9 essential GIS skills

A GIS automates creating, analyzing, manipulating, storing , querying and retrieval of spatial data for users.
However, there are various essential skills that a user should have to utilize the capabilities of a GIS with ease and produce quality products within the stipulated period of time and cost.
GIS Data management   
      Data management is important to ensure that all data being used is put in an easily accessible location within the application to save time of retrieval.A GIS offers various data management tools to work with during analysis based on the data loaded in the application.The kind of projection used for data in a GIS is vital in determining the actual location of features on the earth’s surface.There are many projections available in GIS that can be used depending on the analysis being carried out.


data management tools

accessing layer properties
 Classifying gis data
.The appearance of layers in a GIS should ensure visual balance and contrast to convey information to the map users effectively.
•GIS offer a wide variety of Symbology techniques to use for  features in  a map such as Single , Categorized, Graduated depending on the data being used.
•Labels are used to identify show the identity of features on a map. Labeling is a key skill for every GIS user/professionals as the labeling method depends on user specifications.
Changing symbology for features
Labeling features
 Handling Geo-processing tasks
In the analysis stage in a GIS, there are basic tools for which are very useful in carrying out processes based on user’s specifications.
•There are basic tools that are located in an easily-accessible place in a GIS. This helps in faster and easier access of the tools.
Working with Attribute tables
•Attributes in spatial analysis aids in better understanding of the data that is being used in a GIS.
•The user ought to check on the attribute table to identify the fields to be used in various analysis.
•The table gives a capability for a user to add or delete the attributes as per the user needs. 


Accessing attribute table

GIS DATA querying

•Data retrieval in any GIS analysis is vital as data must be filtered amongst huge amounts of data.
•GIS offers a better and efficient way of data query and retrieval from huge amounts of data using user defined queries and expressions.
•Writing of these expressions is quite easy to ensure faster and effective way of data retrieval.
•These queries can be done using Python scripts or inbuilt querying functionality.
Working with GIS databases
•With the increase in chunks of GIS data around us, we need us skills to store these data in a more sorted and standardized manner-this led to advent of Geo-databases.
•A GIS guys has to be capable of developing, administering and managing these data in Geo-databases.
GIS programming skills
•The recent proliferation of the utilization of GIS in organizations call for more GIS applications to be made available for users who have advanced skill in GIS and for those with little or no skills.
•The GIS guy has the divine task to develop simple GIS applications for various platforms to increase access and utilization of GIS technology. 


Writing queries in QGIS
 GIS Data presentation
•The aim of every GIS user is to produce great map outputs signifying their work and meeting their goals of analysis.
•This is done by well presenting the data in the required formats for the targeted group to view or use the maps.
•GIS offers better and efficient ways of presenting the outputs of user’s analysis.
Map Composing in QGIS
Data publishing
•Modern technology has helped GIS professionals share their work over the internet to a large number of users across the globe. The internet provides a fast and effective platforms for sharing data with users located at different places on the globe thus saving cost of operation and also saving time for data dissemination.
•Modern GIS provides the capabilities  to publish user’s work from their computers to the internet using various ways. One of the ways of publishing data include the use of plugins.


Accessing web plugins

Showing QGIS plugin for data publishing

Wanjohi Kibui

A GIS user with interests in web and desktop systems development, FOSS advocate, trainer and mentor. Lives in Nairobi but finds adventure in travelling.
The "Life in GIS" phrase is as a result of the many told and untold stories in the Geospatial realm.

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