AURORA, Colo. – January 25, 2012 – GIS professionals thinking about taking their careers to the next level and starting their own business need to join Lee Mitchell, owner of G.A.I.A. Professionals, a successful GIS technology firm and Dr. Devon Cancilla, dean, business and technology at American Sentinel University for a free webinar ‘Starting a Geospatial Business’ on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 1pm EST.
Mitchell and Dr. Cancilla will discuss the necessary education, skills, resources and experience needed to start a geospatial business.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro, a newcomer to the field or if you are interested in pursuing your own GIS business, tune into Mitchell’s webinar ‘Starting a Geospatial Business’ on Tues., Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. EST.’ Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/110429248.
Mitchell says that a GIS degree can help you on your path to starting your own geospatial business and that American Sentinel University teaches what many universities neglect.
"At American Sentinel, you get exposure to several different types of GIS software – free ones and the robust ones, so you can understand the range that’s available and help you pick what’s really appropriate for the project that you come across," says Mitchell.
She adds that American Sentinel University is perfect for the independent-minded entrepreneur hopeful, because the online school teaches the most widely used Esri software, as well as synergy GIS software.
"American Sentinel uses open-source software and free GIS tools that are absolutely necessary in running a small GIS business," says Mitchell. "I’ve found that you can leverage much of the software taught here with clients."
She notes that using the available free software can save millions in server and software costs.
"Free software can make a world of difference in setting up your own company," says Mitchell.
Popular free GIS tools include:
ArcGIS Explorer Online is a browser-based tool that relies on the Microsoft ® SilverlightT plug-in. It allows you to make and save online maps, and build and share presentations.
ArcGIS Explorer Desktop, a software that can be downloaded and installed on computers running Windows® (XP and later). It allows the display of a vast array of geographic data, from online sources such as ArcGIS Online or from local hard drives. ArcGIS Explorer Desktop can display content in either 2-D or 3-D and supports building rich geographic presentations. This is a great free tool for users seeking a balance between the ease of web-based mapping and the power of full desktop GIS.
AutoREALM is a free GNU mapping software that can design maps of castles, cities, dungeons and more. AutoREALM is generally used by role-playing gamers who enjoy doing their own maps, but it could be a used make fun maps and to get in map-making practice.
Quantum GIS – QGIS is an Open Source GIS that runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and Windows.
MapWindow GIS – Free, open source GIS desktop application and programming component.
ILWIS (Integrated Land and Water Information System) integrates image, vector and thematic data.
JUMP GIS/OpenJUMP – (Open) Java Unified Mapping Platform.
Mitchell adds that when you are running your own business, you often don’t have the resources of an accounting staff, secretary and other support staff. Every single task is often left up to you.
She recommends using free finance tools like BillingBoss.com, free database tools like DbVisulizer and free document sharing tools like OpenOffice.org. She says American Sentinel addresses all of these free software opportunities in its curriculum, which is why it’s an ideal school for a future GIS entrepreneur.
For example, American Sentinel spends a lot of time discussing cloud technology, which Mitchell says has tremendously benefited her company. To learn more about the cloud, read the August 2011 blog post ‘GIS Finds its Way to the Cloud’ at http://www.americansentinel.edu/2011/08/23/gis-finds-its-way-to-the-cloud/.
"I would not have been able to host Web Maps if I had to start out and buy Web servers and GIS servers. I wouldn’t have had the money. But with Cloud services, you only pay for what you use," says Mitchell.
As with any business, a GIS technology firm can often come down to how you manage your money.
If you want to learn more about starting your own business, be sure to tune into Mitchell’s webinar ‘Starting a Geospatial Business on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. EST’ and register https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/110429248.
Learn More About American Sentinel University’s GIS Degrees
American Sentinel is one of the few higher education institutions to offer an accredited, online Bachelor of Science Geographic Information Systems degree. The bachelor’s program prepares students to analyze, interpret and effectively communicate spatial date while providing insights into GIS to solve workplace problems. Learn more about American Sentinel University’s GIS degrees at http://www.americansentinel.edu/online-degree/bachelor-degree-online/bachelor-gis-degree.php.
Learn more about American Sentinel’s IT distance education programs at http://www.americansentinel.edu/information-technology.
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About American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited associate, bachelor’s and master’s online degree programs focused on the needs of high-growth sectors, including information technology, computer science, GIS, computer information systems and business intelligence degrees. The university is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.