented by Esri instructor Colin Childs, whose South African accent never ceases to please. David Watkins, Esri cartography product manager, joined in on the action as co-presenter to answer viewer questions. The seminar recording is now available for free viewing on the Training website.
This seminar is fast-paced and packed with information that spans basics like inserting a legend with attractive patches to more advanced topics such as adding dynamic text. Throughout, Colin shares tips to make your layout work more efficient and your designs more compelling. Continue reading
Our release plan for version 10.1 of the certification exams is set and execution is well underway. Two exams are publically available, two exams are in beta release, and four others will be going to beta in the coming weeks. Beta exams are open to Esri employees, distributors, and partners only.
The ArcGIS Desktop Associate and Professional exams are publically available now. For those of you interested in obtaining one of the other 10.1 certifications, here’s the current 10.1 exam release schedule. As always, carefully review the Skills Measured section of the certification page to understand the exam scope. Skills Measured information for exams not yet in beta will be available when the beta exams release. Continue reading
Lately, there’s been a steady flow of online talk and articles about what skills GIS professionals need to navigate today’s business climate, and how tech workers in general can ride the employment roller coaster.
Those articles are directed to individuals, the ones who feel like knowing CPR isn’t enough to guarantee a good outcome in a scary situation. But the last five years have seen major technology-enabled shifts in expectations, and these have had a huge impact on organizations and their leadership. Lots of organizations are looking for ways not only to meet the new expectations, but also create new products and services and reach new customers. Continue reading