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SpatialTau - You're Not Keeping That Are You?

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I mentioned that I moved into my new house a couple weeks ago. COVID-19 makes everything harder but let me just say moving was a nightmare. We survived but there are only so many Clorox wipes in the world and giving everything a quick once over is unsustainable. None the less, we did get everything cleaned and I think there are only 4 or 5 boxes still needed to be unpacked (as long as you don’t look in the garage) so I’m feeling really good about it.
One thing about the new house is my new office is huge. That’s a big win given I doubt any of us are ever going back to an office anytime soon, but it gives me an opportunity to reimagine my workspace. Not so much my desk which I have in a great space, but all those things we collect and put on shelves over the years. I have coffee mugs from Dames & Moore, Esri UC badges from Palm Springs, books covering obsolete databases and of course business cards from people I haven’t talked to in over 10 years. I stood over the boxes of my office and offices past and felt like I needed a break from the past.
Every box is full of shame
Every box is full of shame
It is so hard to just walk away from all the things you’ve collected. Esri UC beer mugs from when the Geography Network was the new thing are interesting, but nobody in my life knows what they heck any of that is. Nor do I really want to hand a logo beer glass to a friend. That Intergraph coffee mug that is stained with coffee probably from the late 90s? What is wrong with me? Why in earth am I storing this stuff?
Not all of it is junk though, there are some amazing ArcView Avenue books that just have that nostalgic charm that makes me smile when I leaf through them, or the FME spork that I still keep in case I have to eat soup or canned beans at my desk, or that BLM ID badge I probably should have turned in 5 years ago but I didn’t. A Where 2.0 badge makes me recall having beers with so many friends in 2008, or a Cloudmade lanyard that I picked up who knows where. There is probably great reason we keep many of these things, they help us connect with people and places in our lives that make us feel like we’re part of an amazing community.
We just love each other so much!
We just love each other so much!
In the end though, I find myself not wanting to store these memories. The Inktomi flashlight that I’ve kept in my desk since the mid-90s in case I ever needed to look inside a desktop computer just needs to go in the trash. I find as things get more digital, I enjoy a minimalistic look of my office. I guess one day someone could stop in my home office and I would wish I had that Manifold coaster to start a conversation, but I don’t expect that to ever happen. So, into the trash or recycling you all go. I won’t miss the mess, but I’ll always remember the memories. Now if I could only find my Apple TV remote.
Colorful Maps of a World in Coronavirus Lockdown - CityLab
GIS – LandScan goes public | ORNL
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James Fee
James Fee @jamesmfee

Spatial, workflows and technology

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