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Does anybody in here work with GIS?

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motomike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 19, 2005
4,587
0
North Carolina
more specifically arcGIS. I'm in a GIS class currently and am thinking about getting serious about it(majoring). The job opportunities are just about endless right now, and it pays quite well...I just wanna here from anybody who has more experience with it and is using it. thanks!
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,639
0
Portland, OR
My wife had a class in GIS, she didn't really like it but I though the stuff she was doing looked really cool. I'd start with talking to professors in the program, see if they can give you a contact or two in the industry. GIS seems to be a pretty specialized field at this point.
 
I do GIS for local government and it's a pretty good gig if you like computers. You'll spend a lot of time manipulating databases and such and wrestling arcmap into working with you and not against you. One nice thing is if I start to get fried looking at maps and fighting the computer i can grab the GPS and head out to do some field work. I recommend learning arcmap (arcview, arcgis ...whatever its all ESRI) inside and out because as of right now they sort of have the market cornered.
 

amydalayna

Turbo Monkey
Aug 16, 2005
1,507
0
south lake tahoe, ca
motomike said:
more specifically arcGIS. I'm in a GIS class currently and am thinking about getting serious about it(majoring). The job opportunities are just about endless right now, and it pays quite well...I just wanna here from anybody who has more experience with it and is using it. thanks!
I'm a GIS developer. It's fun... but the money is just so so right now. I made a bit more as just a straight up programmer in Connecticut, but I moved out to South Lake Tahoe where the pay isn't the same as the East Coast. PM me if you want to chit chat more. I would recommend you taking a VBA class if you are serious about finding a well paying GIS job.
 
amydalayna made me think of a really good point about GIS, there are 2 really main branches as I see it. The programming/data analyst type positions where you do a lot of remote sensing and use data to solve problems or demonstrate theories as related to geospatial data. Then there is the kind of work I do which is really data collection for the sole purpose of mapping and use in engineering practices. My background is in surveying and not programming and I deal more with manholes and watervalves than wetlands and census data. So as you can see GIS takes on several aspects but in the end its all spatial. Oh and local gov doesnt pay that well.
 

amydalayna

Turbo Monkey
Aug 16, 2005
1,507
0
south lake tahoe, ca
caboverpete said:
Oh and local gov doesnt pay that well.
so basically, don't get into GIS if the only reason you are is for the pay. Because it might not be there.

There are so many directions you can go with the technology. I really wanted to get into the land use planning side, but when people find out I have a programming background.... I get sucked into just development work. Which isn't so bad. Making tools to make people's jobs easier can be fulfilling.... but it's not making cool maps all day.

Browse the jobs here... this might help you out a little in determining what direction to go in.
http://www.gjc.org/
 

Zark

Hey little girl, do you want some candy?
Oct 18, 2001
6,257
7
Reno 911
I'm a GIS/cartogprapher at Maps.com. I use ArcGIS for custom map creation and geolocation stuff mainly. I maintain our databases and write instructions for outsourcing some of our work. Amydalayna is right about the VBA classes, they will help a lot.

While County/Local government jobs might not pay great, the jobs are all over the place giving you many options on where to live and tend to have good benefits.
 

PonySoldier

Monkey
May 5, 2004
823
0
Woodland Park Colorado
I work for a mapping company in Denver, we do remote sensing stuff so I'm primarily involved in collection and data processing for clients. It can be fairly engaging work and terminally boring as well. It is my experience that the programmers get paid better than analysts in most cases..
 

Zark

Hey little girl, do you want some candy?
Oct 18, 2001
6,257
7
Reno 911
caboverpete said:
And remember you will end up being a map geek and doing things like using WGS coordinates for your location on ridemonkey. Although we all know state plane rules and you can keep your damn global systems.
It's true, I'm a total map geek :blah:

My company is a liscenced reprinter for National Geographic and we're getting a new 60" plotter today. Zark is getting some new decorations for his apt. :cool: