May 2011
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Geospatial Technology Competency Model

GeoSpatial Pyramid

The Geospatial Technology Competency Model was developed under the Department of Labor, and is a comprehensive list of requirements for Geospatial experts.

This is an important release because it makes it official that geospatial technologies are a recognized, growing field, not related to any others.  This is leading to the development of programs at universities, job classifications for hiring, and increased visibility for geospatial professionals.

Link to the GeoSpatial Technology Competency Model Pyramid

Link to the Technical Competencies

Some sample technical competencies:

  • Cartography
    • Employ cartographic design principles to create and edit visual representations of geospatial data, including maps, graphs, and diagrams
    • Demonstrate how the selection of data classification and/or symbolization techniques affects the message of the thematic map
    • Critique the design of a given map in light of its intended audience and purpose
  • Geographic Information Systems
    • Demonstrate understanding of the conceptual foundations on which geographic information systems (GIS) are based, including the problem of representing change over time and the imprecision and uncertainty that characterizes all geographic information
    • Use geospatial hardware and software tools to digitize and georeference a paper map or plat
    • Acquire and integrate a variety of field data, image data, vector data, and attribute data to create, update, and maintain GIS databases
    • Specify uses of standard non-spatial data models, specifically the relational data model and its extensions
    • Compare advantages and disadvantages of standard spatial data models, including the nature of vector, raster, and object-oriented models, in the context of spatial data used in the workplace
    • Describe examples of geospatial data analysis in which spatial relationships such as distance, direction, and topologic relationships (e.g. adjacency, connectivity, and overlap) are particularly relevant
    • Use geospatial software tools to perform basic GIS analysis functions, including spatial measurement, data query and retrieval, vector overlay, and raster map algebra
    • Demonstrate a working knowledge of GIS hardware and software capabilities, including real time GPS/GIS mapping systems


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