Spatial Node: a Platform for Geospatial Professionals

Emmanuel Jolaiya

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I have always been passionate about anything geospatial and want to build a career in the industry. But when I started out, there was no existing platform to showcase the amazing works I have been doing.

Trying to Network as a Geospatial Professional

I faced a huge challenge trying to access resources, network with GIS professionals and also pick spatial inspirations. This made me resort to social media and other platforms like LinkedIn, all of which are prone to noises, ads and distractions, and as such, making it difficult to find and shape my timeline to only geospatial contents. Moreover, these platforms are not designed to showcase and publish geospatial works.

Another skepticism I have for these platforms are the organization and governmental policies that regulate these platforms, which can get your account restricted and in the process, you might lose access to all the consistent posts and works you have created or posted on the platform.

A Need for Visibility in the Geospatial Community by Geospatial Professionals

A relatable example, especially for Nigerians, is the recent ban of Twitter by the Nigeria government. This incident was hurtful as it broke the chain of connection I was trying to build in the Africa geospatial space on Twitter.

I felt indebted to the community, especially to the aspiring GIS users, who were already picking interest in GIS and learning a thing or two from the Twitter spaces we usually hosted.

Worse still, whenever Samuel, a colleague of mine, shares his works on these platforms, they often receive less engagements, which can be discouraging for an aspiring and early-career GIS professional. We are not alone; this is the narrative of the challenge many geospatial professionals face out there.

A Lack of A Central Place for All Things Geospatial

Furthermore, In a recent report by the Africa Geospatial Conversation podcast titled “The Africa Geospatial Ecosystem at a Glance,” a key learning is the common and under-addressed challenge faced by geospatial professionals. According to the report, there is the lack of a central node for all things geospatial and earth observations.

There is no platform designed to showcase the amazing works GIS professionals are doing in the dynamic industry, facilitate networking with peers, source geospatial talents and build their portfolio. As we know, a key component of the GIS industry is the people who continue to drive the development of the field. Hence, there is the need to keep motivating and encouraging these people using geospatial technology to solve real-world problems.

Another teething challenge mentioned in the Africa GeoConvo report was the difficulty faced by geospatial recruiters in finding geospatial talents for projects. This begs the question, “does this mean we don’t have people doing great things with geospatial technology?”

A Need for a Consolidated Place for Entering the Geospatial Field

Additionally, there is an observed entry barrier for those who are willing to make a career switch to geospatial technology. We have seen them ask questions like: “Where should we start from?” and “What should we learn?”.

It can be tasking to start pondering on the type of resources to start with, because there are a lot of them, but dispersed. And more often than not, they get confused on whether to start with open-source or proprietary tools.

But why do we have to go through this stress every time? How can we make it easy for anybody to pick up geospatial technology?

This barrier is also making it difficult for recruiters to find and retain talents in the spatial domain. All these challenges suggest to us that the future of geospatial industry is not only the tools and technologies released daily, but also the People and Community building and using these tools!

Banner with a medium blue background and a thumbs-up emoji that says "Spatialnode to the rescue".

What Geospatial People Really Need

This is why Spatialnode was created to fill this wide gap and serve as a go-to platform for all things geospatial and earth observation including the people behind these technologies. This is so that information can be shared easily across geospatial people and overall make the geospatial community flourish.

Banner with a medium blue background and a thumbs-up emoji that says "Say hello to Spatialnode".

Spatialnode would make people feel they are a significant part of a larger community and eliminate the challenges geospatial people are facing. Next time an aspiring GIS user asks the needed question of where to start from, we would be able to point them to Spatialnode — to discover opportunities and inspirations, showcase their works and connect with the people, organizations, tools and technologies.

Spatialnode as a Geospatial Portfolio

Unfortunately, we can not add our awesome maps and charts in a CV/Resume as GIS people.

Spatialnode would also provide a geospatial portfolio for you. Spatialnode users would be provided with a unique link to their profile (simply, username.spatialnode.net) so they can attach it to their CV. On your profile, there would be details about you and all your spatial works including the maps.

Having this in place, you don’t necessarily need to learn complex website development or pay huge amounts of money to have an online portfolio.

More so, you can always update the portfolio with your recent works with just a few clicks.

Banner with a medium blue background and a thumbs-up emoji that says "Spatialnode as a geospatial portfolio".

More interesting thing is that you can write stories about the project, share the inspiration behind the work, select the plugins and tools you used for developing these projects.

This is especially important as you will not only be able to create maps but also explain how you did it. This is a huge signal of understanding and this is of interest to recruiters.

Spatialnode as a Networking Platform

When you publish your projects on Spatialnode and you make it public (yes, you can create drafts and private projects), people would be able to like it and make comments, you’ll have access to the view counts so you can know how many people have seen your awesome works.

Banner with a medium blue background and a thumbs-up emoji that says "Spatialnode as a network platform".

You can reach out and connect with those who comment on your works and initiate a conversation with them easily.

Spatialnode for Geospatial Job Seekers and Recruiters

As a recruiter, you would be able to filter talents and you’ll be able to see their past works and hit them up easily and faster. So you don’t need to be skimming through social media again or making judgements based on a CV that is not enough to prove the skills of the potential employee.

Banner with a medium blue background and a thumbs-up emoji that says "Spatialnode for geospatial job seekers and recruiters".

Spatialnode as a Learning Resource

Spatialnode would be the go-to platform for you to learn about geospatial technology, showcase your works and connect with like minds. It will aggregate resources from different nodes of the internet and curate them in an easy-to-consume way for beginners and professionals in the industry.

Talks, videos, questions and answers, discussions, webinars, and communities would be curated and arranged in an appealing manner that would be easier for someone new in the industry to consume and implement.

Banner with a medium blue background and a thumbs-up emoji that says "Spatialnode as a learning resource".

Get Access to Spatialnode

Interested in Spatialnode ? To create a free account and start showcasing your works to the community, kindly visit https://spatialnode.net and register. It’s developed for you, the geospatial community and It’s free.

You can also follow Spatialnode on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram , YouTube , LinkedIn and check out the recent interview I had on Africa GeoConvo Podcast where I talked more about Spatialnode.

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Emmanuel Jolaiya

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