[GRASS-user] ArcGIS, GRASS and employability

Roy Sanderson R.A.Sanderson at newcastle.ac.uk
Mon Sep 18 12:58:49 EDT 2006

Hello Tom, Michael and others

Thanks for your comments on this.  I was somewhat baffled by the external
examiner's report, as student feedback had been very positive on the
course.  Perhaps he thought GRASS was only used in education?  I did
demonstrate a few ArGIS features to the students at the end of the course,
but it was noticable that only one of them wanted to use it when it came to
their projects, and the rest stuck to GRASS.

Best wishes

At 10:43 18/09/06 -0400, Thomas Adams wrote:
>Completely agree. One might also go to 
>http://grass.itc.it/community/index.php to see the international use of 
>GRASS GIS and to http://gmt.soest.hawaii.edu/ for the use of GMT, which 
>many GRASS GIS users also use extensively. The assertion that GRASS is 
>not used outside of Newcastle is an openly inflammatory and contentious 
>remark and clearly not grounded in fact.
>So, one would also presume that UNIX, Linux, and MacOS X should not be 
>used in an academic setting for the same reason, that is, that 
>MS-Windows dominates, so
>Michael Barton wrote:
>> Roy,
>> You'll probably get a lot of response on this, but I'll add a bit here. In
>> terms of not being known outside Newcastle, take a look at the
>> user/developer map on the GRASS web site. I'm in Arizona, USA--quite a ways
>> from Newcastle--and we are using GRASS in research projects and teaching it
>> to students here.
>> Because many companies use ESRI products, it will be useful for students
>> seeking employment in those companies to have some familiarity with ESRI
>> software. However, they will go farther if they have a good
understanding of
>> GIS concepts, and especially how to use GIS to solve problems, than simply
>> the techniques of how to push which buttons. People who actually know what
>> to use GIS for, can get up to speed in different systems pretty fast. So an
>> overview of different software, including ESRI, might be a good addition to
>> a course that uses GRASS to more effectively teach how to use GIS.
>> Also, those who are employed in places where the results are more important
>> than the software used might do better with GRASS--e.g. those focusing on
>> research or in consulting.
>> Michael
>> __________________________________________
>> Michael Barton, Professor of Anthropology
>> School of Human Evolution & Social Change
>> Center for Social Dynamics & Complexity
>> Arizona State University
>> phone: 480-965-6213
>> fax: 480-965-7671
>> www: http://www.public.asu.edu/~cmbarton
>>> From: Roy Sanderson <R.A.Sanderson at newcastle.ac.uk>
>>> Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2006 08:51:47 +0000
>>> To: <grassuser at grass.itc.it>
>>> Subject: [GRASS-user] ArcGIS, GRASS and employability
>>> Hello
>>> Last spring I converted a short course I give to some of our MSc students,
>>> from ArcGIS 9 to GRASS 6.0.  Whilst the students had had no prior exposure
>>> to GIS (or indeed Linux), it was obvious that they progressed through
>>> work much more rapidly and learnt more in terms of the fundamental
>>> concepts, and I was pleased with the overall results.
>>> However, the External Examiner's report for the MSc has criticised the
>>> change to GRASS, stating that "it isn't known outside Newcastle" and that
>>> it is harming the students' employment prospects on graduation.  The
>>> examiner is clearly wanting me to go back to using something like
ArcGIS or
>>> MapInfo in the GIS module.
>>> It would be useful if anyone could provide me with a few facts/figures on
>>> the use of GRASS outside of academia, especially in any large commercial
>>> companies etc.
>>> Many thanks
>>> Roy
>>> -------
>>> Roy Sanderson
>>> Institute for Research on Environment and Sustainability
>>> Devonshire Building
>>> University of Newcastle
>>> Newcastle upon Tyne
>>> NE1 7RU
>>> United Kingdom
>>> Tel: +44 191 246 4835
>>> Fax: +44 191 246 4999
>>> http://www.ncl.ac.uk/environment/
>>> r.a.sanderson at newcastle.ac.uk
>> _______________________________________________
>> grassuser mailing list
>> grassuser at grass.itc.it
>> http://grass.itc.it/mailman/listinfo/grassuser
>Thomas E Adams
>National Weather Service
>Ohio River Forecast Center
>1901 South State Route 134
>Wilmington, OH 45177
>EMAIL:	thomas.adams at noaa.gov
>VOICE:	937-383-0528
>FAX:	937-383-0033

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