Ten or 20 years ago, “planning your life’s career” meant just that. People tended to learn a relatively narrow set of skills and “settle in” to a professional life with a simple career path and one or two employers. Today, this traditional employment model still exists, but a current professional career might also involve multiple employment relationships, participation in a “virtual” organization, self-employment, or pursuit of many types of jobs during one’s lifetime. The bottom line in today’s world is that it pays to be educated broadly, yet skilled technically, to meet the challenges and reap the tremendous opportunities of an information-based global economy. More and more, this information-based global economy is becoming a geospatial information-based economy. Such tools as aerial and satellite remote sensing imagery, the Global Positioning System (GPS), and computerized geographic information systems (GIS) are revolutionizing the conduct of business, science, and government alike.
Geospatial information is increasingly becoming the driving force for decision making across the local to global continuum. Tasks as varied as planning urban growth, managing a forest, implementing “precision farming,” assessing insurance claims, siting an automatic teller machine, routing 911 vehicles, drilling a well, assessing groundwater contamination, designing a cellular phone network, guiding “intelligent” vehicles, assessing the market for manufactured goods, managing a city, operating a utility, improving wildlife habitat, monitoring air quality, assessing environmental impact, designing a road, studying human health statistics, minimizing water pollution, undertaking real estate transactions, preserving wetlands, mapping natural hazards and disasters, providing famine relief, or studying the causes and consequences of global climate change, can be greatly enhanced by the use of some form of geospatial technology. The pioneers, builders, and specialists in geospatial information collection and management are trained in such fields as photogrammetry, remote sensing, and GIS.[Read More]