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comment by veen
veen  ·  901 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 14, 2018

If you're in the mood for learning a new skill, I highly recommend picking up PostGIS and SQL. It's a bit of a steep learning curve but it is an immense timesaver in any big league GIS work. Did a two day course myself and managed to write the Python/Arcpy model from my thesis in PG that ran in seconds, not hours.

kantos  ·  877 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Got plenty of time before traveling, looking into this now - especially with the Esri license expiring.

I'm a newbie when it comes to programming languages. How would you compare this to R? A friend started using R to support her own GIS thesis, which was the first language I was going to review when the license expires.

veen  ·  877 days ago  ·  link  ·  

R is not meant for GIS - it can handle some geo data in tables, but it is really no match for PG or ArcPy. R is much better for statistical analyses and one of my colleagues does most of his work in Excel or R because of it. He’s the only non-geo data scientist, though, and he doesn’t use R’s geo abilities because it’s not powerful enough.

PG can do a lot, especially if you’re clever at combining the rather-basic-but-incredibly-fast functions it offers. (And then there’s always QGIS.) ArcPy has a larger suite of functions, but only within the realm of things Esri wants you to do, so if you’re out there doing anything groundbreaking, you run into barriers more easily.

By the way - there’s an ArcGIS For Home license which gives you an Advanced ArcGIS license (including Pro) for $100/yr if you pinky promise to never use it commercially. I used it for my own experiments.

kantos  ·  877 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Jackpot, thanks for the rundown! I've been eyeing the Home license for Esri, but what I'm looking to do would be a mix of personal and business. The lighthouses in California map you posted a while back, which program did you use for that? Assume that qualified well for a personal experiment/ArcGIS?

veen  ·  874 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I made the lighthouses with ArcGIS Pro, mostly because it's what I know best. But it was not much more than a good ordering of layers to get the desired effect, so QGIS would've worked just as fine.

My opinion is that it's personal until you start to turn a profit. Legal departments of large, loaded tech companies might disagree with me on that, but I haven't heard from them yet.

user-inactivated  ·  874 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Scripts driving Cairo or just scribbling postscript to a file works fine too if you don't want to buy ArcGIS just to have it draw things for you. The ewkb you get out of PostGIS isn't hard to parse. Placing labels legibly is a more complicated problem than anyone expects at first, but the rest is straightforward.