Earlier this year I was privileged to be invited to take a lecture at Auckland University for the students doing Undergraduate study in Geographic Information Science. Following on from this, on Tuesday 17th September I lectured 60+ students who were enrolled in this course. My role was to talk to them about what its like to work in the spatial industry, what the future looks like and my personal experiences working for a professional services consultancy.
I really enjoy being able to meet and talk with tomorrow’s spatial professionals, who will soon be entering a profession that is hardly recognisable to the one I joined 20+ years ago. In many ways, location is now ubiquitous. Mobile phones and the internet of things (IoT) mean that location is more prevalent than ever and with that comes the opportunity for innovation, new ideas, and for students to develop in a career where knowledge of location and spatial analysis is required.
While talking to the students, I established that they had all grown up after the release of Google Earth in June 11, 2001 - the students simply had not experienced a time when gaining access to high resolution imagery was difficult, not only for the spatial professional, but near impossible for members of the public. Yet in today’s on-demand access to global imagery, whether from satellites, aircraft or drones is relatively mundane, the likes of Open Street Map or the Esri Living Atlas making contextual datasets available as well. I am not sure if students realise quite how lucky they are, as it's such an exciting time to be entering into the workforce with a practical and theoretical knowledge of how location can help solve many of the world’s problems.
Blog written by Chris Morris, Spatial & Technology Group Manager