Jump to content

 
Photo

"Pretty Maps"

* * * * * 1 votes

  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#16
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

Incidentally, we had yet another GIS professional in our seminar class last night who used the term “pretty maps” in a tone that very clearly said, these aren’t important to what I do but I sometimes have to do them. The best part of this was that it literally came in the same breath as her statement that these maps are usually used to address funding and oversight issues from the City Council. They seem to respond to these dressed up maps so they have to do them. Here is a case where funding is very much dependant on successfully convincing her overseers that her work is valuable, she has admitted that these presentation quality maps are important to that process and yet she still seemed to have contempt for the need to produce them. Or presumably, no understanding of why the council can’t see the value directly from her other work.

I admit to reading a lot into her tone and words, but I’m not the only one in class coming away with these observations.

What does it mean? I don’t really know. I think it’s too bad that more GIS users don’t embrace the need for decent cart work, even the ones who clearly know how to make great maps. In the end people like myself who have a good solid background in geography and cartography who then go on to obtain the needed GIS skills are going to be hard to compete with in an increasingly flooded job market. I’m already witnessing the preference in my interviews and contacts for people with some GIS experience and a lot of cart experience over just good GIS skills.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#17
razornole

razornole

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 448 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ozark Plateau, Arkansas
  • Interests:Photography, Cartography, Down-river canoeing, Backpacking, Cross country biking, Geomorphology, Ornithology, Ecology, Quaternary, and last but first; drinking beer on the beach.
  • United States

"I’m already witnessing the preference in my interviews and contacts for people with some GIS experience and a lot of cart experience over just good GIS skills."

Where are you finding this to be the case, private, city, state, or federal? I have been pondering the idea of entering the GIS realm for a day job. My GIS skills are more then adequate for the jobs that I have been applying for, however, I purposely emphasize my visualization skills because if I am going to work somewhere I want to utilize this skill. So far I haven't had any luck, but that's ok because I am not desperate. I'll continue as an adjunct and freelance cartographer until something better comes along.

kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#18
David Medeiros

David Medeiros

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redwood City CA
  • Interests:Cartography, wood working, wooden boats, fishing, camping, overland travel, exploring.
  • United States

"I’m already witnessing the preference in my interviews and contacts for people with some GIS experience and a lot of cart experience over just good GIS skills."

Where are you finding this to be the case, private, city, state, or federal? I have been pondering the idea of entering the GIS realm for a day job. My GIS skills are more then adequate for the jobs that I have been applying for, however, I purposely emphasize my visualization skills because if I am going to work somewhere I want to utilize this skill. So far I haven't had any luck, but that's ok because I am not desperate. I'll continue as an adjunct and freelance cartographer until something better comes along.

kru


All of the above really. And it's backed up by a few discussions with GIS instructors and some professionals who where not hiring at the time but agreed that cart skills are lacking in the entry level GIS workforce and can be a huge asset to new job seekers.

I picked up one contract job (worth $32k) with an environmental non-profit late last year after we discussed their needs and my skills. The job had originally been advertised as a "GIS Tech" position with some Illustrator use. This was before going back to school for a GIS cert, so I had essentially no GIS experience. The contract is now in suspension due to CA budget issues but has been typical of my experiences. Someone posts an ad for a GIS professional with a huge list of desired GIS qualifications and some cartographic/ graphic design/ illustrator experience. I reply with a cover and resume highlighting my limited GIS skills and extensive cart/Ill skills. Although I don't meet the job specs I usually get a call back after they see my portfolio or website, often citing that as their reason for getting in touch.. The interviewers are often frank about my lack of GIS use being a limitation but that they really need someone who can make maps. Cart can be a harder skill to teach on the job than GIS software use.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#19
Clive Cartwright

Clive Cartwright

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham
  • United Kingdom

Incidentally, we had yet another GIS professional in our seminar class last night who used the term “pretty maps” in a tone that very clearly said, these aren’t important to what I do but I sometimes have to do them. The best part of this was that it literally came in the same breath as her statement that these maps are usually used to address funding and oversight issues from the City Council. They seem to respond to these dressed up maps so they have to do them. Here is a case where funding is very much dependant on successfully convincing her overseers that her work is valuable, she has admitted that these presentation quality maps are important to that process and yet she still seemed to have contempt for the need to produce them. Or presumably, no understanding of why the council can’t see the value directly from her other work.

I admit to reading a lot into her tone and words, but I’m not the only one in class coming away with these observations.


Thanks for these insights David. I've been following them with interest.

I, like yourself, have an extensive cartographic background and have recently gained a scholarship from my employers to return to University this September, studying - GIS.

I can't wait to compare my experience with yours... what will the attitude of my lecturers be...?

It'll be very, interesting.

Keep up the good work David.
Clive E. Cartwright
Mapping & Charting Officer
British Geological Survey




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->