GIS for Small Cities – Step 2: Catalog your Data

Learn what you have As you should be able to pick up from the title, this post is about learning what you have, specifically with regards to spatial data. This post is the second in the GIS for Small Cities series. The first discussed brainstorming uses for GIS and spatial data at your city or organization. If you are reading …

Asset Management Systems and GIS: Some procurement considerations

During a recent weekly Twitter chat about GIS, a GIS industry colleague asked for some thoughts about selecting and planning an Asset Management System. That question sparked a discussion between Nathan Heazlewood and myself. What follows is an expansion on that discussion. This post looks at the reasons and requirements for implementing an Asset Management System; what software you might use, whether COTS or a custom system, and how to get started. Finally, we wrap it up with a discussion of the need to have buy in from your supporting departments, the need to work with subject matter experts to determine what assets are important, and lastly, the need to keep it simple. Only do as much as you need, with the knowledge that you can add more as you go along.

QGIS – Loading Data

Accessing data in QGIS A few years ago now, I wrote a post covering adding vector layers to QGIS. Much time, development, and improvement has passed since then. Since the usefulness of QGIS increases proportionally with your ability to actually add data to it, it is time to revisit this topic. QGIS has a toolbar strictly for adding data. It …

Tip of the Day – Use a strict directory structure for file-based data

Today’s Tip Define and stick with logical directory structure for file-based data Discussion In every mapping related job I’ve worked, one issue that always arises is data management. Unless you have a spatial database implemented already, the likelihood is that the majority of your data is in some file-based format. Heck, even if you have a spatial database, you are …

Tip of the Day – Ensure you have a Unique Identifier for each table in your database

Today’s Tip Ensure that you have a unique identifier attribute for each table in your database Discussion This is another tip that arises from me doing a task, and realizing I forgot something critical. In this case, the task involved creating a table, trying to perform an operation on said table, and encountering an error or limitation due to a …