Critical GIS Skill # 7: Keeping Up With Tools & Technology

Posted by Larry Malloy on Aug 23, 2016 7:00:00 AM

A GIS degree is technical and often attracts like-minded people. Schools do a great job of teaching those aspects of GIS including giving practical experience in GIS software applications like ESRI’s ArcGIS. However there are a lot of skills critical to a career in GIS that are not taught during the degree program, and that is what this blog series is designed to address.

Critical GIS Skill #7: Keeping up with tools and technology

Tools and technologies are supposed to make our lives easier and more efficient. We know that often doesn’t happen. In fact, we often work longer and harder with less to show than say 5-10 years ago. I remember in high school hearing that technology in the future will allow us to work an 8 hour work week – and the professor asked, what were we going to do with your “extra” leisure time? We all know that prophecy didn’t come true.


The GIS professional has to be skilled in many tools and technologies to perform their job effectively. Chances are if you have been out of school for more than 4-5 years, and have not kept up with the latest technologies, you are getting farther behind. Here is a list of some of the tools and technologies you need to update in order to grow in your field.

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Topics: GIS, DEM, Geospatial Software, Geospatial Audit, technologies

DEM Applications in Groundwater Hydrology

Posted by Larry Malloy on Aug 11, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Groundwater is found underground in rock, sand and soil. It’s an important international resource with a significant role in most economies. Environmentally, groundwater plays an important role in river flow. In order to receive maximum benefit from ground water, nations need to become knowledgeable in its occurrence, development and protection.

 In the United States, groundwater:

  • Supplies drinking water for 51% of the population.
  • 64% is used for crop irrigation.
  • It’s important to many industrial processes.
  • Is a source of recharge for lakes, rivers, and wetlands.

Internationally, groundwater:

  • Represents 30% of the world’s fresh water.
  • Ground water accounts for roughly 1/3 of the fresh water consumed by humans, but in some parts of the world, it can reach 100%.
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Topics: GIS, Digital Elevation Models, DEM, Geospatial Software

DEM Applications in Terrain Profiles

Posted by Larry Malloy on Aug 4, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Terrain profiles are heavily used by the telecommunications industry which includes wireless networks, telephone, television, radio, computer networks, and telemetry. For optimum reception, this industry often requires a direct line of sight between towers or antennas. Changes to the landscape like new tree growth and new buildings can interfere with current reception. When trying to improve reception or add new coverage areas, telecommunication companies use terrain profiles for planning purposes.

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Topics: Digital Elevation Models, DEM, Geospatial Software

DEM Applications in Mining

Posted by Larry Malloy on Jul 21, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Geospatial data is the foundation in every phase of modern mining from mineral exploration to mine closure and land reclamation. Spatial data combined with other datasets replaces luck with science and provides mining organizations the tools they need to mine efficiently and effectively. Through geographic information systems (GIS) organizations can explore and calculate economic potential, manage risk, conduct environmental assessments and analyze other concerns affecting mining and exploration. Here are some of the many applications of spatial data in each phase of mining.

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Topics: Digital Elevation Models, DEM, Geospatial Software

Get Control of Your Data

Posted by Larry Malloy on Jul 5, 2016 7:00:00 AM


Do you sometimes feel out of control with all the requests for spatial data from different departments? Problems are created for GIS personnel when spatial data is ordered and managed on a project by project basis. This occurs primarily because funding for a project has a beginning and end, and each project has its own set of requirements. But with this strategy, a unique set of challenges occur which includes:

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Topics: GIS, Digital Elevation Models, DEM, Geospatial Software

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