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My question is kinda cartographic in nature, mostly GIS related about employment. I saw the other forums for both of these topics - but there are more recent postings in this forum.


I'm a student, studying GIS by distance at home. I live in a small town and am not interested in commuting hours to work each way.


I would ideally like to work from home, not as a freelancer - because I have zero experience, other than course work. I would like to work as an employee either part time or on contract - from home.


1. Is this possible?

2. How would I get access for company files, information, using Arc or sharing data etc.

3. What kind of technology would allow me to do this?

4. Is this what working remotely means?

5. What is Enterprise GIS and does this allow me to work from home?





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1) I've never looked for part time or contract employment like this, but I'm sure there's some possibility of it...


2, 3, 4, 5) These are IT questions... just depends on their IT setup.Enterprise GIS means the GIS infrastructure is managed centrally and users get access to software via licenses stored server. Most commonly in my experience (though I'm no IT person), a company network is accessed remotely through a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which gives you access to servers, files, etc... 


Or you could find work that requires you to have your own GIS setup and all of the file sharing is done through transferring data in some cloud (like Google Drive or Dropbox), and you do your work locally on your computer. It really probably varies in every situation. 




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With respect:


The approach here is interesting but not particularly viable in many instances.


1: Is it possible to work at home?         Depends on the employer.


2: Access to data/

Again this is up to the employer and the protocols that they establish. typically speaking GIS data is usually jealously guarded and for good reason. The hours spent in developing it and then pushing it up to a cloud system is risky. Can it be done? Yes. its done all the time. But also understand that GIS in nature is a unique bird in the creation of that data. 'Ownership" (regardless of the actual owner) has a tendency to create certain desires to keep that data under wraps.

If working for Gov. for instance, there is a huge legal and statutory aspect that is considered. That being public records, etc.

In private business its more on Intellectual Property issues.


3: What Tech? well it all exists now. Cell phone, DSL, etc. Whatever new technology that comes out will obviously enhance this.


4: Working from home is technically not really remote working. Its more home commuting. Remote Sensing (a diff. subject) is about data collection without touching the subject.


5: Enterprise GIS is a system that allows large numbers of workers to work in the system. This includes remote or "VPN" work.  Keep in mind this is really up to the company you work for.



this is mostly from experience of my own. Everyone will have diff. experience and some of what I speak is probably addressed differently in other areas.

Architects design things,
Engineers build things,
and Cartographers tell them where to go.



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1. Is this possible? Yes BUT it's not very likely if you are a new employee, especially one who doesn't have work experience in the field. In my office there is the option to work from home occasionally but this is not a permanent, daily arrangement. It is possible but I think it is extremely rare, particularly for someone at your stage in their career.

2. How would I get access for company files, information, using Arc or sharing data etc. The technology is out there to accommodate these things. (VPN for example, allows you to log on to the company network and get access to everything you have access to in the office)

3. What kind of technology would allow me to do this? See above

4. Is this what working remotely means? Yes

5. What is Enterprise GIS and does this allow me to work from home? Essentially the GIS set up for the entire company, including shared databases and storage locations. Enterprise GIS in itself doesn't allow remote access - you'd need additional technology to gain access outside of the office.




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No matter how much education you have, you will know nothing more than the basics when you are done. I am working on a MS in GIS, and my undergrad is also gis. I still know nothing compared to the people who have worked for years in the industry. I learned as much or more in a 3 month summer internship as I have in 6 years of school. You need at least 5 years of progressive responsibility to learn what you need to know. There is no substitute for GIS 40 hrs a week. Once you get to that point, you might be able to work from home. You could be given access to the geodatabase through the enterprise GIS system or someone could simply drop the files onto dropbox for you. You could simply go get the files you need every once in a while too.  Do not mean to burst your bubble. I would love to work from home too. Rather than commuting, maybe it would be better to relocate. I would never take a job driving more than 30 minutes each way. Take an enterprise gis class or maybe there is an E-Learning course on ESRI. It is almost always required for the higher level jobs. Good luck!

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