The USGS Office of Enterprise Information (OEI) EGIS is re-architecting GIS technical support. Thanks to numerous GIS experts volunteering throughout USGS, and coordination from OEI/EGIS, users requesting support will continue to receive the help they need. OEI and the general GIS community are initiating discussions about the longer term plan for supporting and improving our Agency’s GIS capacity. Please join us for this GIS Community Kick-off meeting. The meeting will feature three parts: 1) description of the work that OEI/EGIS will continue to carry out and/or support, 2) introduction of a series of topics facing the GIS community, and 3) a discussion period.
Meeting details are below:
Date: Tuesday, 12/19/2017 Time: 1:30pm ET
Bridge: 703-648-4848 47919#
Participate on sli.do: slido.com, event code #K814
Google Doc: goo.gl/YVFBYw
Presenters: Shane Wright (Office of Information / EGIS), Roland Viger (Water Mission Area/Branch of Geo-Intelligence)
How will this change how I do GIS?
In the future, how do we handle support requests?
How do we handle communications (e.g., email lists)?
What resources do we have access to?
Given their experience setting up community of practice teams on various topics, the USGS Community for Data Integration has graciously agreed to help facilitate our discussions.
We’ve posted this email and additional details onto a wiki page (this page). Rather than replying to this email, please review and add comments or questions to the bottom of the wiki pages. Your input will help guide our meeting's conversations, so please post ahead of the meeting. If you press the “Watch” button at the top of the wiki page, you’ll get email when other folks post to the page so that you can join the conversation. For those that can’t make the meeting time, we will post a recording of the discussion on these pages. We're trying to invite as many appropriate/interested folks as possible. The groups we've identified so far are listed on the wiki page. If you have ideas for other individuals or groups please specify them in the "Comments" section at the bottom of this page (and/or forward this note to them directly). We'll send out a reminder on Monday, December 18th and can add additional groups or individuals.
The USGS Community for Data Integration has graciously agreed to help facilitate our discussions.
We're tryinig to invite as many appropriate/interested folks as possible. Here are the groups we've identified so far. If you have ideas for other individuals or groups please specify them in the "Comments" section at the bottom of this page (and/or forward this note to them directly). We'll send out a reminder on Monday, December 18th and can add additional groups or individuals.
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
selected CSS folks: email@example.com
EGIS-funded technical and software support was reduced starting in fiscal year (FY) 2018.
It seemed like an appropriate time to re-architect how we support GIS to make use of the many resources and skills throughout USGS.
Technical and software support will be provided by a community of practice as it is being done in other areas.
Thanks to previous, existing and future volunteers!
Users can still gain access to ESRI for technical support by submitting questions through the EGIS support pages, with the help of authorized support staff.
EGIS is still providing support! (more details on that here)
Survey of Community needs and capacity
Has there been much of a survey of Centers about what our needs are for GIS support? How many individuals use ESRI products? Open source? Desktop vs. Server?
Critical step to help define support requirements for GIS Community
There are a number of more local (e.g., individual Science Center- or Region-based) USGS GIS groups. Should we catalog/list them on wiki? Should we invite them? Cross-promote them? What about external GIS groups (other Fed, general interest, or professional groups)?
Support for new ESRI platform components
For a soon to arrive example, what happens when the shift to ArcGIS Pro occurs and ArcMap becomes obsolete? There will be a need for guidance on how to re-train folks to use Pro as well other new ELA-provided products. Should community incentivize moving to Pro to avoid supporting two platforms (Pro, Desktop) w/in USGS?
This is an area where new expertise would be invaluable across the USGS. We are working to develop these skills in-house in many centers, but are realizing the magnitude of IT experience needed just to understand the difference between these new platforms. Doing GIS there is an additional investment, in terms of technology and re-tuning workflows, but this is way more than just a GIS problem.
Beyond technical concerns, there’s the business model, protocols and best practices that simply do not exist at an Agency level. It’s not apparent that these are under development, either. Discussions are needed!
Open source GIS
This is increasingly used by the GIS Community in small pockets. We should assess how important this is now and will be in the future, and plan accordingly.
Technical support forums and other communication tools
Email lists aren’t going away anytime soon
Is there a way for USGS employees to self-elect to be part of these communities? Might post write-up to wiki on how to join/quit groups, as well as listing them, and their respective purposes.
Should we market GIS Talk to a wider community since many (maybe even most) scientists use GIS to some extent?
Do we need another broadcast channel for more quasi-official notices, in case some folks want news but don’t want endless conversations via GIS Talk?
Is BisonConnect the tool we want for this? Other options, like Confluence email lists?
Can we do something better than COOL HELP? Please?
One obvious option is gis.stackexchange.com, or some other public GIS forum
Is functionality of a new platform worth the friction? Do we need to develop protocols for wise/FSP-conformant use? How do we educate our members about these?
Would there be drawbacks from an official/internal perspective? For all or which questions?
What policies apply regarding sharing things like code snippets or test data? Does the USGS policy on open-source software development cover this?