ADVICE FOR THE GIS NEWBIE

I posted a simple question on Twitter this morning asking: What’s one piece of advice you would give someone entering the GIS field? I was inquiring, because I was asked by a professor of mine to speak to a person interested in entering the geospatial field. (Just the fact that she thought of referring me to the guy was flattering.)

The response I got from the #geoarmy on twitter was outstanding. Responses came in from all over the map and from tweeps in Local govs, State govs, some working on Federal projects, Students, Geospatial business owners, Surveyors, Planners, Open Source evangelist and ESRI die hards… your basic Geonerd.

All of the responses were relevant to any newcomer entering the geospatial field as well as those actively engaged in the profession. Some of my favorites follow:

@DonMeltz – New GISers should view GIS as a tool, not a profession. Need to know enviro, transp, engineer, planning, helath, web, etc…

@geoDAWG – Easy… #geoglobaldomination = we are the people our parents warned us about. & Actually just getting involved is really important! Ask as many questions as possible in places like The GIS Forum

@Storm72 Not to limit oneself to any one set of apps or tools, but to become proficient with as many as possible.

@Taliesn – GIS is a tool to aid a love of explaining how the world works. Be proficient with the tool but embrace the fact that you’ll never be an expert.

@quakeguy – Run fast the other way :) Seriously, learn where the different types of data are and how to use them.

There were others about learning as much as possible, being involved in social networking, learning programming, be a jack of all trades and being involved within the geospatial community. Again, all were very relevant and practical for the newbie and experienced geonerd alike.

Getting involved with URISA is a good place to start but certainly not the only organization out there. There is any number of local, state and national GIS user groups to be active and participate in. Finding the one that is right for you is a simple Google search away.

After the meeting I posted that I had done my part to advance the movement of #geoglobaldomination and felt that I was successful in converting one new geonerd.

Selling points, you ask? There were 3 actually 1. That GIS is a tool that is applicable to many different professions 2. It’s ever changing, challenging and advancing in new directions 3. My enthusiasm for what I have picked as a career path.

There is only so much you can cover in a 30 minute meeting after all. However, like I said, I felt good about spreading the GIS gospel and hope that I have made a difference for the better in that particular person’s life. I wish them all the best in what ever direction they decide to take in their future education and subsequent life.

Thanks for playing along, now go outside and do something fun!

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