I’m Russell Mercer.  I am a geographer, and have been for over 15 years.  I started using GIS in college and have never looked back.

There are many aspects of GIS that interest me, from data quality and management, to databases, and software.  Of particular interest lately, is simply opening up the possibility of people mixing and matching GIS software to meet their particular needs.  I have worked with Esri products for many years, and the capabilities are unparalleled in many ways.  There is, over time, an increase in the feature set being reflected in the open-source realm.  There seems to be a lack of documentation regarding the use of open source GIS software, to perform common data creation and analysis activities.

There are arguments to be made for choosing either open-source or commercial off-the-shelf software.  These generally revolve around issues of cost, level of support, feature availability, and integration with other software.  My goal is to attempt to show the similarities between the various packages.  If you know the basic concepts, that should translate from one piece of software to the next, and allow you the freedom to move around as your tasks demand.

The slogan for my business is “Know Your Place“.  That may have many contexts, but in this case, should be taken as knowing the needs of your organization, whether public, private or a hybrid, and determine the best combination of software to allow for efficient access to relevant data.

For a more in-depth look at my knowledge foci, view my profile at gis.stackexchange.com

profile for Get Spatial at Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange, Q&A for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals