Sunday, May 20, 2007

HUMAN RESOURCES IN GIS

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People in GIS are one of the five essential components. Success of a GIS assignment largely depends upon the human resources involved in it. A good, skilled, motivated and mutually cooperating team produces excellent results. Like other fields, in GIS also there is a chain of tasks interlinked with each other; any weak link may lead to hampering the whole assignment.

GIS Manager

A GIS manager is the most important personnel in GIS team. Here the term GIS manager is used in broader perspective (it covers GIS team leader also). His responsibilities are to conceptualize, manage and effectively implement GIS in a project. A good GIS manager always explores the possibilities of applying GIS in relevant projects for saving time, better presentation and effective solutions. He should have skills & experience (at least 5-7 years) in variety of GIS tasks and good management skills. A GIS manager should always motivate and “push” the team to finish tasks in time with quality. He should be able to conceptualize the whole GIS task with precise methodology and should also have back up plans, in case if one fails can immediately implement the other. Most of the time GIS-based tasks in a project are critical ones as the team has to bring out good output from bad quality and deficient data, hence GIS manager should have clear picture of the whole assignment and should implement right methods (considering time constraint!).

GIS Specialist

A GIS specialist (or GIS engineer) should have basic as well as advance skills in GIS. He should have at least three years of experience in various applications of GIS (like- transportation, water resource, disaster management, urban planning etc.). He should possess problem defining and solving abilities. A GIS specialist is expected to support GIS manager in defining methodology and helping in its proper implementation. Possessing knowledge of basics of computer programming and database always advantageous for GIS specialist (and for organization too).

GIS Programmer

GIS programmers are now-a-days high in demand. They customize GIS software and develop need-specific GIS modules with in given constraints (time & budget). They should have sound knowledge of computer programming (Visual Basic, C++ and JAVA are most frequently used in GIS development) and should be able to understand GIS problems (hence basic GIS knowledge is required). Experienced GIS programmers are often expected play role of database managers/administrators; hence they should have expertise in database management (in popular database software like- Oracle, MySQL etc.).

GIS Support Staff

GIS support staff performs GIS-related tasks at basic level which includes data collection, field survey, map scanning, data entry, digitization, georeferencing, map printing etc. GIS support staff should have basic knowledge of GIS. It is very important for GIS managers and specialists to convey the support staff that how important there inputs are and doing mistakes at their level may lead to disasters at higher level (while doing analysis and modeling). The actual of GIS begins at this level hence support staff should avoid as much errors as possible in their tasks.


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