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Industry visit to Esri South Africa enhances students understanding of skills needed in the work place

Posted on May 10, 2019

The final year geoinformatics and meteorology students visited Esri South Africa on 9 May 2019. During their visit, they were exposed to various application of geospatial and meteorological data to solve issues around location intelligence. 

The students were welcomed by Mr Patrick McKivergan, the managing director of Esri South Africa. Mr McKivergan spoke about the future direction of GIS in South Africa and what are the top skills industry is looking for at the moment. Next, the students heard from various young professionals. The speakers spoke their daily work and what advice they would give their third-year self.

Mr Stuart Martin spoke to data quality and data quality issues that the industry is currently facing. Additionally, he also spoke about the various uses of crowdsourcing data and possible issues that might need to be considered in the future. Ms Yvette Bevis presented an overview of the structure of Esri South Africa and about her role within the company. Ms Bevis showed the students various uses of python for geocoding, fuzzy text matching and data scraping. Lastly, Ms Lebogang Mashishi gave a technical presentation. She showed the students various easy tools that could use to collect data, such as Survey123 and how this data can be used, for example using web maps and dashboards. Both Ms Bevis and Ms Mashishi spoke about how young professionals should be curious and eager to learn, these are some of the keys to success in the industry. 

The students described the session as “very informative” and “eye opening”. They also highlighted that the talks provided more insight into what is expected of them and that there is a wide range of opportunities. 

We would like to thank Ms Yvette Bevis and Esri South Africa for hosting us and a great day!

- Author Centre for Geoinformation Science
Published by Victoria Rautenbach

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