Open Source GIS and Mapping Tools to Help You Get Started


I’ve been an ESRI ArcGIS user since the days of Arc/INFO Ver. 5.0. Having used “command line GIS” since 1991 the rise of open source GIS solutions intrigues me. Trying new products and new software and learning new terminology and getting familiar with many different data formats are valuable jobs skills for me. However, being…

Privatization of Higher Education Deserves Scrutiny and Skepticism


On March 18th, 2015, the Illinois Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) proposed a new set of hardened news rules for students to adhere to if they want grants from the good people of Illinois (News-Gazette, 3-24-2015). Senator Brady’s bill, SB 1565, creates a repayment schedule for students who have received a grant. Students who complete their…

Tribulations of GIS Center Management


The unfortunate position of blogging in situ circumstances is having to constantly prognosticate the down-stream consequences of words and assertions. If my words appear to deliberately obfuscate some details, you are observant. As the saying goes, names have been changed to protect the willfully ignorant. That is the saying, right? Upon my return to my…

ESRI International Users Conference: Day 3


My last day, Wednesday, arrives like a bottom-hitting roller coaster. The momentum builds as the days climb towards the apex of Tuesday night. Wednesday arrives as a crashing descent, slipping into the smooth arc of Wednesday evening. Once, I relished the late Thursday social dinner with me and 16,500 of my peers, either in Embarcadero Park…

ESRI International Users Conference: Day 1


One convenience of traveling to the same locale over time is consistency. San Diego seems to transform with each visit, though in essence change is more superficial, more cosmetic, than truly trans-formative. My comment may seem insulting and I don’t mean to convey any message San Diego is a hopeless mess. Quite the contrary, San…

ESRI Education Users Conference: Day 1


San Diego is a city I’ve come to hate to love. San Diego represents the best of urban life and the worst of urban settlement patterns. San Diego is a city wrestling every day with contrasts; wonderful climate, multimodal transportation, eminently walkable, family-friendly, dog-friendly, bike-friendly, LGBT-friendly, yet not environmentally friendly. Not really, but they do…