GIS Software has to be Hard to Use

Serious though, right? GIS has been defined by those who create much of it at “Scientific Software”. Because of such, it needs to be:

  1. Expensive
  2. Difficult to use
  3. Poorly documented
  4. Buggy
  5. Slow
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Professional GIS*

GIS software is literally the kitchen sink. Most GIS software started out as a project for some company and then morphed into a product. They are a collection of tools created for specific projects duct taped together and sold as a subscription. We’ve talked about re-imagining how we work with spatial data but we rarely turn the page. The GIS Industrial Complex (open source and proprietary, everything is awful) is built upon making things hard to do. There has been attempts to solve the problem but then in themselves are usually built for a project rather than a product. Somewhat cynical but you have to wonder if this is true.

Tools such as Tableau are the future and as they add more spatial capability GIS Specialists will be out of a job. Being a button pusher seems more and more like a dead end job.