[Ottawa_users] contacts

Tracey P. Lauriault tlauriau at gmail.com
Fri Aug 14 09:42:58 EDT 2009

I also recommend accompanying GIS learning with an education in geography,
environmental studies of the field within which you wish to apply the

Anyone can use a tool but to use the tool to inform decisions and public
policy also requires and understanding of the issues and also geographic
concepts.  This means using the tool responsibly.  I have seem many terrible
GIS maps, bad science, poor social policy and ridiculous assumptions based
on spurrious variables coming from people who can use the tool but do not
comprehend the natural, physical and social science behind their

Think of it this way, knowing how to use word processing tools does not make
one a writer, knowing how to use SPSS does not make one a statistical
analyst.  Knowing ESRI or any other geomatics tool does not make one a
cartographer or a person able to accurately, reliably and authoritively
communicate a geographic phenomenon.

My favorite good example is the collaboration between the AAAS and human
rights groups, here is a link:


The geomatics people know their science, communications people know the
stories, the HR groups know the ground.  Together they produced an excellent
report that aims to objectively report ground truth.

On Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 8:50 AM, Dave Sampson <samper.d at gmail.com> wrote:

> Most of what I have learned about GIS has been self taught so pardon the
> offloading of resources. I also find that learning something is a lot
> easier when you have a particular task at hand to do.... so here are
> some questions to think about and some reosurces to get you started...
> hope it helps.
> Well I guess the first place to start is maybe answering some questions.
> 1. What do you want to do with GIS
> 2. Do you have a specific problem?
> 3. Would you know the difference between raster and vector and when
> either one is used
> 4. Do you own or will use a GPS?
> 5. Are you on windows or linux? (or mac?)
> Some resources that might help.
> * The university of Guelph Geography dept. they might have some intro
> GIS courses you can drop in on or take http://www.uoguelph.ca/geography/
> * This is a good book for getting an intro to GIS and open source
> software http://www.grassbook.org/
> * here are all the tutorials for GRASS.
> http://grass.itc.it/gdp/tutorials.php  if you complete this list you'll
> know more than the average GIS user.
> * OSGEO4W is a stack of open source software you can install all at once
> instead of seprately (this is a windows thing, let the list know if you
> are using Linux and if so what distro) http://trac.osgeo.org/osgeo4w/
> * Here sre some QGIS documentation and tutorials
> http://www.qgis.org/en/documentation.html
> The Canadian centre for remote sensing has some great online tutorials
> for image processing of satellite imagery:
> http://ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/resource/index_e.php#tutor
> GeoConnections is a National program helping to build capacity in the
> field of Geomatics for Canadians... check out their online tutorial:
> http://www.geoconnections.org/publications/training_manual/e/ this will
> be a good intro to geospatial web services, standards and metadata.
> For some free data check out the following resources:
> * http://www.geobase.ca/
> * http://geogratis.gc.ca/
> The atlas of Canada should give you some idea of what kinds of products
> can be made from GIS outputs. Certianly not the only use for GIS but it
> may provide some motivations. They currently have a feature on polar
> maps:
> http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/english/index.html
> That is enough resource dumping from me for now.
> i hope this sends you on your way to self discovery.
> Cheers
> On Thu, 2009-08-13 at 13:56 -0700, Mike Waters wrote:
> > Hi there,I have sent an email or two in the past regarding the following
> subject: How to get started in an ESRI position. This task is the Catch 22
> in the finest example.
> > I have a strong IT background, however the leap to GIS is quantum.
> > Any suggestions ? I have tried to acquaint my self with GIS and as you
> might guess there is a limit to this, Appreciate any suggestions in the
> Guelph.        Michael Waters
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Ottawa_users mailing list
> > Ottawa_users at lists.osgeo.org
> > http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/ottawa_users
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Tracey P. Lauriault
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