What skills are needed to be a successful GIS professional? Broken down by category, listed here is an in progress list of all the skills a GIS professional may be required to have. Provide your input on essential skills in the comment section below.
- Know all the components of a map layout. See: What’s in a Map?
- Cartographic Design. See: Principles of Cartographic Design
- Understanding of vector and raster GIS data types. See: Geodatabases Explored – Vector and Raster Data
- Ability to create and modify geographic data from a variety of source such as text files, hard-copy maps, GPS data, and field notes.
- Ability to translate or convert data from external GIS file types. For example, the ability to import KML files into Esri’s Shapefile format.
- Ability to perform research in order to find and download external GIS data.
- Understanding and ability to prepare metadata.
- Relational Database Management
- Structured Query Language
- Ability to operate GIS related hardware and associated peripheral devices such as GPS units, plotters, digitizers, and scanners.
- Basic understanding of Microsoft Windows operating system and ability to use standard office software (e.g. word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software).
- Proper use of grammar and spelling. Oral and written language skills.
- Ability to work independently.
- Understanding of how to seek out peer support to answer technical questions.
Programming and Scripting Languages
- Knowledge of Python
- Ability to script repetitive tasks
- Web Servers
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