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.
It feels great to be down in Adelaide for Ozri 2014. It’s the first time the event has been held in these parts in roughly a decade, and the excitement of all delegates – local, interstate and international – has been tangible since the welcome function yesterday afternoon.
This morning’s plenary featured speakers at the forefront of GIS technology – and their passion was contagious. Esri Australia’s Managing Director Brett Bundock kicked things off – providing some context to what the conference theme of ‘Pure GIS’ is all about.
It’s not so much what Pure GIS is, said Brett, but rather what it does. In particular, Brett spoke of how Pure GIS: solves real-world problems; ensures a sustainable future and improves our quality of life; reconfigures the way we work, making us more productive and more effective; connects us; and changes the way we look at the world.
Last Friday took us to the final stop in the Directions Tour: Hobart! It was a great way to wrap things up as we had our biggest ever turn out in the city.
Throughout the tour we have been trying to get GIS users to develop their skills; make better use of the software they have; and to increase awareness of the time-saving configurable apps that are available.
Directions 2014 stopped in Melbourne last week at the Langham. More than 200 users attended the event to network, learn and sharpen their GIS skills – as well as hear about what is in store for the future of the ArcGIS Platform.
Attendees were welcomed by Lisa Dykes, Esri Australia’s new Business Development Manager for Victoria and Tasmania. It was great to see so many new people with a show of hands revealing more than half of the users in the crowd were attending Directions for the first time. Lisa discussed the importance of the ArcGIS Platform for Victorian users and I was surprised to learn that only 20 percent of organisations have activated their free ArcGIS Online Subscription Accounts offered as part of ArcGIS Desktop entitlements at 10.2. If you believe your organisation may be entitled to a free ArcGIS Online Subscription Account make sure you check out our recent blog post that outlines how to request your free user credentials here.
I spent the rest of the day as a roving reporter and the remainder of this post is dedicated to highlights from the Melbourne stop on Esri Australia’s Tour de Force, Directions 2014.
Now a year into my graduateship at Esri Australia, I cannot help but look back on what an incredible time of growth I have experienced professionally. I’ve been given the opportunity to meet and work with talented GIS specialists on fun and interesting projects using the ArcGIS platform such as the Channel 7 Election Maps, interesting story maps and many other projects. As a current student, I am sure you’re looking towards next year and wondering where your GIS degree is going to take you.
Attending the Esri User Conference (Esri UC) as an Esri Australia Young Scholar, will certainly help you get your career into high gear! Can you ever remember meeting with thousands of GIS employers at once? No? Me either. At the Esri UC you will not only be given the opportunity to present your work at the world’s largest spatial conference but meet Esri President and Founder, Jack Dangermond. This is sure to bring a highlight to any career and a boost to your job search!
Whether it’s a sporting event, a natural disaster or a key political debate – information streaming to us from live news broadcasts is always the most compelling. On-the-ground analysis from reporters gives us insights and context to the images captured by the camera crew, while an in-studio panel of journalists often use this information to predict how the event might unfold and what critical decisions could influence further outcomes.
In much the same way, live broadcasting the performance of your organisation’s assets and data and effectively managing events that impact your operations is the foundation of the work between OSIsoft and Esri.
OSIsoft is a company that specialises in the management of real-time data and events for operational, manufacturing and business data – enabling users to make decisions in real-time.
This morning I sat in on the GIS in Resources User Group which included mining, oil and gas professionals from right across Australia. The group heard from Drew Smith – a GIS Specialist who talked about the growth of GIS at his organisation, Atlas Iron.
We then listened to Willy Lynch – Esri’s Mining GIS Solutions Practice Lead, who has more than 25 years’ of GIS and geotechnical project experience. Willy described a number of relevant resources case studies that generated some lengthy discussion amongst the group.
Right now I’m off to another user group – this time its Emergency Services. We’re lucky to be joined by Esri’s Paul Doherty – a public safety technology expert who will give his perspective on the role geography plays in meeting the challenges in emergency management.
After stepping out of an incredible plenary session and indulging on the delectable spread, I made my way over to see Esri’s Ismael Chivite and our very own Keera Pullman present on “What’s new in 10.2”. Now that 10.2 has landed I was excited to learn about all the new functionality and enhancements in quality, performance and security.
Just finished listening to an interesting panel discussion on some of the findings from the 2013 GIS in Local Government Benchmark Study. Given the large number of councils who contributed, I’m looking forward to reading the final report when it’s available!
Earlier this afternoon Bernie Szukalski, our visiting Esri international specialist took to the stage again, after presenting at this morning’s plenary. He touched on how we can approach map-based storytelling – a fascinating way of communicating interactively, and also stepped us through how to plan and build an effective story map.
Next up is the Dekho Focus Session where some of Australia’s leading organisations – such as Brisbane City Council – will share how they’ve used Dekho to extend the reach of GIS to their entire workforce.
We kicked off day two of Ozri 2013 with an incredible plenary session. There was an undeniable buzz and energy about the place, creating a uniqueness of an excitement.
To set the scene, our MC – ABC’s Beverley O’Connor – welcomed us to this year’s Ozri with the theme “A Spatial Odyssey”. She then introduced Managing Director of Esri Australia, Brett Bundock – who gave the audience one of his customary warm welcomes. Brett took us through what this year’s conference theme means to him – a GIS journey through WebGIS, which has opened up many new opportunities and capabilities with regards to data, analysis, management, and consumption – revolutionising the way we see GIS today.