GIS training isn’t just about improving your own technical skills – it’s also about helping you become a more valuable asset to your organisation. Here, Esri Australia trainer Chris Sherwin looks at seven ways GIS training sessions can help you – and your organisation – gain new GIS skills that boost productivity and efficiencies.
1. Exposure to the latest GIS capabilities and functions
Training courses can quickly bring you up-to-speed with the knowledge you need to take advantage of new capabilities in the technology – such as using online tools and sharing data as hosted services – and make them work for you and your organisation. There are always new capabilities and functionality to be learnt with the ArcGIS platform; and by gaining experience and receiving professional coaching with these new capabilities, you help ensure your organisation is getting the most from its GIS investment.
2. Learn in a collaborative, interactive classrooms
Working in a classroom environment gives you the opportunity to have a full and dynamic learning experience. You can ask questions; see hands-on practical demonstrations – and also enjoy one-on-one time with your trainer.
The ‘exercise’ component of each course also gives you valuable ‘hands on’ experience, equipping you with practical skills that you can take back to your workplace. Ultimately, by learning in a collaborative, interactive class room, you can ensure you’re completely comfortable with the subject matter – and be more confident about applying your new learnings when you get back to the office.
Meet John Hasthorpe – one of Esri Australia’s most popular trainers. A specialist in ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS for Server and ArcObjects – John’s career as a GIS professional spans nearly a decade.
Tell us about your role as a Senior Consultant for Professional Services at Esri Australia – what are you responsible for?
I’m a member of the training team and am primarily responsible for the delivery of ArcGIS for Server based training courses. I am also involved in the development of new training methods, approaches and resources, and look after all enterprise courses and provide mentorship to the trainers that teach them.
What do you love most about your job?
I really like having the opportunity to travel around the county and working with clients to help them get the most value out of their ArcGIS software investment. It is also great to have the opportunity to find out what our clients are doing with the software within their organisation.
People will surprise you. That’s the message I hope delegates took away from my Ozri presentation this year.
The appetite for ‘big bang’ projects has diminished, and organisations are increasingly looking for small measurable wins rather than large scale transformation. Management is much more open and receptive to thinking outside the square and taking risks when we deal with digestible bite-size pieces.
The process of spatial analysis has taken on a new twist with ArcGIS Online’s constantly evolving capabilities in geoprocessing. By enabling an easy interface for spatial analysis through web maps, it’s now possible to empower non-technical people to do their own analysis without having to learn ArcMap. In addition to that, with the web-based options, users are no longer limited by the requirements for high-spec desktop installations.
In terms of administration, it was briefly covered that a user will need to be allowed particular privileges by the site administrator to carry out spatial analysis, which may consume credits.
During my talk, we discovered the different types of analysis and geoprocessing available within ArcGIS Online as well as how to carry out a workflow using those tools.
Ready, set, go! It’s time to streamline your production workflows
As we sprint towards the end of Ozri, Kellie and I just completed our presentation highlighting fast and quick ways to solve your production workflows.
I kicked off the presentation with various efficient editing techniques, focusing on some of the key takeaways with Esri Production Mapping’s Feature Manager, which shares similar characteristics with the ArcGIS for DesktopCreate Features and Attributes windows. However, there is additional functionality that Feature Manager brings to the table that helps you implement more efficient editing workflows, including the ability to create custom feature templates and on-the-fly validation. Kellie then presented to the audience the ability to implement much of your editing workflows with ArcGIS Task Assistant Manager. Task Assistant Manager allows you to create step-by-step instructions for performing various GIS tasks or workflow processes and standardise the completion of a task.
Today, attendees heard about how to create, manage and use the Collector Application from Kym Jackway and myself. Collector is a simple, free application (available on the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store) which allows users to capture, interrogate and interact with their corporate data in the field. With recent updates to ArcGIS, this now includes disconnected as well as synchronisation scenarios. We took the clients who were present at Ozri this year through the publishing of the services and creation of the web map, including the configuration options needed to make Collector sing. Once the setup is done then it is a matter of enabling your field workforce and monitoring their output.
For more information on Collector and the other ArcGIS Apps, please have a look at these videos:
After a pretty hectic day at Ozri everyone was looking forward to a picnic under the stars at Glen Ewin Estate for the Ozri conference dinner. With delicious local produce (there were lots of yummy fig-inspired delicacies –a s Glen Ewin Estate is a fig farm) and local wines – the highlight of the evening was the legendary rock icon Mark Seymour and his band the Undertow, belting out some of his greatest hits – such as Throw Your Arms Around Me, When The Rivers Run Dry and Holy Grail.
After a massive first day at Ozri – and an incredible evening of wining, dining and music on the lawns of Glen Ewin Estate (Mark Seymour made the crowd go wild!) – most people were in need of a Berocca this morning. Thankfully, MapData Services came to the rescue, cleverly handing out a Berocca Twist ‘N’ Go to everyone first thing this morning!
In this session, Ivan and I explored a range of time-saving tips and tricks to improve your ArcGIS for Desktop experience. From demonstrating “hidden” tools to editing and geoprocessing shortcuts, we shared a wealth of experience and information to help the audience bring out the best in their day-to-day workflows.
If you weren’t able to attend the session, here are some of our key highlights:
Discover new tools such as the Eye Dropper, Select Features by Common Values and Load Objects to utilise extra functionality and reduce the time needed to complete tasks;
Create personalised, workflow-driven toolbars and task-based map documents to speed up your work;
Learn handy keyboard shortcuts to work with the layers in your Table of Contents more efficiently;
Take control of editing by using feature caches and custom keyboard shortcuts; and,
Empower your map layouts with advanced dynamic text functions, custom projections and labelling dictionaries to automatically clean up your labels on the fly.
What have you achieved recently in just half an hour?
Watched another repeat of The Simpsons?
Queued in the rain for a cab?
Cooked up a three-course Jamie Oliver banquet?
Well, Christopher Brown and I have just demonstrated how you can build and configure an Operations Dashboard – from start to finish – in 30 minutes. And there were no dirty dishes to take care of at the end!