Knowledge Economy

Knowledge Economy is the portion of the Body of Knowledge focused on the elements of GIScience central to the growth of the field, particularly in areas related to the professional realm. This knowledge area emphasizes the education and training of personnel, labor and management issues, professional standards (like certification and ethics), industry economics and impacts, and overarching professional community issues.

Topics in this Knowledge Area are listed thematically below. Existing topics are in regular font and linked directly to their original entries (published in 2006; these contain only Learning Objectives). Entries that have been updated and expanded are in bold. Forthcoming, future topics are italicized

GIS&T Workforce GIS Operations
Social, Political, and Cultural Issues Capital: Facilities and Equipment
Labor and Management Funding
GIS&T Workforce Development Implementation Planning
Competence in GIS&T Knowledge Work Organizational Models for GIS Management
GIS&T Positions and Qualifications Design & Implementation of GIS&T
GIS&T Training and Education The Process of GIS&T Design
Professional Certification Problem Definition
Incorporating GIS&T into existing job classifications  Strategic Planning for GIS Design
  Application User Assessment
Coordinating Organizations Requirements Analysis
Agency, organizational, and individual perspectives  Feasibility Analysis
Data sharing among public and private agencies, organizations, and individuals Managing GIS Operations & Infrastructure
Professional organizations Budgeting for GIS Management
Publications Systems Modeling for Effective GIS Management
The Geospatial Community User Support
The Geospatial Industry GIS&T Benefits and Costs
  Data Costs
  Economics & the Role of Information
  Valuing and Measuring Benefits
  Models of Benefits
  Measuring Costs


KE-24 - GIS&T Positions and Qualifications

Workforce needs tied to geospatial data continue to evolve.  Along with expansion in the absolute number of geospatial workers employed in the public and private sectors is greater diversity in the fields where their work has become important.  Together, these trends generate demand for new types of educational and professional development programs and opportunities. Colleges and universities have responded by offering structured academic programs ranging from minors and academic certificates to full GIS&T degrees.  Recent efforts also target experienced GIS&T professionals through technical certifications involving software applications and more comprehensive professional certifications designed to recognize knowledge, experience, and expertise.

KE-25 - GIS&T training and education
  • Compare and contrast training methods utilized in a non-profit to those employed in a local government agency
  • Discuss the National Research Council report on Learning to Think Spatially (2005) as it relates to spatial thinking skills needed by the GIS&T workforce
  • Find or create training resources appropriate for GIS&T workforce in a local government organization
  • Identify the particular skills necessary for users to perform tasks in three different workforce domains (e.g., small city, medium county agency, a business, or others)
  • Illustrate methods that are effective in providing opportunities for education and training when implementing a GIS in a small city
  • Teach necessary skills for users to successfully perform tasks in an enterprise GIS
  • Discuss different formats (tutorials, in house, online, instructor lead) for training and how they can be used by organizations
KE-23 - GIS&T workforce development
  • Describe issues that may hinder implementation and continued successful operation of a GIS if effective methods of staff development are not included in the process
  • Outline methods (programs or processes) that provide effective staff development opportunities for GIS&T
KE-12 - Implementation planning
  • Discuss the importance of planning for implementation as opposed to “winging it”
  • Discuss pros and cons of different implementation strategies (e.g., spiral development versus waterfall development) given the needs of a particular system
  • Create a budget for the resources needed to implement the system
  • Create a schedule for the implementation of a geospatial system based on a complete design
KE-26 - Incorporating GIS&T into existing job classifications
  • Select two effective methods of overcoming resistance to change
  • Illustrate how methods for overcoming resistance to change can aid implementation of a GIS
  • Explain how resistance to change and the need to standardize operations when trying to incorporate GIS&T can promote inclusion into existing job classifications
KE-09 - Labor and management
  • Identify the positions necessary to design and implement a GIS
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing elements of the implementation of a geospatial system, such as data entry
  • Evaluate the labor needed in past cases to build a new geospatial enterprise
  • Create a budget of expected labor costs, including salaries, benefits, training, and other expenses
KE-19 - Managing GIS operations and infrastructure
  • Calculate the estimated schedule required to carry out all of the implementation steps for an enterprise GIS of a given size
  • List some of the topics that should be addressed in a justification for implementing an enterprise GIS (e.g., return on investment, workflow, knowledge sharing)
  • Indicate the possible justifications that can be used to implement an enterprise GIS
  • Exemplify each component of a needs assessment for an enterprise GIS
  • Describe the components of a needs assessment for an enterprise GIS
KE-17 - Measuring costs
  • Explain how the saying “developing data is the largest single cost of implementing GIS” could be true for an organization that is already collecting data as part of its regular operations
  • Describe some non-fiduciary barriers to GIS implementation
  • Summarize what the literature suggests as means for overcoming some of the non-fiduciary barriers to GIS implementation
  • Outline sources of additional costs associated with development of an enterprise GIS
  • Outline the categories of costs that an organization should anticipate as it plans to design and implement a GIS
KE-15 - Models of benefits
  • Describe recent models of the benefits of GIS&T applications
  • Explain how profit considerations have shaped the evolution of GIS&T
  • Outline the elements of a business case that justifies an organization’s investment in an enterprise geospatial information infrastructure
  • Discuss the extent to which external costs and benefits enhance the economic case for GIS
KE-33 - Organizational Models for GIS Management

Organizational structures and management practices for GIS programs are numerous and complex. This topic begins with an explanation of organizational and management concepts and context that are particularly relevant to GIS program and project management, including strategic planning and stakeholders. Specific types of organizations that typically use GIS technology are described and organizational structure types are explained. For GIS Program management, organizational placement, organizational components, and management control and policies are covered in depth. Multi-organizational GIS Programs are also discussed. Additional topics include management roles and technology trends that affect organizational structure. It concludes with a general description of GIS Project management.