Things that are annoying: the USGS website won’t let me download elevation data for my GIS project (it keeps coming up with a stupid generic error) and I want to throw something before I’ve even opened ArcMap.
You’re onto something with your tumblr blog. It’s quirky and interesting, but you haven’t posted anything new in a bazillion years! Anti-geoawesomeness. :-(
Still, I want to help you and the cause. I’m going to reblog all your posts and pick up where you left off because well, I think it’s pretty cool and I need to amuse myself.
Seeing as I like posting about GIS things that affect my life, one thing I’m planning to do soon is to take the ArcGIS Desktop Associate 10.1 exam. Even though I’ve been using GIS software for over six years now, I’ve only been working professionally for a few years. So, ESRI offers various exams to test your GIS/ArcGIS knowledge, and I’m taking the Associate 10.1 exam because I feel the most confident that it’s the one I’m most prepared for. While I am confident in my map skillz, I’d rather not chance the Professional exam just yet, and instead start somewhere I feel comfortable.
How do I actually feel about these ESRI exams though? I don’t think they really equate to a professional certification, the way undergraduate engineers take the FE exam before getting a job, but I do think it’s a nice benchmark certificate to add a little zing to a resume. It seems It’s not so much about GIS concepts as it’s about knowing ArcGIS really well, take that as you will. That can include knowing how various concepts and tools work, but sometimes it’s just about where to find some button. Whether you’re looking for a new job, or trying to show your current job how qualified you are, it can’t hurt if you pass and you’re ok with dropping a lil dough to take it. For someone like me who is considering a GISP potentially in the next few years, it’s worth a shot, right?
Anyway, for anyone looking to prep for one of these Desktop exams, the legit study guides are for sale (a ripoff? you tell me.) but there’s a few free sample question sites online, which I’ll bullet below:
- Sample Questions for ArcGIS Desktop Associate Exam (ESRI)
- KnowGIS Sample Quiz
- ArcGIS Desktop Question Bank
Anyway, I’ll be studying! By the way, ESRI doesn’t specify a score you need to get in order to pass, but people speculate it’s around an 80%. I know this exam draws a lot of mixed opinions, but I’d rather take it myself before I draw any conclusions.
I just applied for two different GIS Analyst/Developer jobs both located in San Francisco. I have no issue with my current job other than it’s too far of a commute. I hope I hear back soon from one or both of them. I’d love to work in the City. Plus I’d be able to take BART to and from work. It’d save me gas and milage on my car. Fingers crossed! 😃🌃🌇🚎🚈
The Mercator Projection is the biggest myth about the Earth that we pass on (often unknowingly) to our children. OK, I don’t know if it is the biggest but it certainly builds the wrong perception of the globe.
The Mercator projection was originally designed in the mid 1500’s. A highly useful projection because it kept course lines constant. A ship’s navigator could plot a course with a straight line from one port to another. No map projection can keep all features accurate, so the Mercator projection distorts the size and shape of large objects. Land masses at the Equator appear smaller and land masses at the poles are magnified significantly.
A few points lifted from Wikipedia:
- Greenland takes as much space on the map as Africa, when in reality Africa’s area is 14 times greater and Greenland’s is comparable to Algeria’s alone.
- Alaska takes as much area on the map as Brazil, when Brazil’s area is nearly five times that of Alaska.
- Finland appears with a greater north-south extent than India, although India’s is greater.
- Antarctica appears as the biggest continent, although it is actually the fifth in terms of area.
The Mercator projection is not suited for a general reference world map due to the distortion of the land areas. However, if I were a certain Island known as the royal seat for a global empire based on exploration and sail, it would be a great projection as my Island would look bigger.
I like to stun people by showing them the true size of Africa. Here’s a link to another article with some background on the image above: http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2010/11/cartography. My young children have become so familiar with the Mercator projection that it took some explaining to get them to realize what happened. It also mandated my buying a real globe for the house and tearing up an orange to show how real objects don’t flatten well.
The Gall-Peters is a better map to show relative sizes of land mass. I’ll be looking at this makes you twitch somewhat; reminding yourself of the last time you looked into a fun house mirror that made your head shrink.
It also meets the unwritten rule that wall maps should be perfectly square. If you don’t need a square map to represent a spherical world, you can use an equal-area map like the Mollweide projection.
No matter which map you choose. Understand what is was meant to show. Help break the myths created by using the wrong map for the wrong purpose.