If you ever want to test a potential hire for a GIS position give them a task to accomplish using a different GIS system than that which they are familiar with. Having taught GIS for almost 10 years, it’s clear that those students who are capable simply read the documentation or do a search online for the best way of accomplishing their desired task. So presenting a potential recruit with a new GIS system will quickly reveal whether they are familiar with the concept of figuring things out on their own by searching online. Once you are familiar with the GIS concepts, any GISystem should be straight forward.
In the spring of 2011 I contacted the city of Luxembourg regarding obtaining data on their city bike share system, named vel’oh!, in order to use the data with the students I taught GIS to in the fall of 2011. Unfortunately no students showed interest in the data. I however dove into the data and did all sorts of spatial analysis and determined trends, statistics and visualizations to better understand the data. I was really only scratched the surface. With over 70 bike stations in the city, each one provides large possibilities for analysis. With my supervisor we met with the data donor from the city and presented our findings. During this meeting he asked me whether I thought certain stations required more bike locks/docks. Typically a station has 15-30 bike docks. The data I had could not address this question but I knew how to find the data in order to answer the question.
I recently read a journal article my supervisor had co-written and thought “I can do this!”. The article clearly laid out a procedure for creating a model that would distribute houses around a central business district based on the preferences of the agents and other model parameters.
My work at the University of Luxembourg focuses on developing a residential model utilizing economic theory for agent location. Agents locate depending on many internal (family) and external (environment) factors. An import consideration for any household is a location’s accessibility to public (train station) and private (shopping) services and work. In order to determine the accessibility of a location you must determine the distance, time and/or cost of reaching all desirable locations.