Yes, You Need to Code

Over the past year, I’ve been involved in searching for GIS analysts a number of times. As a result, I’ve noticed a few patterns:

  1. There are a lot of analysts out there looking for jobs. Every time I run an ad, I get at least 100 resumes from people of various levels of experience and education.
  2. The vast majority of those that I call to pre-screen have not done any meaningful coding of any kind. This includes Python, which has been shipping with ArcGIS for several versions now.
  3. Of those that do have some coding experience, many do not show it on their resumes. I find this particularly interesting as I can’t imagine why a person would choose not to list all relevant skills or experience.

I am very publicly on the record that I think some form of coding skill is essential for any GIS analyst entering the workforce today. My reasoning here is fairly straightforward.

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js.geo Day One

Yesterday, I attended the JS.geo conference at the Colorado University Denver campus. It looked like about 100 or so came out for the event. I was able to catch up with Chris Helm and Brian Timoney the night before and they told me the event took off faster than they had originally expected. I think this speaks to two things: 1) the level of interest in Javascript as a solution for geospatial applications and 2) the fast pace of innovation in the Javascript community that has a lot of people looking for ways to stay abreast of the latest developments.

What follows is an overview based on some of the notes I took. I wasn’t always writing as I sometimes just stopped to listen and I’ll probably follow up with more details later.

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Comment Period Open for GeoPackage Specification Draft

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has published a draft GeoPackage specification for comment. The GeoPackage specification attempts to create a non-proprietary means for packaging and exchanging all geospatial data in all its forms (vector, raster, and tiles). A couple of things that jump out at me:

  • It calls out SQLite as the reference implementation of a GeoPackage container
  • It calls out SpatiaLite 4 as the reference implementation of a vector feature store
  • It does not call out a reference implementation for rasters or tiles
  • It does not mention exchange of cartography.

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Getting Ready for JS.geo

I’m looking forward to next week’s JS.geo event in Denver. It is a small event, spearheaded by Chris Helm of Esri, that focuses on the use of Javascript in geospatial applications. Although I have been more vocal in my recent explorations with Python, I’ve probably done as much, if not more, work with Javascript over the past 18 months.

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SpatiaLite 4.1.0 Beta Preview Available

On the SpatiaLite Google Group this morning, Sandro Furieri announced the availability of a beta preview of SpatiaLite 4.1.0. The primary focus of this preview is to get early comment on new capabilities supporting the storage, validation, and query of XML documents.

More information about this update can be found here. Says Sandro:

The main goals of these recently introduced enhancements are:
– storing XML Documents directly within the DBMS
– supporting XML validation
– supporting plain SQL queries on behalf of XML Documents
via canonical XPath expressions

Implementing directly into the Spatial DBMS a common core of XML-oriented features surely is an interesting and useful option, just considering that ISO- and INSPIRE-Metadata or SLD/SE Styles are fully based on XML.

Although I find myself working more with GeoJSON and CartoCSS these days, I think support for XML is a good step for SpatiaLite. There are some very mature use cases based on XML, as Sandro points out. While SLD is not my favorite, this may keep it on my radar. Also, it would be interesting to see how this new capability would possibly affect the evolution of the OGC GeoPackage draft specification.

 

A GIS Day Map for World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day. It also happens to be GIS Day so I thought a map (not mine) of new diagnoses would be in order:

Source: International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas, Fifth Edition (Click image to visit)

To learn more about Type 1 Diabetes, please visit the JDRF.