Yesterday, I had an informational lunch with a GIS professional with significantly more experience than myself. My main questions were 1) how best to market my GIS skills, 2) how do I convince a potential employer that I can solve GIS problems, and 3) what essential GIS weapons should I add to my arsenal because they are most marketable and will get me the farthest.
Essentially, I came away from our talk thinking that my background as a geologist is an asset, and that I should focus on my programming skills, e.g. adding some Visual Basic to my Python (I’ve shied away from it because what little exposure I had to VB wasn’t pleasant), and – to my great relief !- that I should try to demonstrate analytical/scientific understanding rather than inside-out know-how of software. Also, I’m still considering obtaining a GIS Certificate.
Oh, and here the latest addition to my GIS library.
Exploring ArcObjects: Vol. 1 – 1356 pages !!!
A while back, I made a post about difficulties with the installation of various GIS open source programs under Ubuntu Linux. One helpful response came from Samuel, who suggested running GISVM to make installation easier. (You should know that I’m only a casual Linux user, getting better and more confident all the time.)
I just installed GISVM (more or less successfully) using Sun’s Virtualbox. I now have a Ubuntu Linux host with a Ubuntu Linux Guest that includes PostgreSQL, PostGIS, GeoServer, Mapserver, FWTools, QGIS, GRASS, gvSIG, uDIG, Kosmo and OpenJump. There are a few jinxes to be ironted out – PostgreSQL didn’t install properly, and the display of my guest window is screwed up, which might have something to do with 16/32 bit issues.
The two things that took me a few moments to figure out was 1) how to get Virtualbox to boot from the proper VMDK file (I solved this by using the Media Manager in Virtualbox to select the VDMK file, declaring it as Master IDE drive and putting it at the top of the boot list) and 2) how to keep the start up of the virtual machine from aborting (Cruising the forums, I found that most likely there was a problem with the Host boot manager (GRUB), and I installed a different version BOOT-PC.) It was that easy.
Now, I have no idea what I’m going to do with the new software. But it’s nice to know I got it running.
As a passionate home remodeler and tinkerer, I was thinking the other day it would be a lot of fun to begin experimenting more with electronics. I googled a little and found Arduino. It wasn’t rocket science to wonder how this kind of hardware/software tinkering might fit in with my GIS interests. In fact, when I googled “GPS+Arduino”, I came up with some interesting results, and this guy here is doing exactly THAT.
After receiving my new Garmin GPS(Map60CSX) in the mail a couple of weeks ago, I was at first surprised that it came w/o any really useful maps. Surely, I thought then, if not already installed, those could be downloaded from Garmin. Well, turns out that while researching the hardware capabilities and user experience aspects, I spent too little time looking at maps for the unit. Nothing is included with the unit.
So rather than paying Garmin for my maps, I went to gpsfiledepot.com and downloaded free maps. It takes some time to make sense of the file formats, and it’s not guaranteed that all the maps GPS File Depot will actually work with your unit. For example, my first attempt to download Texas coverage resulted in streets being labeled as C….. S….. rather than Cooper Street because apparently my GPS cannot display lower case letters at an angle. Most maps freely available for GPS appear to have been created with cgpsmapper, and there is no way to change existing IMG and TBD files to make them readable for my GPS, without re-doing them with cgpsmapper. But there are tons of maps there, and using Garmin’s Mapsource software (included with the GPS) you can display maps and selectively upload them to your unit. Read all about it at http://www.gpsdiscussion.com/garmin-gps/.
Since I am headed out to California this weekend and would like to take the GPS, I just made another attempt and downloaded Ibycus USA Map from gpsfiledepot.com. This time, I got lucky and street names appear correctly. All I need to do now is buy a larger Micro SD card to be able to store maps for the entire country, and then hopefully, I won’t be running of the road in the middle of nowhere.