Stay ahead in GIS and get online NOW… otherwise, you are will lose… BIG TIME. 3 Tips To Start TODAY.

Get your GIS online NOW

I love geographic information systems! The creativity in map design, the science of spatial analysis, and the cross-industry power are amazing.

If you are a student or work in a small company, you are going to want to pay close attention to what I have to say here.

When I started my GIS career I was hired by a small company that still used paper maps and handheld GPS units for their field operations. They had ESRI products but hadn’t integrated much of them. In the space of two projects, I was able to put their operations fully online and mobile using ESRI products.

Paper and GPS units... to ONLINE!
I thought it was pretty nifty… it wasn’t that nifty.

I was very proud of myself and I gave myself a pat on the back. I moved this small company online (mostly) and I was a bad a$$… until I worked at a bigger company… oh boy.

When I got to a bigger company… everything was already online… and everything was online in ways I never dreamed up. I had to play catchup pretty fast. 

At a small company, I was solving small problems… in a big company… much larger online problems were the norm.

There is more to getting online than just features and maps.
Playing catch up to REALLY get online.

At a small company, there may only be one or two GIS people to collaborate with. The problem with this, massive blind spots.

I found quickly that many “cool” solutions I came up with at the smaller company, especially online, had easy solutions that collaboration with coworkers easily took care of (another post altogether).

I am telling you all this so that you know what is coming if you are not already. And as I like to say always, knowing is half the battle. 

Knowing is half the battle.
Knowing is half the battle.

In my first 2 months at a big company, I had to change my perspective quickly. I was no longer doing GIS in a bubble, the system affected more people.  Bigger thinking was needed.

Here are three easy tips I learned that you can benefit from as well. Pay close attention especially if you are a student and you use ESRI products.  

Before I get too deep, the first 2 steps are easy! These you can start today even!

The last step… hard, but worth it.

Here we go.

Always put your GIS online… heck… live there ASAP.

If you are an ESRI user, this is an easy one. Get your features sorted, your tables in order, and share your data online for your team and clients to harness.

Get online, you probably are… but if you aren’t GET THERE NOW.

Once your data is there, you will have the ability to use both ArcGIS and AGOL. You can use Pro for Geoprocessing, while your teams have the ability to interact with your data.

You will start to see there are limitations between ArcGIS Pro and AcrGIS Online (a future video!). You can easily harness a hybrid system between the two (and even QGIS!)

You will have to pay more attention to permissions, restrictions, symbologies, and analysis constraints, but your GIS future is online and mobile… get there as fast as you can.

Learn Arcade and start learning JavaScript

Arcade is a lightweight coding language that does some powerful things on ESRI web maps and mobile. There is syntax cross-over with JavaScript allowing some really cool functionality with ESRI.

Learn Arcade and JavaScript at the same time.

Luckily, Arcade is fairly easy with plenty of tutorials out there. You can harness symbology, charts, text, and even combinations of those altogether. There are limitations you will find, but you can develop some really cool things with Arcade.

Now… for the hard part.

Learn JavaScrpt…  HTML… CSS… React… Geeze… just learn web development.

This seems a bit overwhelming, and I assure you I was very overwhelmed. But starting on a course in web development is essential for you GIS future.

Learn how the a webdev.

ESRI has products that hold your hand through the online experience process. But there are limitations and it helps to get JaveScript There are great courses online for free, but my go-to is/was on LinkedIn “The Complete JavaScript Course, Zero to Expert”.

ESRI has some great tutorials and a community of people who can help you learn as well. 

Start today!

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my other links!

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