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Monday, May 20 • 8:30am - 5:00pm
Practical Python for the GIS Analyst (Full Day)

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Feeling a little stuck with your Python skills? Do you dabble in Python but wonder how to get to the next level of skill? Do you get stuck in the debugging process of a script? Are you a GIS specialist or analyst with a to-do list longer than feasibly possible to accomplish? Do you wonder if there’s a way to automate the boring stuff so you can do the fun stuff? If you answered “yes!” to any of these questions, this class is designed to help you!

Extend your reach as a python programmer by learning tips and tricks to take your programming to the next level in this full day workshop. We will cover a wide range of topics in lecture format - no getting bogged down with step by step exercises. Topics will be demonstrated, discussion will examine when and why you want to use these new skills, and you’ll walk away with handouts that outline what we did and why in enough detail for you to try it back at your desk when you are ready to use new skills in your everyday work. Bring your laptop along if you like, or sit and absorb without the distraction of it. These ideas should get you inspired to try new things, fix old problems, and code faster – like a pro!

Practical Python is a python class unlike any other you may have taken. It’s filled with practical tips, tricks and examples used by a Senior GIS Analyst with 20 years of experience in the GIS field. These are not recipes or cookbooks. These are tools you’ll use over and over again in all your GIS scripts, every day. You’ll come away with ideas for automation, knowledge about better debugging methods, a better understanding of tools and resources available for help, steps for building robust scripts that fail gracefully and notify you when they do. You’ll have a bigger picture understanding about how to use automation and python to grow your GIS by working smarter, not harder.

Take this class to learn practical python skills that can be used across a broad range of tasks. Learn about better logging, emailing yourself results and notifications, using JSON files to automate inputs to your scripts, automating tasks overnight so you walk into a fresh GIS system in the morning with a morning report waiting for you in your inbox.

Learning Objectives:
  • Explore and understand better and more robust coding tools (IDEs) and the benefits they provide
  • Explore better and more robust error checking and notifications
  • Understand how to set up a script to run automatically and notify you of any issues
  • Understand how to  set up a central script library and logging location
  • Understand how to email yourself and others when a script fails or succeeds.
  • Understand how to use JSON files for controlling your scripts and allowing others to modify your scripts without actually touching (and breaking) them.
  • Explore scenarios for automating common GIS tasks.
  • Understand common python tools that help you work better such as
    • os.path,
    • yield and glob
    • sets for comparing large quantities very quickly

Your Instructor:
Ann Stark is a python programmer that vividly remembers what it was like to learn to program without the benefit of a computer sciences degree. Because of this she provides a unique perspective not found in other classes – she doesn’t assume you have a computer science degree either. Ann’s sense of humor and easy-going style will make learning enjoyable.

Intended Audience: Intermediate Python Programmers
This class is about working smarter not harder. You’ve already learned some basic python. You understand the point of ArcPy in a script – but how do you take the next step to becoming a skilled GIS analyst with powerful python tools you can use to make your job easier – even more fun? This is most definitely not a beginner class. There will be very many things we assume you understand about scripting with python already. Make sure you understand the prerequisites and call if you have any questions.

  • Sense of humor
  • Experienced in successfully writing simple python scripts.  For example, able to write a script that uses a feature class to clip another and save the output to a new location.
  • Understand these basic python concepts (we won’t be going over them):
    • Indentation and the importance of it in python scripts
    • Try/except statements
    • Looping
    • Lists
    • If/else statements

avatar for Ann Stark

Ann Stark

Senior GIS Analyst, City of Bellingham
Ann is a Senior GIS Analyst at the City of Bellingham. She received her M.S. in Geography at Oregon State University and has 20 years of experience in natural resource and government applications of GIS. Her interests include automating GIS tasks with Python and cartography. She was... Read More →

Monday May 20, 2019 8:30am - 5:00pm AKDT
Hotel Murano, Venice 2 1320 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA