Life is an endless journey of learning, evolving and changing. Or, at least, it should be.
As children, our most prominent and important priority is school and learning how to be future productive members of society. We learn our ABCs, how to count to 10, how to read a book, etc. As we grow up, our acquisition of knowledge evolves into more refined categories such as literature, anatomy, calculus and whatever else our schools demand of us (here’s looking at you, orchestra).
Moving forward, we dive into a world of adulthood called college. We’re given the option to pick and choose what we want to focus our attention on and what subjects we think we should learn the most about. Our path in life is predicated by the courses we find we enjoy the most; for example, writing comes easy, so a career in marketing seems like a natural choice.
It’s not exactly that simple (obviously) as many people find careers in completely opposite fields from their degree, but you get the point. We followed a path in college that directed our attention to what we enjoyed learning about the most — or what we wanted to be when we grew up.
After graduation, there are some bold few who choose careers that demand additional schooling — doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc. Their learning doesn’t stop like it may for other people. But for most of us, the quest of knowledge flounders. We find a job, we settle into our routines, we pay our bills and lead our lives.
But learning means growth. And growth means change. And change can mean … success!
In an endlessly changing business like the geospatial industry, the biggest challenge is trying to stay on top of new technologies, software, advancements and everything in between. For example, we’ve recently seen the rise of UAVs and their implementation into multiple facets of daily life.
In order to be successful and stay relevant, contractors, business owners and the like must decide if that new technology would be beneficial for them. And trying to stay ahead of (or even in line with) the geospatial curve means learning.
Take this month’s story from Linda Duffy, for example. Building information modeling (BIM) has proven to add significant value to jobs since its inception. But now its processes are expanding to include even more phases of design, construction and project management.
That expansion is leading to new business opportunities and avenues to explore for business owners or geospatial contractors. And for someone that has never used BIM before, it might be the right time to learn more about it. There’s that key word again: learn.
In our GeoPositions column this month, we spoke with Nicholas Weil, a GIS analyst at Remote Sensing & GIS (RS&GIS) at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. His entire life has centered on the pursuit of knowledge and using it to grow both professionally and personally.
For Weil, no two days are alike. With projects, challenges and technologies constantly changing, he has to learn what he can … and then use that knowledge to understand how to complete, solve and operate them. That’s why he’s well-versed in everything from remote sensing and GIS, to UAS operation and field data collection.
Maybe we should take this lesson that the geospatial industry is giving us … that we should get back to our child-like ways where we looked at the world in wonder and try to learn as much as we possibly can about the things around us.
Knowledge is power, after all. And not only that, but it might just be the difference between failure and success.