We recently spoke with Javier Gabás Jiménez, Geomatics and Topography Engineer, Magister in Geodesy and Cartography - Polytechnic University of Madrid, and one of the representatives of Geopois.com. We wanted to get first-hand all the information about Geopois, which began to be known since 2018. We started with a simple question, What is Geopois.com? Just as we know that if we enter this question in the browser, the results are linked to what is done and the purpose of the platform, but not necessarily what it is.
Javier answered us: "Geopois is a Thematic Social Network on Geographical Information Technologies (TIG), geographic information systems (GIS), programming and Web Mapping". If we are aware of the overwhelming technological advancement of recent years, the GIS + BIM integration, the AEC life cycle, the inclusion of remote sensors for monitoring, and web mapping -which is continually making its way to desktop GIS- we can get an idea of where Geopois is pointing.
How did the idea Geopois.com come about and who is behind it?
The idea was born in 2018 as a simple blog, I have always liked to write and share my knowledge, I started publishing my own works from the university, it has been growing and taking shape to what it is today. The passionate and enthusiastic behind us are Silvana Freire, she loves languages, she speaks fluent Spanish, English, German and French. Bachelor of Business Administration and Master in Analysis of International Economic Relations; and this server Javier Gabás.
What would be the objectives of Geopois?
Knowing that there are multiple tools and strategies for the construction/analysis of spatial data. “Geopois.com was born with the idea of disseminating Geographic Information Technologies (GIT), in a practical, simple and affordable way. As well as creating a community of geospatial developers and professionals and a family of geo enthusiasts.”
What does Geopois.com offer to the GIS community?
- Specific theme: We specialize in geospatial technologies with a high content in the programming and integration of libraries and APIS of web mapping, spatial databases and GIS. As well as free tutorials as simple and direct as possible on a wide subject of TIG technologies.
- Much closer interaction: Through our platform it is possible to interact with other developers and enthusiasts in the sector, share knowledge and meet companies and developers.
- Community: Our community is totally open, encompassing companies and professionals in the sector, geospatial developers and enthusiasts of geo technologies.
- Visibility: We give visibility to all our users and especially to our collaborators, supporting them and spreading their knowledge.”
For GIS professionals, are there opportunities to provide their knowledge through Geopois.com?
Of course, we invite all our users to share their knowledge through tutorials, many of them already actively and passionately collaborate with us. We try to pamper our authors, provide them with maximum visibility and offer them a professional website where they can express themselves and share their passion for the geo world.
That being said, through this link You can get to the web and start to be part of Geopois.com, a great contribution for all interested in the Geo community who want to train or offer their knowledge.
We have looked on the web that refer to "Geoinquietos", Geoinquietos and geopois.com is the same?
No, Geoquiet groups are local communities of OSGeo, a foundation whose goal is to support the development of open source geospatial software, as well as to promote its use. We are an independent platform that however we share many of the Geo-restless ideals, interests, concerns, experiences or any idea in the field of geomatics, free software and geospatial technology (everything related to the field of GEO and GIS).
Do you think that after the pandemic, the way we use, consume, and learn has taken an unexpected turn? Has this Global situation positively or negatively influenced Geopois.com?
Not so much as an unexpected turn, but if it has taken a leap forward, especially distance education, e-learning and m-learning, for a few years now the use of tele-teaching platforms and Apps has been increasing, the Pandemic has only streamlined the process. We from the beginning have always opted for online teaching and collaboration, the current situation has helped us to learn to do things differently and to look for other methods of working, collaborating and developing.
According to what Geopois offers, and the arrival of the 4th digital era Do you consider that for a GIS Analyst it is essential to know / learn programming?
Of course, acquiring knowledge does not take place and learning notions of programming can only benefit you. Not only to GIS analysts, but to any professional, technologies and innovation do not stop and if we focus on our field, I think that TIG engineers should learn to program from the university and other colleagues such as geographers, knowing how to program would enhance and it would improve the ability to communicate your knowledge. For this reason, our tutorials are especially focused on programming, code development in different languages, and integration of different Web Mapping libraries and APIS.
Do you have in mind any type of project or collaboration with companies, institutions or platforms currently?
Yes, we are continuously looking for opportunities for synergies with other projects, companies, universities and professional colleges. We are currently participating in ActúaUPM, the Entrepreneurship program of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), which are helping us to develop the business plan to make this project viable. We are also looking for technology partners to collaborate in developments with them and to be able to involve and generate income to our network of geospatial developers.
Is there an event to come that is related or directed by geopois.com where the GIS community can participate?
Yes, we want to wait until after the summer to start creating more synergies among our users, holding webinars and online networking events. We would also like to create a hackathon development event specializing in geospatial technologies in the near future, but for this we still need to get sponsors to bet on it.
What have you learned with geopois.com, tell us one of the lessons that this project has left in you and how has its growth been in these two years?
Well, very much, every day we learn with the tutorials that our collaborators send us, but especially in everything that encompasses the development and implementation of the platform.
Both Silvana and I did not have a programming background, so we had to learn all the backend and programming on the server, NOSQL databases like MongoDB, all the challenge that frontent and UX / UI focused on the user, the cloud and security in the cloud and some SEO and Digital Marketing along the way ... Basically you have gone from being a Geomatics and GIS Specialist to a Full Stack developer.
How all the projects have had ups and downs, for example, when we started in 2018 we went from testing Google Sites for the first few months to implementing everything in Wordpress, we wanted to implement a multitude of maps and integrate the different libraries such as Openlayers, Leaflet, Mapbox, CARTO … We spent almost a year like this, testing plugins and juggling to be able to do a minimum part of what we wanted, we came to the conclusion that it did not work, finally in the summer of 2019 and thanks to the knowledge I acquired in the master's degree in geodesy and cartography from UPM (Javier) we decided to end our relationship with the content manager and do all our own development, from the backend to the frontend.
We developed the platform in the second half of 2019 and in January 2020 we were able to launch what is now Geopois.com, however, it is a project in continuous evolution and we continue to implement things every month with the help of feedback from our community, learning and improving along the way. If we locate your social networks as @Geopois On Twitter, we can be aware of all the offers of tutorials, sections and other related information. We have seen many interesting topics, such as using Tiles the Leaflet, spatial analysis calculations in Web Viewers with Turf.
In addition to tutorials, it offers the possibility of locating a developer for your space projects. A network of specialist professionals, all skills in detail as well as their location are shown there.
Anything else you would like to add about geopois.com?
We are happy to tell that almost 150 geospatial developers in Spain, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela are already part of our community, on LinkedIn we are close reaching 2000 followers and we already have 7 collaborators who send us high quality and super interesting tutorials every week. Furthermore, we managed to pass phase 1 of the 17 ActuaUPM competition between 396 ideas and 854 people. Since January 2020 we have tripled the number of visits to our platform, so we are very excited about the support and interest that we are generating in the geo community.
On Linkedin geopois.com, Right now it has approximately 2000 followers, of which at least 900 have joined in the past 4 months, where we have all gone through the phase of confinement and restrictions due to COVID 19. Avoiding escape from despair, many of us have taken refuge in knowledge , learn new things - at least via the web - which is an inexhaustible source of resources. That is the point in favor of platforms like Geopois, Udemy, Simpliv or Coursera.
From our appreciation in Geofumadas.
In short, Geopois is an extremely interesting idea, combining potential conditions of this context in terms of content offering, collaboration and business opportunities. In good time for the geospatial environment that every day is more inserted in almost everything we do in our daily lives. We recommend visiting them on the web geopois.com, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Thank you very much Javier and Silvana for receiving Geofumadas. Until next time.