Flying Fish

When in doubt, Google it!
by Nicole Carlozo -- April 4th, 2013

What is your favorite spatial analysis tool?

Not really an age-old question, but perhaps relevant to today’s environmental managers. There are many out there if you are brave enough to step away from ArcMap. I admit that as a Duke graduate, I feel more comfortable in the Arc world. But as John Fay told my Advanced GIS class, “You are now advanced beginners.” There is still much to learn.

Despite my Geospatial Certificate, I am a student and I often find myself on the ESRI help boards looking for innovative solutions to my mapping problems. And while I am searching for answers, I often come across individuals without access to Arc or the updated Arc versions. What are they to do?

Fortunately, there are other options for non profits, community groups, and any individual in need of spatial analysis tools.

I recently discovered that Google offers grants to nonprofits willing to use Google’s mapping technology to accomplish program goals. Google blogger Tanya Birch recently showcased a WWF project that tracked deforestation in Sumatra. In an era where “google” is a common verb, I shouldn’t be that surprised.

When I think about all of the available analysis options, my head truly begins to throb. Now I find myself not only an “advanced beginner” of ArcMap, but an absolute beginner in the overall spatial analysis realm. Where is a young professional to start? Well, I guess I could always google it.

1 Comment

  1. Seorce
    Apr 27, 2013

    It is true that there are some significant disadvantages with Google as a spatial analysis tool. I am wondering if Bing will release a better tool in their quest to compete with the market leader Google. We will see if their ArcMap can surpass the current standard.

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