Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Does Practicing ‘Good’ GIS Mean to You?

Det er lige gået op for mig at jeg har altid hjulpet andre med at lave GIS ... Jeg har aldrig prøvet at lave noget selv helt fra bunden ...

I just realized that I've always helped other people practice GIS ... I've never being doing GIS from scratch ... Doh ...



Practicing good GIS means sev eral things. Even the most immac u late and daz zling tech ni cal solu tion must be jus ti fied against a bud get, client needs and dura bil ity over time, usu ally. Roger Tom lin son wrote a book enti tled ‘Think ing About GIS’ that aptly sum marises many con sid er a tions for GIS projects.

One of the ques tions that stu dents often ask me is,“how do I know I am doing GIS right?” Many of them have not had the expe ri ence to make mis takes, expe ri ence appli ca tion devel op ment or to use GIS within a busi ness set ting. They some times feel GIS is daunt ing because of all the vying resources and knowl edge involved. Here are a few guide lines that I think may help. These are things any one can con sider when devel op ing a project or par tic i pat ing in GIS appli ca tion development.

  • abil ity to iden tify the problem
  • abil ity to com mu ni cate the prob lem to oth ers and to engage them in the impor tance of solv ing it
  • under stand ing the nature and char ac ter of the problem
  • under stand ing not all prob lems are spa tial in nature
  • abil ity to iden tify tools and needed resources for solv ing the problem
  • recog nis ing one can not answer all issues and seek ing alter nate voices
  • some pro fi ciency in the use of tech nolo gies for solv ing the prob lem, oth ers will all be more capa ble in dif fer ent areas
  • good GIS means recog nis ing and hav ing a tem pered approach to iden tify when you are not focused enough — or los ing focus
  • keep ing an eye to alter nate processes that may gen er ate pos i tive outcomes
  • tak ing a “I want to learn” approach
  • devel op ing a strat egy to ensure your answer will be use ful, mean ing ful and can be dupli cated by oth ers if necessary
  • doc u ment ing your work as you do it

While it is crit i cal to under stand what a GIS can do; because then it can be imple mented or aligned to prob lems, notice that I focused on under stand ing the prob lem — and under stand ing how the solu tion might look.


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