Geospatial Analytics Specialists
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ESRI, a well-known supplier of GIS software, web GIS, and geodatabase management applications, offers a wealth of useful resources at its Web site. For example, What is GIS? (https://www.esri.com/en-us/what-is-gis/overview) provides information on the basics of GIS, GIS training, and GIS specialties. You should also check out the company’s blog, https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/blog, which covers industry trends and discusses real-world uses of GIS and other geospatial analytics technologies.
Talk to geospatial analytics specialists about their work. Perhaps you could participate in a job shadowing experience in order to observe a specialist on the job. Ask your geography teacher or school counselor for help setting up a learning opportunity.
Job responsibilities for geospatial analytics specialists vary by their level of experience, educational background, employer, and employment sector, but most specialists collect and analyze geospatial, geographic, and remote-sensed data; prepare maps, graphs, charts, cartograms, and reports that show historical changes, current trends, and other information; and present this information to colleagues and managers. They also maintain or modify existing geospatial information databases and provide technical expertise regarding geospatial analytics technology to clients or users. Some specialists write algorithms to better identify and analyze pertinent information, while others design software that is used to collect and analyze data and prepare reports.
Here are a few examples of the work of geospatial analytics specialists in various employment sectors.
- In the electric power and transmission sector, specialists analyze data to assess the real-time performance of hundreds of thousands of miles of power lines in order to improve efficiencies, optimize maintenance and crew schedules, and predict possible service disruptions.
- In the fields of meteorology and disaster relief planning, specialists assess geospatial data to visualize the development and expansion of hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires in order to effectively allocate resources and to determine if evacuation alerts should be issued. Additionally, insurance companies use this data to better assess property risk.
- In the military, specialists analyze data to help the armed forces assess troop and equipment movements of enemy nations to identify potential threats, organize placement of their own troops and weaponry, and meet other goals.
- In urban planning, specialists assess data to determine how growing or shrinking populations in a specific city, region, or country affect the use of transportation, housing, energy, water, and other resources.