survival kit

Future Prepping

This entry is part of 71 in the series Pangaea

This month is National Preparedness Month, and while we all should take the opportunity to get prepared for emergencies, I’d like to talk about prepping along another line: getting ready for the future of geospatial.

If there is any certainty in this life it is this: life is uncertain. The geospatial profession is no exception. So how’s a busy professional supposed to cope with an ever-changing industry? Here are three ideas.

1) Situational awareness. Here’s where I have to put in a plug for xyHt and its family of digital and print publications. I’ve been honored to work with these folks for more than fourteen years, and I am singularly impressed with their knowledge and passion for all things geospatial. What’s more, we have a cast of guest authors who offer an extensive array of professional experiences and knowledge that run the full gamut of geospatial technology. While we never forget our roots in land surveying, we are definitely focused on where the profession is heading and what tools are, and will be, used as we all move together into the future. To top it off, this situational awareness resource comes to you at absolutely no charge. You’re welcome.

2) Conferences. Whether it’s a user conference for the hardware or software you use daily or a broader expo on a specific market segment important to you and your firm, I can’t say enough good things about attending these shows. Networking? Check. Learning about the latest and greatest geospatial technology? Check. Getting insights on application-specific challenges? Check.

Conferences do represent an investment in both time and money. One way to cost-justify them (to your personal budget, maybe not so much to your boss) is roll them into a mini-vacation; tack on a couple of days before or after the show for some fun time. After all, most of the shows are located in cities offering plenty to see and do. (Las Vegas, anyone?) If you are looking for ideas on which conferences to attend, check out the events calendar in this newsletter and in xyHt magazine.

3) Continuing education. Furthering your education while holding down a full-time job used to be a big pushup. Paying tuition fees and managing evening and/or weekend schedules and commutes can be a big headache. That’s all changing with the arrival of massive open online courses (MOOC) that allow you to take classes in the comfort of your own home, at a relaxed pace, and, often, for free. Objections over-ruled. Take a moment to read Marc Delgado’s excellent “MOOC ado about Reskilling” for more ideas.

Combine all the above along with white papers and webinars in your specific area of interest, and you’ve gone a long way towards preparing yourself for what’s to come: future prepping!


Pangaea LogoThis article appeared in xyHt‘s e-newsletter, Pangaea. We email it twice a month, and it covers a variety of unusual geospatial topics in a conversational tone. You’re welcome to subscribe to the e-newsletter here. (You’ll also receive the once-monthly Field Notes newsletter with your subscription.)

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