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Spotlight on GIS Specialists!

The GIS specialist’s role has been constantly evolving since its beginnings. In today’s time, where geospatial data is increasingly valued, where there’s a growing demand for analysts, where artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms require regular feeds of all kinds of data, the GIS specialist turns out to be an essential resource that helps meet the changing needs of an organization.

Typical Profile

The GIS specialist is an expert in technologies that facilitate the management of geographic data, whether they need to be acquired, stored, processed or distributed. In addition to possessing technical skills, GIS specialists need to be very attentive, collaborative and capable of explaining concepts that may seem abstract.

Regardless of whether they are directly involved in data acquisition campaigns or not, GIS specialists must understand all data capture modes, ranging from traditional methods of high-precision GPS surveys to mass acquisition methods such as lidar, drone or land vehicle surveys. They should also be knowledgeable about obtaining the precise images captured by various satellites which produce tons of data every day. And how can we forget connected objects which also generate useful data on the state of urban infrastructure and territory localization?

Scope of Expertise

GIS specialists can advise the IT department on optimal storage methods for all data obtained. They ask the right questions to choose the best method based on criteria such as update frequency and format types (vector, raster or point clouds). They also validate whether an external data source (e.g. web services) may be a more suitable option than traditional sources. In addition, they can also confirm whether storing data in the cloud is an optimal solution for specific cases.

When it comes to data processing, GIS specialists need to focus on optimization and automation. As such, they have a good knowledge of programming languages and data integration tools and use them to enhance their organization’s wealth of data. They set up a structure that minimizes manual and human intervention in favour of automated processes. This ensures that the databases contain quality information while meeting the needs of multiple users.

In short, GIS specialists are key resources that help define a data centralization strategy which focuses on Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI).

Above and Beyond

Finally, thanks to their versatility and expertise in technologies, GIS specialists are in a position to suggest the best options for the dissemination of information. As geospatial data is no longer solely disseminated in cartographic tools, GIS specialists must make them available in various media, in the form of reports and dashboards. What’s more, they must also ensure that this data is fed in real time to other platforms such as web services.

In Summary

We see that the role of the GIS specialist has greatly evolved in recent times as technology and interest in geospatial data continue to grow. However, one thing remains the same: Geomatics being an effervescent field, experienced professionals are increasingly solicited by a variety of industries for the range of skills and expertise they bring to the table. GIS specialists help organizations make better decisions in managing assets and activities. In other words, Geomatics opens the door to rewarding careers that allow organizations to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Let’s seize the opportunity!

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