Open source data of Great Mekong Region

My growing interests to Mekong area have also grown my spatial data collection in the area. Just some random stuffs, and you probably knew I love open source data, and really love to visualize the date.  If you guys are interested in collaboration on geospatial  data analysis, data visualization on research, writing, mapping, just let me know.

These are free datasets I collected and am also trying to digitize more data for the region. These are not for commercial use, if you are interested in using in research, conservation purpose. I would love to make my contribution to visualize the data.

All the data and maps present here are used analysis and cartography tool on  ArcGIS desktop, ArcGIS Online and QGIS.

Soil map in Mekong:

Screenshot-2015-10-15_15.41.24

More details please visit my ArcGIS online map: Soil map in Great Mekong Region

Drought, typhoon risks and biodiversity conservation in Great Mekong Region.

 Screenshot-2015-10-15_15.55.30

biodiversity hotspots, TNC ecoregion, drought and tropical storm data layers

 You could turn on and of the legend on the map.

location, location, more locations: location intelligence and geocoding for growing the business

I’ve been browsing through the job broads too much recently. Yes, TOO MUCH, which makes me so anxious and angry sometimes. The employers out there just wanna you to do everything. Only the GIS job kinda things I am really interested in now, the employers want me to use ArcGIS for years, know all the spatial analysis/statistics, and also know open source data sources, and different satellite images processing—OK, I could do that. But I also need to be able to code via C++, Python, Jave, CSS and HTML, AND if I know the popular statistical and mathematical tools, like SAS, STAT, R, or MATLAB is plus. What about you could also use Adobe illustrator to make the most awesome maps and you better speak second and third foreign languages. The essential duties for the job position are …. a list of 20 duties, and requirements… another 30 of them and additionally… you must have xxx years of social, economic and environmental science related work experiences in Africa, Asia and South America…. I get it, I am never gonna be a good candidate. But, employers out there, come on… you don’t need a technical slaver, or Mr./Ms-knows-everything, you need the employee who can learn and wanna learn, and who can really evolve with your business and passionate about the job you give to them. When the employers refuse to give you the job offers that they are also so confident that they are gonna find someone right fit the position very soon, which terrified me the most. YOU ARE NOT THE BEST— that is the message I got everyday while I’m browsing through the job boards!

Back to the location intelligence. Business people, enterprise and industries leaders out there have grown their interests on analyzing your shopping behavior, habits and locations. Yes, it all about us. U.S Census bureau has launched two programs about the location analysis/intelligence for small business people who wanna start they own business, one is called country business pattern and another one is ZIP code business pattern.It aims to help small business people. The data are from 1998 to 2013, I never have a chance to use them but it could be super cool to dig out the information and pattern through the data. Future business starters would need more and more of this kinda information. From my own opinion is that: firstly, the business pattern would help you to analyze or map out the similar business you wanna run out there in your town, county or even nationally; secondly, the ZIP code business pattern could do the similar thing like business pattern analysis , but the ZIP code could also be used to analyze your potential customers’ behavior, race and so on, which means just map out your potential customers largely; the last step could be the real location analysis/intelligence, which would help you to analyse where is the best location to build/start your business, to avoid the potential business competitors but target to a bigger group of future customers. It’s certainly a mixing of information science, spatial analysis, statistics….

I only know about the ZIP code/geocoding so far, but it’s way too cool, and just wanna make a little note to myself in this blog. For an example you could go back to see my first blog in this blog site. The main process for matching the addresses/ZIP codes is: 1) Build/obtain reference data, which could be points, e.g. cities, counties, nations, or houses; polyline, e.g. streets, roads, and polygons, e.g. independent house, business centers; 2) Select address locator style, they are US Address-Dual Ranges, One Range, Single House, Street Name, City States, ZIP 5 Digit, ZIP +4, General-City State Country, General- Gazetteer, General-Field; 3) Build address locator, and then 4) Perform address matching. ArcGIS geocoding could do process this for you, and you could just run the geocoding through it. In the spatial analysis, besides the locations, the scale of your interest in are very important, for example, independent house and shopping mall are polygon in bigger spatial scale but they become points when you zoom out to a smaller scale.

location map

Creating interactive maps inside existing business systems can help users see patterns that graphs and charts cannot reveal. (ESRI)

Reference for the blog content except the complaining at the beginning and my own thought:

  1. location analysis for business from ESRI;
  2. Geocoding on WIKI ;
  3. Business pattern analysis data from U.S. Census;
  4. Business strength geocoding;

To get a GIS analyst job that questions you would be asked in the interviews and questions I have

I am research fellow at an international research organization, Chinese citizen, and have moved to the states in 2014 with work permit in the states. I found myself is not that into writing peer-reviewed journal articles but love geospatial analysis and I’ve been doing it since 2005. I tried to look for GIS analyst job in the states, basically in DC area. However, I just realized I am in such a awkward position now:

1) a lot of positions ask for security check, which is impossible for a Chinese citizen to pass it in the states;

2) Do employers normally not employ people whoever is overqualified? I have PhD degree in ecological economics from China, and I was told I am overqualified while I try to apply a GIS analyst position. I am not that competitive while I wanna a higher and more advance positions, but I am overqualified when I want a entry level job. To be honest, i am just like to play with data, and just wanna get a job in the states while my husband is in a med school here.

3) How can approve to my future employer that I have the GIS knowledge they ask for. As you known, people usually claim they are GIS pro however the skills do vary. I could program in Python and also in R, e.g. general geospatial analysis, hydrological balance modeling. I’ve gone through the book of Esri ArcgGIS Desktop Associate Certification Study Guide, and I am confident I could pass it, so I decide to go for the professional certification directly. I’ve started to go through the books and materials that Esri ArcGIS Desktop Professional (10.1) a month ago. I am half way through now, and am start to wonder if the certificate is ever going help for getting a job in GIS industry. It’s going to be great to hear more of your insights.

I know it’s a long way to go. I’ve been check job board quite regularly and these are questions might come to me (or you) in the coming interviews. look like I have a lot of homework to do.

Skills

  • Tell me about a new skill you taught yourself (need not be GIS). How did you teach yourself?
  • Here’s an online map. What works well? Why? Where do you see room for improvement? Why?
  • How would you describe what GIS is to a sixth grader?
  • What’s your favorite programming language? Why?
  • What’s the topic of the last GIS presentation you gave for work or school? How did the presentation go? How did you prepare for it? What would you have changed, looking back on it?
  • What book or website do you reference the most in doing your GIS work/homework? What sort of information are you typically seeking?
  • What are three things you might do if you got stuck while working on a school or professional project?
  • What can you tell me about open source? How do you feel about it? Have you used it? How? Why?
  • What can you tell me about open data? Have you used it? How? Why?
  • What do you know about OpenStreetMap? Have you contributed? Why or why not?
  • Do you use a GPS in your car/bike or on foot? Why or why not?

Interest and Motivation

  • Tell me about a map or mapping project you did outside of work or school.
  • What’s the next thing you want to learn about in GIS/geospatial technology? Why?
  • What first got you interested in geospatial technology?
  • Who was most influential in spiking your interest in GIS?
  • If you are the GIS person in the backroom, why do you think what you do should be in/on the ________ (boardroom/sales team/training team/etc.)?

Professionalism and Industry Awareness

  • What do you like best about your current/last job/GIS courses at school?
  • Give me your elevator pitch for why this company needs your GIS skills.
  • Are programming skills important in GIS? Why/why not?
  • Will the GIS profession go the way of the office secretary/typist?
  • Does GIS belong in IT or elsewhere (planning, engineering, etc.)?
  • Do you think like a geographer or a ______ (marketer, forester, geologist, programmer, etc.)?

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