Events

MAY 24 2016

Integrating Microsoft Office 365 and ArcGIS: Developing Skills for the Modern GIS Age

Presentation given at the 2016 Washington GIS Conference

David Howes, David Howes, LLC

Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, Tacoma, WA

Abstract

This presentation will illustrate how the Office 365 productivity suite, one of Microsoft’s fastest growing products, can be enhanced through integration with ArcGIS technology. An approach involving an Excel add-in, ArcGIS Server .NET and Python geoprocessing functionality and an ArcGIS Online web map will be described to demonstrate how GIS practitioners may leverage their existing infrastructure to further extend the value of their GIS data and processing services. A business case for coupling the technology components will be explained and a review of various development considerations will be provided to support a primary goal of the exercise, which is to show how cloud-based services can be integrated to deliver spatial processing capabilities in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The work is being conducted as an ongoing personal research project and is proving to be a valuable mechanism for developing a variety of skills that are useful for the modern GIS developer at any level. These skills pertain to, for example, technology integration, cloud/online GIS and handling JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) data. As complex some of the components of the project can be, the concepts will be carefully explained to ensure that those new to development or with peripheral interest in this topic may find the content as beneficial as those with more advanced development capabilities.

MAY 24 2016

GISPD.com: GIS Professional Development Perspectives

Session conducted at the 2016 Washington GIS Conference

David Howes, David Howes, LLC
Aaron Paul, First American Title
Jeff Berry, Erlandsen, Inc.
Jason Eklund, Kittitas County, WA

Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, Tacoma, WA

Abstract

As we adapt to the evolving GIS world, there is significant potential for enhancing associated professional development activities, especially with respect to soft skills, of which communication is, perhaps, the most important. In this session, four GIS professionals, who are long-standing supporters of the GIS community, will offer their perspectives on new and innovative approaches to GIS professional development and will invite you to contribute your thoughts and learn from what we all have to offer.

The four presenters are all keen proponents of the thinking underlying GISPD.com (GIS Professional Development), an entity that was established by David Howes and Jason Pardy in 2014 to help GIS professionals by providing resources, conducting activities (including conference sessions and events) and encouraging enriching interactions. The GISPD.com approach to professional development, in which balanced consideration of technical/domain skills and soft skills is a central facet, has, it seems, struck a nerve in a very positive way for many GIS professionals in the Pacific Northwest (including Alaska) and beyond. Likely reasons for this outcome include, for example, an emphasis on bringing together professionals who may not otherwise know each other to prepare and deliver high quality presentations that are designed to be as helpful as possible and support strong engagement with the audience. These activities are, therefore, not presentations in the traditional sense, but rather collaboration sessions, in which the audience contributions are as important as the prepared remarks. For the collaboration leaders, the preparation process is also designed to be as valuable as the delivery and is supported by the belief that continually learning how to work well together is just as important as developing work products, a philosophy that allows for the creation of safe environments in which participants may thrive together.

FEB 15 2016

Alaska GIS Professional Development Day

Full day event conducted at the 50th Annual Alaska Surveying & Mapping Conference

David Howes, Ph.D., David Howes, LLC
Luke Boggess, GISP, URISA Alaska
Patricia Gallagher, State of Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys
Sydney Thielke, M.S., GISP, USDA NRCS Alaska State Office
Paul VanDyke, Kodiak Island Borough
Angie Southwould, National Park Service
Terri Morganson, Esri
Mike Hendricks, Ph.D., State of Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys
Tobin Lilly, GISP, HDR, Inc.
Tom Duncan, Fairbanks North Star Borough
John Bean, M.S., GISP, University of Alaska Anchorage
Michelle Pearson, AECOM

Hilton Anchorage Hotel, Anchorage, AK

NOV 18 2015

Integrating Office 365 and ArcGIS

Presentation given at the Washington State Joint Agency GIS Day - 2015

David Howes, David Howes, LLC

Legislative Building, 401 Sid Snyder Avenue SW, Olympia, WA

Abstract

This presentation will illustrate how the Office 365 productivity suite, one of Microsoft’s fastest growing products, can be enhanced through integration with ArcGIS technology. By way of a basic species data example, an approach involving an Excel add-in, an ArcGIS Server server object extension and an ArcGIS Online web map will be described to demonstrate how GIS users may leverage their existing infrastructure to provide what Esri refers to as geoenrichment capabilities.

OCT 27 2015

The Value of Coding for GIS

Keynote presention given at the GeoAlberta 2015 conference

Jason Pardy, Jason Pardy Consulting

Delta Edmonton South Hotel and Conference Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Abstract

In early 2013, Madeline McSherry of the New America Foundation stated in an article for Slate Magazine that "coding is the hottest skill on the job market, the modern-day language of creativity, and a powerful force in the economy". Around the same time, Bill Dollins wrote a well-received post entitled “Yes, You Need to Code,” extolling the virtues of coding for the GIS analyst. Jason will build on these wise and pertinent comments to explain the many ways in which coding is increasingly valuable for the GIS professional. If you don’t have any coding experience, he’ll encourage you to start right away to enhance your capabilities and your employability. If you already have coding experience at any level, he’ll encourage you to help others and provide you with a set of points that you can use in that endeavor. For both groups, he’ll provide helpful recommendations that are applicable to any coding options of relevance to GIS professionals.

OCT 21 2015

Adapting to the Evolving GIS World

Session conducted at URISA GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015, Spokane, WA, USA

Aaron Paul, First American Title
David Wallis, Cowlitz County, WA
Randy Bonds, Jr., City of Yakima
David Howes, David Howes, LLC

Grand Hotel, Spokane, WA

Abstract

The world of GIS is evolving at an unprecedented and increasing rate. As a result, GIS professionals are constantly being challenged to enhance their capabilities and must find effective and efficient ways to adapt as the field advances. In this session, presenters will share their perspectives and engage the audience to collectively consider not only the accompanying technical trends, but also the associated professional development needs. A goal of the session will be to contribute to an ongoing discussion on how to adapt to the evolving GIS world and help the GIS professional be successful in the coming years.

OCT 21 2015

The Value of Coding for GIS

Session conducted at URISA GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015, Spokane, WA, USA

David Howes, David Howes, LLC
Jeff Berry, Erlandsen, Inc.
Aaron Paul, First American Title
Eldan Goldenberg, Freelance Developer
Spencer Gardner, Toole Design Group

Grand Hotel, Spokane, WA

Abstract

In early 2013, Madeline McSherry of the New America Foundation stated in an article for Slate Magazine that “coding is the hottest skill on the job market, the modern-day language of creativity, and a powerful force in the economy”. Around the same time, Bill Dollins wrote a well-received post entitled “Yes, You Need to Code,” extolling the virtues of coding for the GIS analyst. In this session and in collaboration with their audience, a group of experienced GIS analysts/developers will build on these wise and pertinent comments to explain the many ways in which coding is increasingly valuable for the GIS professional. For those without any coding experience, the aim is to encourage you to start right away to enhance your capabilities and your employability. If you already have coding experience at any level, the aim is to encourage you to help others and to provide you with a set of points that you can use in that endeavor. For both groups, the session will provide helpful recommendations that are applicable to any coding options of relevance to GIS professionals.

OCT 21 2015

The Art of the Helpful GIS Presentation

Session conducted at URISA GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015, Spokane, WA, USA

David Howes, David Howes, LLC
Jason Pardy, Jason Pardy Consulting
Matt Stevenson, CORE GIS
Parker Wittman, Aspect Consulting, LLC

Grand Hotel, Spokane, WA

Abstract

As GIS professionals presenting at meetings, conferences and other gatherings, we are all keen to convey to our audiences the details of our projects, experiences and capabilities related to our work. As healthy as this model can be, we have the capacity to go further in enhancing the professional development value of our offerings. In this session, a group experienced in presenting on a wide variety of GIS-related topics for a diverse range of audiences and purposes will impart their thoughts on what works well and what doesn’t work so well when it comes to delivering GIS-related presentations. They will also engage with attendees of the session to complement their ideas with feedback and audience contributions. The presenters will emphasize the importance of downplaying what could rather colloquially be referred to as a “what I did last summer” approach and, instead, focusing on how helpful messages can be drawn from the topic at hand and provided in as clear and simple a way as possible. If we can all strive for an approach of this nature we can continue to increase the standard and value of GIS meetings, a noble and worthy goal with many positive benefits.

OCT 20 2015

Integrating ArcGIS Geoprocessing and Mapping Capabilities into Office 365

Presentation given at URISA GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015, Spokane, WA, USA

David Howes, David Howes, LLC
Eric Sant, Open Range Consulting
Jason Pardy, Jason Pardy Consulting

Grand Hotel, Spokane, WA

Abstract

As adoption of cloud-based computing increases, the use of the Microsoft Office 365 productivity software is growing at the individual and business level. At the same time, the Esri ArcGIS Online platform is being widely adopted to provide mapping and geoprocessing services. By way of a basic species distribution example, this presentation will show how these technologies can be integrated to enhance the capabilities of Excel. In this example, a user is able to select a set of species location records in an Excel worksheet, determine the spatial pattern of the data and see the resulting description in map and textual form. The main components of the supporting functionality are an Office 365 add-in application, an ArcGIS Server geoprocessing service and an embedded ArcGIS Online web map. A primary goal of the exercise is to demonstrate how cloud-based services can be integrated to deliver spatial processing capabilities in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Thus, the presentation will serve to illustrate one of many evolving mechanisms through which GIS professionals can further serve their user community as they adapt to the changing GIS world.

JUN 22 2015

The Value of Coding for GIS

Presentation given to the University of Washington Master of Geographic Information Systems GIS Programming class (Geog 565)

David Howes, David Howes, LLC

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Abstract

In early 2013, Madeline McSherry of the New America Foundation stated in an article for Slate Magazine that "coding is the hottest skill on the job market, the modern-day language of creativity, and a powerful force in the economy". Around the same time, Bill Dollins wrote a well-received post entitled “Yes, You Need to Code,” extolling the virtues of coding for the GIS analyst. This presentation will build on these wise and pertinent comments to explain the many ways in which coding is increasingly valuable for the GIS professional. For those without any coding experience, the aim is to encourage you to start right away to enhance your capabilities and your employability. If you already have coding experience at any level, the aim is to encourage you to help others and to provide you with a set of points that you can use in that endeavor. For both groups, the session will provide helpful recommendations that are applicable to any coding options of relevance to GIS professionals.

MAY 5 2015

Adapting to the Evolving GIS World

Session conducted at GIS In Action 2015, Vancouver, WA

Aaron Paul, First American Title
David Howes, David Howes, LLC
David Wallis, Cowlitz County, WA
Joanne Markert, Leon Environmental, LLC
Blair Deaver, GeoEngineers
Bridget Brown, HDR, Inc.

Hilton Vancouver Washington Conference Center, Vancouver, WA

Abstract

The world of GIS is evolving at an unprecedented and increasing rate, with web GIS, open data, and the app revolution constituting major factors in this change. As a result, GIS professionals are constantly being challenged to enhance their capabilities and must find effective and efficient ways to adapt as the field advances. In this session, a diverse group of GIS professionals will share their experiences and perspectives and engage the audience to collectively consider not only the accompanying technical trends, but also the associated professional development needs. The goal will be to contribute to an ongoing discussion on how to adapt to the evolving GIS world and help provide a modicum of order and direction to help the GIS professional be successful in the coming years.

FEB 19 2015

The (not so) Secret (but very necessary) Skills of GIS Professionals

Presented at the 49th Annual Alaska Surveying & Mapping Conference

David Howes, David Howes, LLC
Michael Knapp, Blue Skies Solutions, LLC
Anne Johnson, Geographic Information Network of Alaska
Becci Anderson, USGS, Alaska
Scott Norton, HDR, Inc.

Hilton Anchorage Hotel, Anchorage, AK

Abstract

GIS professionals often have a job description that focuses on technical skills, but, in reality, need skills in other areas, most of which they learn solely from their on-the-job experience. These wider aspects of professional development, sometimes referred to as “soft skills,” traditionally receive relatively little attention at GIS conferences. Given their importance, this should no longer be the case. This presentation helps expand the nature of GIS professional development in Alaska by bringing together a diverse group of local GIS professionals to discuss a number of non-technical topics that are pertinent to their daily work lives. These topics center on marketing, project and client management, data management, continuing education and the need to, occasionally, perform the role of ombudsman. Having presenters from state, federal, small private business and engineering consulting positions will yield a rich variety of alternate perspectives to which most, if not all, attendees can relate.

FEB 19 2015

The Value of Coding for GIS

Presented at the 49th Annual Alaska Surveying & Mapping Conference

David Howes, David Howes, LLC

Hilton Anchorage Hotel, Anchorage, AK

Abstract

In early 2013, Madeline McSherry of the New America Foundation stated in an article for Slate Magazine that “coding is the hottest skill on the job market, the modern-day language of creativity, and a powerful force in the economy”. Around the same time, Bill Dollins wrote a well-received post entitled “Yes, You Need to Code,” extolling the virtues of coding for the GIS analyst. This presentation will build on these wise and pertinent comments to explain the many ways in which coding is increasingly valuable for the GIS professional. For those without any coding experience, the aim is to encourage you to start right away to enhance your capabilities and your employability. If you already have coding experience at any level, the aim is to encourage you to help others and to provide you with a set of points that you can use in that endeavor. For both groups, the presentation will provide helpful recommendations that are applicable to any coding options of relevance to GIS professionals.

FEB 18 2015

Treading Into Open Source GIS

Presented at the 49th Annual Alaska Surveying & Mapping Conference

David Howes, David Howes, LLC
Jason Pardy, Jason Pardy Consulting
Matt Stevenson, CORE GIS

Hilton Anchorage Hotel, Anchorage, AK

Abstract

Exploration of the individual, organizational and cultural facets related to open source GIS and proprietary GIS is a valuable pursuit that can support GIS decision-making, communication and technological innovation. The presenters will relate their findings and experiences with respect to each domain and their observations from individual conversations, local user group meetings and international conferences. Audience participation will be encouraged to enhance the conversation, with the aim of fostering mutually beneficial interactions and helping GIS professionals help each other as best they can.

FEB 4 2015

The Value of Coding for GIS

Presented at the King County GIS User Group meeting

David Howes, David Howes, LLC

King County GIS Center, King Street Center, 201 S. Jackson St, Suite 706, Seattle, WA

Abstract

In early 2013, Madeline McSherry of the New America Foundation stated in an article for Slate Magazine that "coding is the hottest skill on the job market, the modern-day language of creativity, and a powerful force in the economy". Around the same time, Bill Dollins wrote a well-received post entitled “Yes, You Need to Code,” extolling the virtues of coding for the GIS analyst. David will build on these wise and pertinent comments to explain the many ways in which coding is increasingly valuable for the GIS professional. If you don’t have any coding experience, he’ll encourage you to start right away to enhance your capabilities and your employability. If you already have coding experience at any level, he’ll encourage you to help others and provide you with a set of points that you can use in that endeavor. For both groups, he’ll provide helpful recommendations that are applicable to any coding options of relevance to GIS professionals.

NOV 19 2014

Explorations into Open Source GIS

Presented at the Washington State Joint Agency GIS Day 2014

David Howes, David Howes, LLC
Matt Stevenson, CORE GIS

O'Brien Building on the Capitol Campus, 504 Sid Snyder Avenue SW, Olympia, WA

Abstract

The purpose of this presentation is to support GIS decision-making, communication and technological innovation through an exploration of the individual, organizational and cultural facets related to open source GIS and proprietary GIS. The presenters will relate their findings and experiences with respect to each domain and convey their observations from individual conversations, local user group meetings and international conferences.

OCT 15 2014

Opening the Door to Open Source GIS

Session at the 2014 Northwest GIS Conference

David Howes, David Howes, LLC
Matt Stevenson, CORE GIS

Lynnwood Convention Center, Lynnwood, WA

Abstract

Some GIS users and organizations work entirely with proprietary tools, some work entirely with open source tools and some work with both. Why is that? Is the answer simple or is it complex? And what can it tell us about the potential for the GIS community to reap the benefits of one domain or the other or both? Is this worthy of discussion? If not, then this could be a fairly quiet session. It’s likely though that it will be otherwise and we will have the grounds for a vibrant and constructive conversation.

The organizers have strong backgrounds with proprietary GIS and, for various reasons, also see the benefits of exploring and employing open source options. They’ll relate their goals and experiences and reflect on what they’ve found so far, supported by their observations from various sources, including individual conversations, local user group meetings and international conferences. In the third part of the session, audience participation will be encouraged to explore the personal, institutional and cultural characteristics that tend to lead individuals or organizations to favor open source or proprietary GIS offerings. For example, what do the terms "open source GIS person" and "proprietary GIS person" imply and how can the answers be helpful? There are many potential benefits to a conversation of this nature, including helping people assess the value of pursuing a particular technology direction. As always with this kind of activity, the aim is to foster mutually beneficial interactions and help GIS professionals help each other as best they can.

OCT 15 2014

Extending ArcGIS for Desktop: Python and .NET Add-ins in a Nutshell

Presented at the 2014 Northwest GIS Conference

David Howes, David Howes, LLC
Jason Pardy, Voyager Search

Lynnwood Convention Center, Lynnwood, WA

Abstract

When you invest in Esri’s ArcGIS for Desktop software, you have access to an extensive suite of GIS functionality, including a rich set of mapping and geoprocessing tools. You also have the ability to build on this functionality in an infinite variety of ways through customization options. For example, Python scripting allows a user to streamline processes, develop their own particular workflows and create custom geoprocessing tools and toolboxes. The add-ins framework, introduced with ArcGIS for Desktop version 10.0, allows for the development of plug-in functionality that can be as simple or as complex as required. Add-in developers working with Microsoft .NET or Java can take advantage of the full suite of Windows controls along with the ArcObjects technology on which the desktop software is based to create new tools that are easily distributed and maintained. Version 10.1 extended the add-ins framework to include Python development, making the possibilities even more accessible to many users.

This presentation will demonstrate the power of add-ins through simple .NET and Python examples. Attendees will be able to see that using free development programs (Visual Studio Express and PyScripter), add-in development need not be intimidating and with a few straightforward steps they can be well on their way to seeing a significant return on their learning effort. Coding is an increasingly important consideration for the GIS practitioner and getting started with add-ins can be a rewarding way of opening the door to a whole new world of GIS possibilities as well as getting the most out of your ArcGIS for Desktop investment.