'Future trends in geospatial information management: the five to ten year vision' is a report by the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM). It makes a great read for anyone with an interest in learning about the emerging geospatial field.
In this post I would like to highlight one particular section, entitled 'Education and Advocacy'. Basically it says that more professionals at all levels need to learn about and become self-reliant in using using geospatial technology.
Here it is, with the paragraph broken up so that the main points can be fully appreciated.
"As well as the development of core skills,..."
"...there will be a need to educate policy- and decision‑makers, planners and delivery agents in geospatial data, potentially to the very highest levels of governments and NGOs,..."
"...to enable them to fully understand the potential of geospatial data in solving key issues. This will assist them in formulating questions and also in interpreting the data."
"This familiarity has been enhanced by the use of simple geospatial information in consumer applications,..."
"These users will need training in and access to simple and intuitive tools that allow them to manipulate the data,..."
"...rather than working through back‑office specialists to obtain their solutions."
In relation to the final sub-quote, the UN-GGIM isn't suggesting that we can survive without back-office specialists. Rather, it's saying that all professionals require a basic level of geospatial literacy which will enable them to engage with these specialists. This will allow everyone in an organisation to participate in the process of building and integrating geospatial systems.
I like to imagine that one day the geospatial specialist will be able to confidently say something like the following to the map requester:
"Ok great. You can start styling the GIS data layer to your specifications on the web map system and I'll start designing the database structure for your project information".
If you would like to read more about the trends in the geospatial industry the report can be found here. An updated version of the report which I recently discovered from December 2015 can be found here.
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