Sunday, September 30, 2018

3 sure ways to Land your first GIS and Mapping Job - as a freelancer, contractor, or small business owner

Dear reader,

To effectively Build your career in this industry, you need a solid educational background by taking classes in geography, surveying, geodesy, cartography, GIS, spatial analysis, database management, web technologies, and programming. A common problem with GIS/digital map learning and related institutions is that they never guide you on how/where to find good paying jobs after they have impacted the necessary skills on you.

"It is one thing to acquire the skills and it is a different ball game to make money from your mapping skills".

Many classes in the formal education tend to focus more on the theoretical concepts, so I strongly encourage you to look on to acquiring production skills afterward. Learning platforms such Udemy, Lynda, Udacity, PluralSight, Boundless etc tend to have more practical and real-world production oriented courses. Take your time master those once that suit your career before jumping in the labor market.

In this post, I will open up your eyes to three ways to get your first GIS and Mapping Job. I assured you of your first GIS and Mapping Job or some passive income in three months time before settling on a permanent job, if you follow the advice below diligently... Let's do it.

Here are the three ways to land your first GIS and Mapping Job:-

1- Search and apply for opening in Government and Private sectors:
Note here, you should be able to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious (it requires your maximum level patience).

There are many GIS entry-level jobs and internships often targeted at recent graduates. Many Government sectors at local, state or federal level have GIS/Mapping needs and this varies from one country to another. You will have to refer to your specific country to see what government organizations fits into your skills.

To give you some ideas, there are many different government industries that have GIS and mapping departments some of them include: health, agriculture, transportation, construction, real estate, mining, communication, disaster management, research institutes etc. Watch out for opening in some of these areas and push in when you find one.

On the other hand, there are privately run startups or companies you can work with. If you take away the big names, it is sometimes difficult to know what other options exist that you can apply to. Here I will show you how the search for them.
  • Conferences, meet-ups and workshops
  • Geospatial Magazines and other publications
  • GIS Forums
  • Subscribe to newsletters
As an example, below is newsletter from Geomares Publishing. Just that one newsletter alone, you already have access to so many potential employers of your GIS and mapping skills. There are all sort of information including job postings there to keep your eyes on for possible job openings.

The newsletter ofter covers the areas which include "Marine Product Updates, Geomatics Product Updates, GIM International Newsletter, Hydro International Newsletter, Offers and Promotions, Geomatics World Newsletter and GIS Professional Newsletter".

This is just one, there are many more magazine out there to subscribe to and get tones of current and relevant information in the GIS and Geospatial domain. Here is a list below, remember to search within your locality for local alternatives.

Most of these magazines are published few a times annually, but when they do get published be rest assure of finding ample of information including job listings and potential companies in the industry that could hire you.

I strongly encourage you subscribe at least to the soft copies if you can't afford the hard/printed copies and watch out for job openings.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

QGIS 'Add Delimited Text Layer' with Special (Chinese Language) characters

Add Delimited Text Layer in QGIS isn't new. In fact it is the easiest way to import a list of coordinate points in .CSV file into QGIS as a map layer.

What is new here is that the CSV file has some columns with Chinese characters. And such characters are not well read in CSV file formats. For example here below is how the original data looks in excel .xlsx format.

After saving it as .csv for import into QGIS via "Add Delimited Text Layer" menu, it looks this below. Obviously this is not what is expected in the CSV file.

Excel (.xlsx) is not recognized in QGIS "Add Delimited Text Layer", so we can't use the excel file directly. We have to find a way for the CSV file to read the characters correctly or we look into using another file format such as the text file.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Map of the Six Geopolitical Zone in Nigeria showing total number of registered voters

There are Six Geopolitical Zone in Nigeria as listed below. The six geopolitical zones of Nigeria is a major division in modern Nigeria, created during the regime of president General Sani Abacha. Nigerian economic, political and educational resources are often shared across the zones (source wikipedia).

North Central (loosely known as Middle Belt):

  • Benue
  • Kogi
  • Kwara
  • Nasarawa
  • Niger
  • Plateau
  • Federal Capital Territory

North East:

  • Adamawa
  • Bauchi
  • Borno
  • Gombe
  • Taraba
  • Yobe

North West:

  • Jigawa
  • Kaduna
  • Kano
  • Katsina
  • Kebbi
  • Sokoto
  • Zamfara

South East:

  • Abia
  • Anambra
  • Ebonyi
  • Enugu
  • Imo

South South:

  • Akwa Ibom
  • Cross River
  • Bayelsa
  • Rivers
  • Delta
  • Edo

South West:

  • Ekiti
  • Lagos
  • Ogun
  • Ondo
  • Osun
  • Oyo

Friday, September 14, 2018

Quick Python Guide to Extracting Data from API

Introduction to API
Many organizations uses the Application Program Interface (API) to allow developer access some of their data. Access to data set via API is usually controlled by using the "API Key or client ID" which can be obtain by registering for free or at some cost.

A data set that changes quickly is better served through an API instead of a static database. To access the API data you have to send request to the remote server where the data lives. In most cases, an API data lives on the remote server in XML or JSON format.

To learn more about specific API structure make sure you take a look at it's documentation which is usually made available by the provider. API
In this post, we will take a look at the open data on API. Specifically, we will send request to get the "players" data. The process discussed here will work for any request type with little or no modification.

First, before you continue I recommend you read the developer API page.

Step 1: Identify where the data lives and get its request url
From the request test page, you will that the players' data lives on this url below:-


Step 2: Get the url and parse it into python
Now that we know where the data we needed is located, we parse it into python. I prefer using JSON, so I will use the JSON url to collect the data into pandas data frame for further processing.

Note that you will need to identify the JSON element root and child to get hold of the data in pandas. To easily identify the element roots, use an online JSON reader such as this...

If everything was successful, the above script should produce the dataframe table below:-

Step 3: Do something useful with the dataframe data. You can save it to a database or CSV file.

That is it!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Simple Map Animations using QGIS and GIMP

Hello there,
It is no longer new that most aesthetically pleasing maps out there have some of it elements accomplished with photo or graphics editing software.

In this post, you will see the important of having a graphics editing tool in your GIS tool set. We will use QGIS to generate the maps and then use GIMP to animate the maps for to present the map to our potential client.

Have a feel of what an animated map is below. It is the map of edo state, Nigeria displaying various levels of details on a single GIF image file.

Animated maps are good for showing time series data. Basically, this may involves illustrating the changing of same object over time in the same area or the simultaneous movement of different objects across an area over time.