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#1
christine.skl

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Hello,

My name is Christine, I am a GIS student in China graduating in 2010. I'm a foreign student in China, fortunately I choose GIS because of deep and long interest in geography and Earth itself. More luckily one of my professors is an excellent cartographer, but works only with printed maps, not with online maps. Through his classes I developed deep love to cartography and by now I managed to design my first map for print (publishing in China is an issue of a specific nature).

My biggest confusion now is - I will not be able to do more school in next 2-5 years, my only option is to work. And here, I am standing on GIS-Geo crossroads, which road to choose - Cartography or more IT focused GIS. Both are interesting to me, though cartography is closer to my heart. With cartography I have a problem - I was taught a lot of its principles, but I didn't really have a chance to approach online cartography. What are the ways to online mapping, what is important and what skills are needed? I my University the main focus is on the IT side of GIS, that's way I am asking these questions. I did some research over google, but I don't find it satisfying enough, so I prefer to ask.

At the University we mostly work with ESRI ArcGIS, sometimes, but rarely, with open source programs.

I came to this forum not only to seek advise, but I hope I can contribute too.

Thank You in advance for your kind advise,

Christine,
China, Lat 30 degrees N, Long. 120 degrees E.
Christine

#2
frax

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Hi, and welcome - that sounds like an interesting start-off point for you.

To keep in mind, the cartography field is quite limited, and the competition is high. There is much more money/work in the field of GIS/IT - but also more boring... GIS for conservation and small-scale analysis is of course fun and interesting, but most of the work is in municipal government, utilities and planning.

I can imagine there being a lot of interesting opportunities in China, especially for capacity building in government (all levels).
Hugo Ahlenius
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#3
Kalai Selvan

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Hi!!!

Welcome happy networking..

Thanks
gisguru


Hello,

My name is Christine, I am a GIS student in China graduating in 2010. I'm a foreign student in China, fortunately I choose GIS because of deep and long interest in geography and Earth itself. More luckily one of my professors is an excellent cartographer, but works only with printed maps, not with online maps. Through his classes I developed deep love to cartography and by now I managed to design my first map for print (publishing in China is an issue of a specific nature).

My biggest confusion now is - I will not be able to do more school in next 2-5 years, my only option is to work. And here, I am standing on GIS-Geo crossroads, which road to choose - Cartography or more IT focused GIS. Both are interesting to me, though cartography is closer to my heart. With cartography I have a problem - I was taught a lot of its principles, but I didn't really have a chance to approach online cartography. What are the ways to online mapping, what is important and what skills are needed? I my University the main focus is on the IT side of GIS, that's way I am asking these questions. I did some research over google, but I don't find it satisfying enough, so I prefer to ask.

At the University we mostly work with ESRI ArcGIS, sometimes, but rarely, with open source programs.

I came to this forum not only to seek advise, but I hope I can contribute too.

Thank You in advance for your kind advise,

Christine,
China, Lat 30 degrees N, Long. 120 degrees E.


Thanks and Regards
Kalai Selvan


#4
s hubbard

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You'll hear this again I'm sure...if you want to pursue cartography/map-making there is alot of competition, and you'll have to specialize. There is way more jobs with GIS-SQL, IT, programming.
I'm actually hearing and seeing alot of GIS/mapping work coming from China. If you're not opposed to staying in China, you might have a good leg up for that area, which I think is going to boom with mapping jobs soon.
How do you like it over there? I have made some friends over there, one lives in Hefei. I have started looking for some temporary contract work there too. Do you know off any need for GIS/Cartographers in China right now?
I'd like to hear more about your experiences there if you have time,
s hubbard
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#5
christine.skl

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Thank you for your kind answers, even when you say "everybody told you" it's great to have this confirmed by other specialists in the field.

to s hubbard:
About China in brief. It is a little bit personal opinion, but there are some obstacles which might make your work there hard:

- all cartographic/GIS data belongs to the government and there is no free data.
- the rules in a Chinese company are really hard for a westerner to master and follow - too many things are done through connections.
- it is not in Chinese character to try to get to win-win situations, prepare for win-loose or loose-loose situations.
- obtaining a legal working visa is hard, unless the company does it for you.

If you seek employment in a foreign company in China- make sure you get into a big city, life will be easier for you. In smaleer places, foreigners often get cheated, scammed etc (adventures of my friends).

Knowing Chinese is crucial, even if you work in English. I know a lot of people who after 10/12 years don't speak a word of Mandarin, but that is not the best choice, because your daily life will require it.

I don't know any places o0f employment right now (it's the end of the year, more things will pop-up her in February). If you have more specific questions about China - PM me, I traveled quite a bit in this country and I am here for the 5th year.
Christine




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