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#1
Mapper_Mac

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Hi everyone,

I am thinking about going back to school to get my masters in GIS. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on a good master's thesis to tackle, or an area of GIS that is going to be highly needed in the future. Thanks.

#2
Matthew Hampton

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Hi Duncan,

There is a very, very wide variety of topics in the field of GIS for you to pursue. It might be helpful to take a look at your undergrad interests and apply something from that subject. What are you interested in? You could look at PPGIS, GIS-T, epistemology and GIS, or something related to remote sensing...

I have found that it is most useful to align yourself with professor you get along with and help them tackle some facet of inquiry THEY are interested in. What university are you headed too?

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#3
Mapper_Mac

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Hi Duncan,

There is a very, very wide variety of topics in the field of GIS for you to pursue. It might be helpful to take a look at your undergrad interests and apply something from that subject. What are you interested in? You could look at PPGIS, GIS-T, epistemology and GIS, or something related to remote sensing...

I have found that it is most useful to align yourself with professor you get along with and help them tackle some facet of inquiry THEY are interested in. What university are you headed too?




Hey Mathew,

I am not yet enrolled in school, I was just curious if anyone had some suggestions that they thought would be worth while. I have a pretty good job right now and because of the economy school might be a little farther down the road. Eventually I would like to get my masters, I just want to make sure that I am getting it in an area of GIS that will benefit me the most in the job market. Thanks for the input.

#4
dsl

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Don't know if the specific topic matters then, if it is for career advancement. A Masters is a Masters. And from my limited experience in the private industry a masters trumps a lack of professional experience. In the end I think lots of professional experience ends up trumping graduate degrees, but that's just from my perspective. I think if you are looking for something to appeal to employers and not to enter the world of academia, maybe do a masters by coursework instead of thesis and focus heavily on programming and web technologies related to GIS/Cartography. This probably gives you the widest range of skills for the GIS industry IMHO.

Hope that helps,
David

#5
James Hines

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Many people who get their master degrees fill our kitchens, drive cabs, & say how are you doing today sir. Employers don't care if you have a masters degree if you don't have the experience to back it up, especially in GIS where many positions do not require a degree. However the main advantage of a masters is the fact you have more knowledge, & if you do have the experience it gives you advanced standing & more oppurtunity & a slightly higher salary then your counterparts, but only if you have experience. But hey this is just a Canadian point of view, so I can't know what happens elsewhere.

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#6
François Goulet

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Many people who get their master degrees fill our kitchens, drive cabs, & say how are you doing today sir. Employers don't care if you have a masters degree if you don't have the experience to back it up, especially in GIS where many positions do not require a degree. However the main advantage of a masters is the fact you have more knowledge, & if you do have the experience it gives you advanced standing & more oppurtunity & a slightly higher salary then your counterparts, but only if you have experience. But hey this is just a Canadian point of view, so I can't know what happens elsewhere.


Our salary are determined by Hydro-Quebec's chart and my master, even though it wasn't in GIS, gave me a couple thousand more on my annual salary... That's someting to think about ;)

#7
Ed Gage

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Coursework-only programs excepted, your degree experience is going to be strongly influenced by your adviser; I think this is more important than the specific topic you do your thesis on. A good adviser will be not only a good mentor, but provide good networking opportunities after you've finished your degree. Another consideration is funding: many faculty don't accept students unless they already have funding in place for them. Shop around, look at their research interests, talk with current/former students.

#8
Gretchen Peterson

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I recently read an on-line master's thesis that was on the use of LiDAR versus other imagery to produce hydrology. The student compared different techniques of producing hydrology from the LiDAR as well. The paper was excellent in that it answered, or tried to answer, some major questions such as: is it even feasible to produce a hydro layer from LiDAR with common computing power and if so, how should it be done for the best results?

There are two reasons why I thought this was a great thesis topic: #1 The results benefit the whole profession and #2 the study isn't something that a lot of professionals can undertake in their daily work (i.e., we couldn't get someone to pay us to do it, probably).

So my advice would be to pick a topic like that where you can compare several types of data and/or several data processing algorithms. Your personal benefit is that the paper will be referenced often as other professionals look for those same answers.

#9
Liute

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Hey,

I did not want to start new topic, as I found already existing...
Well I have the same problem for choosing the topic for my master thesis.
As I already studied cartography, would be interested to relate GIS and Cartography.
Maybe any suggestions? ...
I would be more interested in such fields as cartography in early warning, or cartography for i-phones, spatial analysis of water quality... o something like that.
I would appreciate any kind of suggestions and support :)

Thanks!

#10
David Medeiros

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I'm curious about this topic as well as I was just yesterday admitted to the SJSU Geography MA program. It's a Geog degree but primarily focused on GI Science.

This program has the option of doing a project or a thesis and I will probably choose the project. I don't know what I'll focus on but I have some ideas. Mostly geared towards the application of GISi in other fields. The question of information design in cartography and it's importance to the use of maps as communication tools is one topic I've considered. The practical applications of a that thesis are probably limited but I think the importance of understanding how maps and the science of cartography apply to effective GIS output can't be overstated.

In the end I think the best thing is to look to what you already know or are interested in for your thesis topics. Build on what knowledge you have now and overlap that into other areas of expertise. The GIS part of this degree is probably not nearly as important in many cases as what you pair it with.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#11
christine.skl

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@ Liute

Cartography for iphones/ipads etc - sounds very interesting, how to work out everything with a touch options on a relatively small area. Also interesting from GIS point (it's not only about geodatabases) - applying GIS to improve cartography on mobile devices, could be a good topic. I would be curious - cause using Google maps ni my friend's iphone was a killing experience, which I didn't like (app is uesful, but hard to use, at least the release with the second iphone).


Early warning - that's real-time changing systems I think...that would be 4D GIS. Quite a lot of porgramming needed, though cartography in it is important - there were already discussions on CartoTalk mentioning very specific maps (for fire department, though I don't remember the exact post).

Also, if you want to do something in cartography - insist on it, because sometimes geodatabses are more valued than the output map/information graphics.

One thing - I am doing an undergraduate thesis...and at the end of my thesis the methods I am using already jumped to a new level with new possibilities - make sure you will stay with the newest standards and technology!

For chosing of the thesis - if you want to have fun writing it (it's a full time job), think of something you can later use for yourself, publish or even earn money on;)

Good luck:)
Christine

#12
Sv_BG

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What about something related to the oil spil in the Gulf of Mexico?

Cheers,
Svetoslav




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