Category Archives: Uncategorized
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
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:
- Why are you going?
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
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
Ever since version 10.0 was released, the popularity of Python for scripting ArcGIS tasks and workflows has skyrocketed due to its integration into ArcGIS and relatively low learning curve. At version 10.1, Python is even more integrated. Case in point: you can create Python add-ins and toolboxes and in ArcMap you can directly enter Python label and MapTip expressions instead of having to load a script file. It’s nice to have these options.
Amidst all the Python love floating around, some have said ModelBuilder is the forgotten hero of the ArcGIS automation world. They contend that ModelBuilder deserves a bigger share of the spotlight that’s shining on Python. I’ve always found GIS professionals to be visual thinkers who embrace scripting, so it makes sense they would use both Python and ModelBuilder to do their ArcGIS work (and many of you likely do).
But if there is a Python vs. ModelBuilder debate, I’ll stay neutral by saying that both are valuable and have their place. When an older child angrily accuses them of favoritism towards the unwanted intruder, wise parents know to respond, “We love your little brother just as much as we love you.” And so it is with ModelBuilder and Python. Continue reading
In just a few days, some of you will be enjoying the lovely city of San Diego, checking out all the best places and getting the scoop on ArcGIS 10.1; ArcGIS Online; cloud GIS; open GIS; web maps; mobile maps; maps, maps, and more maps—seriously, who can ever get enough of maps?
In keeping with tradition, this year’s Esri UC is going to be jam-packed with information, ideas, demos, exhibits, technical sessions, and fun events—and of course people! Opportunities for sharing, collaborating, learning, and old-school networking will be plentiful. But because there is so much to do and take in, the conference can be a little overwhelming even for seasoned attendees.
A good last-minute tip is to jot down a list of specific items you want to learn about at the conference if you haven’t already. Having the list with you on your smartphone or iToy helps ensure you won’t forget one of those items when you’re surrounded by a million pieces of eye candy and the noise level reminds you of a high school cafeteria on a rainy day.
If any of your items relate to training or Esri technical certification, here are the conference resources that can help you find the information you need, get your questions answered, and maybe even infuse a little fun into your networking (really). Continue reading
If you’ll be attending this year’s Esri UC in San Diego and you’re starting to plan your activities, think about setting aside some time to visit the Hands-On Learning Lab presented by Esri Training Services. After the plenary session, you may be champing at the bit to get first-hand experience with ArcGIS 10.1—our popular Hands-On Learning Lab in the Esri Showcase is where you can get it.
This year, the Lab features the lessons below. Continue reading
Perhaps you didn’t hear, but last week ArcGIS 10.1 was released. The 10.1 release represents a milestone in how GIS professionals and others create, access, and interact with geographic data, resources, and maps. This release really is a game-changer in many ways.
So we’ve been feeling the need to up our game over here in Training Services. Over the last year, as ArcGIS 10.1 development was well underway, we invested a ton of hours to take stock of exactly what we do and re-envision how we can do it better moving forward.
Not because there was something wrong with what we were doing, but because being the best requires conscientious attention to continual improvement. It involves listening to our customers when they ask questions and tell us what they need. It involves staying in tune with technology innovations. We strive to be the best, and below is our game plan to offer the best-in-class training to help our users be successful. Continue reading
Remember the excitement you felt the first time an envelope or Highlights issue addressed to you appeared in the mailbox? The eager hope you silently mailed to the North Pole along with the letter painstakingly printed in your best handwriting? How many times in the last 24 hours have you clicked Send or some version of “Share” to communicate with friends and family?
Like many organizations these days, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is challenged to constrain operating costs while maintaining an acceptable level of service. Did you know the USPS is required by law to fund its own operations and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to do so? Changes in mailing behavior have had a huge impact on the USPS bottom line—e-mail requires no postage after all.