Geographic Information Systems Technologists and Technicians

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Also known as:
Business Records Manager, Certified Document Imaging Architect, Cloud Product Director, Corporate Webmaster, Cybersecurity Project Manager, Data Center Product Director, Document Control Manager, Document Management Consultant, ECM Consultant (Enterprise Content Management Consultant), Electronic Content Manager

ABOUT GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGIST AND TECHNICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

A geographic information system, or GIS, is a computer system that captures and stores data related to positions on the Earth's surface. It's used to create maps that reveal spatial relationships invaluable for planning and communications in areas such as agriculture, health care, retail trade, or military intelligence. GIS technicians, and geospatial information scientists and technologists, produce data layers, maps, graphs, and reports using GIS technology. They compile data from remote sensing devices and cartographic or global positioning system maps, and enter it into GIS databases. Data accuracy, currency, and quality are critical, so they must review the data carefully. With clean data, GIS professionals program computers, analyze the data, and develop software for GIS applications. Many GIS technicians, and geospatial information scientists and technologists conduct research of their own, or design research for clients to use in a wide range of projects, from identifying ideal locations for solar or wind energy installations, routing transportation to minimize energy consumption, to defining wildlife areas. They often work with teams, and guide analyses to target specific projects or problems. Workweeks are usually on a 40-hour standard schedule. Most jobs, though not all, require a bachelor's degree. It's not uncommon for people in the field to have a master's degree.

SNAPSHOT

Assist scientists or related professionals in building, maintaining, modifying, or using geographic information systems (GIS) databases. May also perform some custom application development or provide user support.

Daily tasks

Transfer or rescale information from original photographs onto maps or other photographs.

Prepare training materials for, or make presentations to, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users.

Meet with clients to discuss topics such as technical specifications, customized solutions, or operational problems.

Document, design, code, or test Geographic Information Systems (GIS) models, internet mapping solutions, or other applications.

Assist users in formulating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) requirements or understanding the implications of alternatives.

Confer with users to analyze, configure, or troubleshoot applications.

Perform integrated or computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyses to address scientific problems.

Develop specialized computer software routines, internet-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, or business applications to customize geographic information.

Design, program, or model Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications or procedures.

Make recommendations regarding upgrades, considering implications of new or revised Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, equipment, or applications.

Create visual representations of geospatial data, using complex procedures such as analytical modeling, three-dimensional renderings, or plot creation.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Geography Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.