By James Fee

SpatialTau - GIS Day 2021





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So, I’m staring at this screen during GIS Day 2021. HERE had a big GIS Day presentation schedule from the start of the day in Asia/Pacific to the close of the day in North America, lots of great presentations on how GIS is involved with HERE technology. It’s not too much of a leap given there are few companies in the world where GIS is as important as it is for HERE. Regardless you’ll be seeing this newsletter on PostGIS day so please remember to tip your servers (or OSGeo if you prefer).
I used to do GIS Day keynotes 10+ years ago which centered on how GIS was so important to people who think GIS is so important. Good receptive audience of course. I don’t really give such talks anymore. Spatial isn’t special for sure but it also isn’t something that is hidden away in a back room. I mean I do tons of GIS work with only FME Workbench. I don’t use any classic GIS Desktop software (but to be fair this is because I don’t do any cartography or visualization other than via JS SDKs. But the neat thing about this is that there isn’t a battle over how to get your work done. Proprietary workflows don’t really exist the way they did back when I wrote AMLs to get work done.
I used to spend a lot of time Photoshopping GIS Day images.
I used to spend a lot of time Photoshopping GIS Day images.
Democratization of documentation is something I think really has changed GIS. When I learned ArcInfo in the early 1990s, there was one set of documentation binders for the office, and they were in the GIS manager’s bookshelf. I had to ask to borrow them to learn more (which I gladly did). But today, not only is there hundreds of ways to solve GIS problems, but getting help is as easy as a tweet, email or Google Search. I’ve outlined how I graduated without a degree in GIS and how I was lucky enough to be in a place where I could teach myself. But I could have been locked in a role where I was unable to grow and with no access to learn.
My son just let me know he was changing his major from Bio Design to GIS, and I was surprised to see how much has changed for him to learn. Honestly all that you need is a will to grow, and you can do so much. Maybe that is why when HERE put out a request for presentations, there was much more response than was expected. GIS isn’t about hiding knowledge anymore; it is about sharing it.
Oh, and when Connor graduates in about 4 years, I hope you’ll offer him a job. Unlike me, he’s a good kid.
HERE Technologies lists out Most/Least EV-friendly counties in the US
Snapchat launches Memories and Explore Layers on Snap Map
Google’s latest Maps features help you avoid the holiday shopping crowds
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James Fee
James Fee @jamesmfee

Spatial, workflows and technology

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