A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 11

Day 11

It's all about GIS

Today was one of those days when I try over and over to work my way through a problem. Following up with how I ended on Friday, I went back to the ArcGIS Silverlight Viewer and tried to make a map. One of the first items I attemped to do was add some of our data – after all what good is the map if there's no information on it. So to do this, I had to go into our ArcGIS Server software and create what is known as a "service." Basically I think of this as setting up a pipeline between the map and some specific data that allows the data to be displayed on the map. That is a very simplistic view of it, but hopefully it gives an idea of what I was attempting to do.

The software makes it fairly easy to go through the steps. The problem was it didn't work when I was done. Another GIS person in our office tried to with different types of data, and it still would not work. We suspected it was a permission problem with the folder where the data was stored. We thought sharing the folder might help make this work. The only problem was we could not get access to the ability to set it to a shared folder. So we let our IT people know about this – they couldn't understand why we could not do it because they thought we were set as administrators on the server. But by the end of the day, they had fixed our access issue and now we are true admins on the system! So while I was excited about having the administration thing all worked out, I could not go back and test it on the map. All I had time to do was to go in and share the folder so tomorrow, we will try again publishing the service.

The other major task I worked on today was hosting our GIS Team meeting. This is a meeting we hold once a month where all major GIS users from all city departments come and share what they are doing, the challenges that have come up, training they attended or know about, or problems they need help solving. It's always a great meeting, and everyone offers great ideas.

So the day was completely devoted to GIS with the exception of a few engineering-related issues that came up. Based on all the work I'd like to get done related to GIS, I could use about 6 more months of days like today!