When Is a GeoPortal Not a GeoPortal?

When it’s really a desktop application.

Over the past few weeks, I have been reading with conflicted agreement the posts of Brian Timoney and Bill Morris about the nature of geo-portals and what they should or should not be and do. I say that I am in conflicted agreement not because I take any issue with anything they have said. Their posts represent what should be considered best practices in terms of building web mapping applications. In Brian’s posts, the counter-examples he highlights represent some of the worst practices to be avoided.

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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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