First Impression of GIS

Where I started GIS:

I started using GIS as a GIS Intern for the City of Pasadena during the summer of 2015. The first task ever in GIS was moving parking meters in ArcMap to align with the cities aerial imagery, while also updating their attributes. Seems easy, right? Not for someone that had never touched GIS software before. I spent a ton of time Googling how to do various tasks in ArcMap. After that summer I felt very comfortable using GIS software, only to later find I had only scratched the surface. There was still a TON for me to learn.

Hardest thing for me to learn:

In my opinion, here was the hardest thing to learn. It wasn’t trying to understand tasks given to me. Those were straight forward. For example when I was asked to geocode something, I didn’t know what that meant. But I looked it up and figured it out. The question became, I know what geocoding is, but how do it do it? So really, the most difficult thing for me was learning navigating the UI (ArcMap) to find the right tools to get the job done. Regardless of software being open source or proprietary, my first impression of GIS was I felt there was too much stuff shoved into the software. Obviously this isn’t the case. Mostly everything in the software is needed. I am just saying the feel I got was that GIS software is over complicated.

GIS is becoming WAY MORE user friendly:

I’ve been in the GIS field for about two years, which I know isn’t a long time. However, I entered at a time the GIS realm was, and is still rapidly changing, such as the shift from only desktop to mobile and web GIS. The upside is that companies, specifically @esri, realize this and are shifting to simplicity combined with functionality, not solely functionality. Some of those products that ESRI is making that more friendly UI are ArcGIS Pro, their mobile apps, ArcGIS Online, and my personal favorite, Esri Story Maps.

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