Oh. Mah. Wurd. There is so much garbage (literal and figurative) out there, I have a hard time filtering out what is important to know and what will fade with tomorrow’s sunset. The following is my attempt to put down on paper opinions on a few subjects.

Data. Data. Data.

I do know that I am in a self-inflicted ‘funk’ or ‘rut’ or whatever.  With it being a few months before the mid-terms and everyone feeling defensive, that just adds to a general feeling of disgust. Not that I have a feeling of professional impotence, quite the opposite. Things are quite busy and it’s clear that GIS Data will be evermore important. last month I talked to a service from Chicago that will crawl your digital infrastructure and search for datasets. You need to know what data you have.

We need to open up.

Open data sites will provide a way for Local governments to control the flow and provide a source of authoritative content. There are several new tools for searching for open data. The public at large will find and get the data they want. Regardless whether or not you provide for it or charge for it, they are getting the data. Get in front of it and actually BE the data PROVIDER instead of a policing agency.

Better than you make thing out to be

There hase been lots of stink lately about how worthless we are as GIS practitioners from our own people. Everyone wants to be the person predicting the end of the world. It’s the preemptive I told you so! mentality. Make outrageous comments on a blog or online magazine and it gets people riled up and all flustered. The you can be there after whatever will happen to say, “You know I wrote about his very event in 2018…” Here’s is one that is not even a little contrite about slamming us. At least the ever negative James Fee provides some type of solution (Data).

Where is this heading?

As a rule, I do not make predictions, most of the time. Recently, I sat across from a young GIS tech who had lost his job because of local government budget cuts. He was a smart, problem solver who looked at his recent unfortunate events with refreshing optimism. Being the sharp forward thinking person that is needed in local government, he had saved about 4 months of his salary. This allowed him to take his time with deciding next steps. He asked me where GIS will be in 5 years. I scoffed at the audacity of the question but realized he was being genuine in curiosity. So, I indulged in a little forecasting: SaaS, Data and 3D. We went into each a little and I told him why I think things are heading that way. At the end of the conversation I was sure to put forth my general disclaimers about, trends in technology being so easily disrupted… bla, bla, bla… He thanked me for the time  and went to a doctors appointment. After a few weeks I contacted him again and found out he is moving back home to California. Ouch! Illinois loses another one.

-Just my view of GIS from the corn.