GIS and Mapping

GIS – Becoming Part of the Background

I’ve been pinged a lot lately about GIS applications – particularly at integrating GIS-based technologies (e.g. ArcGIS Server) into an application.

The strange thing is that the requests have all been for “GIS Developers” to the exclusion of non-GIS developers. To be frank, I’d rather have a hot developer that hasn’t done GIS than a pure GIS developer. The past GIS development that I have seen others do has been related to pretty advanced GIS – workflows, feature extractions, deep analysis, etc. Valuable capabilities for sure, but these are pretty domain-specific and niche needs. Application development is far broader than a specialized polygon analysis and it shows.

Perhaps my exposure is a bit different than others, but I’ve found that I get far better results in taking a good coder and having them learn GIS than taking a GIS-centric coder and teaching them to be better coders.

The apps that require heavy GIS are certainly out there, but the majority of today’s apps are pretty basic – it’s the coding capabilities that matter more.

So my advice to a few people of late is go out and get some solid coders – we can fill in the GIS, or even “mapping” gaps as we go along.

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