This question is not about any code or bugs. This is about GIS profession. I am GIS professional working with MapInfo, OpenLayers, SQL Server, Oracle, and System integration.

I learned everything from stackoverflow.com and gis.stackexchange and google.com. Now I want to have some training in this field related to telcom and GIS.

What sort of training should I take that can be applicable to development of telecom and help use vital data to be presented as useful information?

As for any technical jobs the requirement changes and need for update is essential. I want to be expert in the field of GIS related to Telecom with current simple knowledge and without training I don't think it's possible.

  • Lots of Telco's are still using CAD but are slowly migrating to a GIS platform. Do you have any knowledge of AutoCAD?. There are many solutions but rarely do users have any impact on decision making what the Telco's is going to use. – Mapperz Jun 5 '12 at 13:42
  • @Mapperz NO I am not familiar with AutoCAD! – kinkajou Jun 6 '12 at 3:40
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    From the list of your current software stack and the resources used to get you where you are now, perhaps a general GIS and/or Information Design theory course would be useful. That kind of background tends to build strong technical skill, understanding of how to bolt things together, but not necessarily why. (This is my camp, I've no formal training to speak of.) The big question though has not specified: What do you want to do? where do you want end up in X years? – matt wilkie Jun 11 '12 at 21:02
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    "...use vital data to be presented as useful information?" Read, and study, Edward Tufte, see gis.stackexchange.com/a/585/108 – matt wilkie Jun 11 '12 at 21:04
  • @mattwilkie THE LINKS' OWESOME I HAVE EDITED MY QUESTION – kinkajou Jun 12 '12 at 6:15

It sounds like you're asking "what GIS subject matter theory should I learn?" and "how can I go about applying it?"

The needs of a Telecom will appeal to various niche-applications of GIS. So you should approach learning the concepts and jargon of the relevant niches (i.e. gaining Subject Matter Expertise), then once you get the concepts (many of which you will probably have a working familiarity with), you segue into applying the GIS by incorporating your more generic GIS skillset.

In my experience, most sophisticated applications of GIS involve several people---call it interdisciplinary---where the GIS Specialist/Analyst is tasked with identifying the goals of the GIS and investigating some approaches to a successful implementation. This can mean gathering together experts and picking their brains---asking the right questions and gathering feedback. Alternatively, you can pursue a court of self-study into the various niches.

The following niche-applications of GIS are particularly relevant to Telecom:

  • AM/FM (Automated Mapping/Facilities Management 1, 2, 3)
  • Location Based Services (Applications of this could be helpful for field techs, or in reverse, if you're doing fleet-tracking.)
  • Marketing (Even if you don't use ESRI, many of these concepts are appropriate, for example the chapter demonstrating a GIS analysis to support a direct-mail campaign.)
  • Cartography (If you're making maps, even dynamic ones, make an effort to burn in some degree of sophistication. And don't forget that even good maps tell white lies.)

And for your GIS-specific, more generic skills, basically, Vector data management is going to be huge, as well as most any familiarity with SQL and RDBMS techniques---as the most appropriate solution will put your geodata in a server/database, then merge/join it with the attribute data your circuit engineers are sure to have on hand.

While accomplishing the entire educational task may be broad in scope, it's definitely not impossible.

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    Well put. Most important thing is to understand how GIS can assist existing tasks. If you understand how they can work together (i.e. how GPS can assist the location of assets in the field) then you will become extremely valuable wherever you work. This isn't THAT easy. There are more moving parts than a person with a GPS unit... – Thad Jun 14 '12 at 13:51

Disclaimer: I don't know much about telecom, but I've just been through a geography/GIS program oriented on ArcGIS, and am in the process of rounding out my skillset.

On the cartography side of things it becomes very important to have a large volume of small assignments and brutally honest human critique to improve your skills, in addition to a basic cartographic and visual design text with lots of map examples; I'm fond of Tufte's design series and Brewer's 'Designing Better Maps / Designed Maps' pair. One of either Slocum et al or Dent et al's traditional texts on thematic cartography may serve as well for more detail. Any cartography course should double as an Adobe Illustrator lab section to an intermediate skill level, as we're typically talking about printed or static maps refined for human consumption after the GIS work is done.

I haven't found a decent source for dynamic/interactive cartography, but planetgs.com's RSS feed goes a long way to at least informing me of cool new work.

Technical skills can be mostly self-learned from documentation and tutorial, if you can muster a great deal of patience and conscientiousness. An intro to geography text and an intro to GIS text would be good things to skim and mark out everything you don't understand for further study, but the primary value of these courses is developing a problem-solving approach and becoming familiar with all the tools available to you.

ArcGIS is the dominant player in general desktop GIS, with Manifold and Mapinfo in distant second and a variety of domain-specific software used in each sub-niche. ArcGIS's tutorials for their extensions are excellent, and in my experience better designed than most academic assignments. I have had one entire advanced course based on little else but completing several units of these tutorials.


They also make available webinars on specialized topics.

Price's 'Mastering ArcGIS' is nice for the sheer amount of content and handholding it offers to a newcomer, as well.

If you haven't had exposure to statistics, it may be a good idea to try out an intro stat curricula. Elementary statistics are useful any time you deal with data in an abstract sense. My favorite resources are: PDQ Statistics, Intuitive Biostatistics, Khan Academy, and any one of the bog-standard texts (for the example problems). Udacity's new course may be worthwhile too.

Similarly, a basic programming capability is a good all-around skill. Python is usually recommended here, particularly in light of ArcGIS's scripting capabilities. I've got all the concepts down from earlier in life, but in the interest of internalizing the syntax but I'm working my way through Udacity's courses here and finding them quite nice.

I figure supplementing that with some SQL, a heavy dose of web mapping, and html5-era web design(which turns out to be very broad, with the number of useful frameworks) will give me at least a passing familiarity with things outside the realm of desktop GIS.

Autocad, or whatever is used specifically in your area, sounds like a wise move as well. I've got friends working utilities who are on the ArcFM extension, but I don't know much about it yet beyond that. This previous post may help:

ArcFM v/s Network Engineer


I`m not familiar with the telecom sector too much but if you want to learn more about format conversions and relevant data interoperability solutions between AutoCAD Vs. ArcGIS and other platform like the ones you listed ( Mapinfo, Openlayer, SQL SERVER , Oracle, etc.) a good way to go will be FME from Safe Software.

It has been already integrated in ArcGIS with the extension of Data Interoperability Tool but the boundaries of want can be done in the FME Workbench environment is much wider than the extension capabilities.

They have many online tutorials and actvie training courses on their site: http://www.safe.com/learning/training/training-catalog/

Hope it will be relevant to your training ambitions.


I am working in Telecom with GIS. The answer depends on a lot of things. If you are joining an existing team then you should learn the technology and frameworks they are using.

Is the application going to be public-facing or internal? Used for displaying networks or calculating coverage areas? Is the telecom terrestrial or oceanic?

More important than understanding technologies is understanding the telecom domain. Understand how the company makes its money and how you fit into that picture. Learn about how optical networks work.

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