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Best GIS Podcasts

The best GIS podcast episodes


Life is too short to listen to bad GIS podcasts. If you are podcast fan you will understand that this applies to all podcast not just those that focused on Geospatial Information Systems ... or is it Geospatial Information Science? either way GIS is technical subject 

Not all podcast episodes we publish are absolutely amazing. We do our best to research our guests, find interesting topics of conversation and stay focused on providing quality audio and content for you listeners but sometimes, despite our best intentions some episodes just don't perform that well.

So to make it easier for you to enjoy some of our best GIS podcast episodes we have compiled a list of the episodes that have performed the best in terms of download numbers and listener engagement.

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Disrupting ESRI - Why it is hard to build a big geospatial business

In this podcast episode I interviewed  Ariel Seidman CEO and Co-Founder of Hivemapper and several other geospatial companies. The idea here was to explore why companies based on GIS / geospatial tech have not gone as big or as mainstream as companies like salesforce for example. We used ESRI as an example as they are one of the bigger GIS companies and looked at what it would take to disrupt. This sounds a little negative but the intention here is not to attack ESRI! more to look at what they have built and what companies might be in a position to overtake them.


QGIS - An Opensource Geospatial Project

Many GIS practitioners have heard of QGIS and there is a strong community of users, developers and supporters of the QGIS project but I suspect that few know the history or take advantage of all of the available functionality of this opensource GIS software. This episode is an interview with Kurt Menke who has written several books on QGIS and is heavily involved with the QGIS project. Kurt shares his insights and experience with the QGIS and talks about some of the more exciting features that are built into QGIS that you might not know about.


A Case Study in GIS

In this episode my guest, Mike Dolbow CEO of GeoHipster, walks us through a GIS case study. We take a typical GIS task pull it apart into all its constituent pieces. The thinking behind this interview was to highlight that there are multiple different ways of solving the same problem depending on your GIS skill set, the software constraints you have and project stakeholders.  


Serverless Geospatial

 This episode focused on serverless geospatial environments and how GIS developers and practitioners might take advantage of this to provide scalable GIS functionality. Listen to the episode for a more in-depth explanation of what serverless means but the basic idea is that you do "not spin up a server" but host a function. Of course this function lives on a server but the server itself is not managed or hosted by you. You just call the function when you need it and the hosting infrastructure scales according to your needs. 


PostgreSQL- An open source geospatial database for GIS practitioners 

John Bryant, the founder of Mammoth Geospatial, introduces us to the power of an open source SQL database called PostgreSQL. Although this interview focuses on PostgreSQl / PostGIS all of the concepts can be applied to any relational data that support GIS functionality. We talk about some advantages that this database has over flat files and why you might want to invest time and energy into learning more about relational databases and the Structured Query Language "SQL"

Geo-coding as a tool for risk assessment and the role of GIS in the insurance industry

Mark Varley the CEO and founder of AddressCloud explains that geo-coding is not a solved problem. At GIS professionals its easy to take geo-coding for granted but the truth is that this is still fundamental in terms of specially enabling data. In this episode we discuss why and how inaccuracies during the geocoding process can have consequences in terms of risk assessment models used by insurance companies. We also discuss the changing role of geo and GIS in the insurance industry. Some of Mark's comments about GIS moving from the back office to the board room were incredibly encouraging. 


The evolution of geospatial file formats and data exchange - An interview with the Co founder of Safe Software

Don't be fooled by the title! this is a fascinating episode with one of the founders of Safe Software, Dale Lutz (an all-around nice guy and a thought leader in the geospatial world). Dale has an incredible amount of knowledge when it comes to the GIS data, past present and future and does an amazing job of breaking down complex ideas in an easy to understand and entertaining way. This episode walks you thought the evolution of the problems that Safe Software is solving, and gives you insight into the fallacy of the one “file to rule them all” theory and talks about trends in the geospatial file formats and data exchange in general.

We also discuss the future of Geospatial as an industry and from a practitioner’s perspective.   

Quotes from the interview

“.pdf is where data goes to die” 

“after the nuclear holocaust, there will be only cockroaches and shapefiles”


Don't just make the dots, connect them

In this interview with Mike Dolbow, CEO of GeoHipster we talk about the opportunities within the geospatial industry that come with a deep understanding of a specific vertical. What newcomers to the industrial should think about focusing on and why. Mike debunks the 80% of all data has a spatial component myth and gives his perspectives on the future of the geospatial industry. 

All of this might sound a little dry and perhaps it would be if Mike was not so open, honest and passionate about the subjects we discuss. I really enjoyed this conversation and I am sure you will too.


 Inspirational geospatial visualizations