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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Careers In GIS

The number of jobs available in GIS-related disciplines has grown significantly since the seven years that I spent in GIS work and research in the late 1980s to early 1990s. GIS (Geographical Information System) packages have come a long way since then, with numerous free mapping programs now available online.

Although I am no longer involved GIS work, beyond any of my own personal research and applications, I do occasionally talk to university students enrolled in the Geography program at my local university. Even today, opinions are mixed about their interest in using GIS packages.

Nevertheless, GIS packages are used for a wide variety of disciplines. Here is a partial list, in no particular order:

  1. GIS software development
  2. GIS software training
  3. University/ college study programs in Geography, water engineering, agricultural engineering, forestry, environmental impact.
  4. GPS event mapping
  5. Traffic watching, particularly by EMS (emergency services) workers such as ambulance drivers, firefighters, and police.
  6. Home-ranging applications for tracking tagged animals
  7. Natural events tracking (hurricanes, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes)
  8. Tracking the spread of diseases
  9. Demographic analysis for marketing campaigns
  10. Demographic analysis for city, state, and national governance
  11. Election coverage mapping
  12. Environmental impact studies

These are just a few of the applications of GIS. Since any discipline that uses maps in reporting research findings may benefit from the use of a GIS, there are often opportunities in unusual places. However, not every business or government agency that uses GIS requires skilled user. In fact, using a GIS is often a required skill, similar to being able to use word processing software.

This means that are opportunities to train people in the use of specific GIS packages, as well a market for books on the subject. As a writer and website publisher, I would even say that there is a long-term opportunity for writing online about GIS and its applications, either in the form of a traditional website or as a weblog or journal.

If you are already somewhat familiar with GIS applications and are interested in finding what career opportunities exist, I recommend that you visit GeoCommunity's careers pages. If you do not have much experience in GIS but are wish to learn more, you may want to consult your local college's Geography department. Such departments often have short interest courses in GIS designed for the general public.

(c) Copyright 2006-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://geoplotting.blogspot.com/

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GeoPlotting Journal

This weblog/journal deals with a variety of topics relating to geographical data, as well as GIS (Geographical Information Systems) software and GPS devices. Posting is currently suspended, until a new version of this journal has been developed.

About Me
I'm a geek/ philosopher/ composer/ artist/ cook/ photographer/ web programmer/ consultant/ blah-blah-blah who is also a published writer and author. I worked with GIS systems and cartographic projections for seven years. I've had a love of maps and globes ever since my father gave me an atlas when I was in grade school. This is one of several blogs that I write.

Web geoplotting

(c) Copyright: 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://geoplotting.blogspot.com/