MAGIP and TNGIC in 2024

Apr 26, 2024 | conferences, GIS, QGIS, Training

I just came off two conferences with one being in Montana and one being in Tennessee. Both Geo related. It was my first time attending the MAGIP conference.

Not that you need a long overly drawn out review of both – here are some of the highlights:

  • TNGIC was fun. It was a different approach this year focused on people more than “the usual conference thing”. There was a service project. A hike involving GPS. We had an open source session which was standing room only. A nerf gun fight broke out. Most fun I’ve had in a good bit.
  • MAGIP was a fun. It was a different conference setup than I expected. I taught a 4 hour intro to QGIS class. Spoke at another sessions. Not bad from a guy from Tennessee 1200 miles southeast of this conference. Good crowd and good questions.

Common spots for both conferences:

  • Granted I’ve been out of the ESRI side of life for a bit – but the angst at the changes coming down the road for the users are interesting. You see a lot of frustration. You see that in both conferences. I remember the workstation to Arcmap being a pain – but nothing to the extent I see now.
  • GeoAI and Digital Twins are the new buzzwords. I will give AI some leeway because I think at some point that’s going to change things up. Digital Twins on the other hand…….I’ve always felt a geospatial system should model the world to the extent you need it. Be it with 3D models, hydro, etc. For me the new term is a bit “meh”. I’m still waiting on Blockchain and Geodesign to make an impact in the geo world.

The People:

  • There were really only two columns you can put students in at a conference: I’ve heard of open source and I’ve not heard about it. I had one lengthy conversation of “What should I learn for a programming language” break out and I answered it “Whatever works for you”. I’m learning R. I know enough python to hurt myself. I fell in love with spatial SQL. So choose your weapon and learn it.
  • Can we use QGIS and ArcPro? Yes. I don’t know why you wouldn’t. If you can or can’t afford ArcGISPro you should take a look at foss4g.
  • Maybe it was just me but the conferences at both seemed to lean more on the younger side which was refreshing. Millennials get a lot of guff. They can’t write in cursive, can’t read a map, can’t use a rotary phone. Who cares. The only thing I would care about would be map reading – because there are plenty of GIS people that can’t that are my age.

What did I do that was noteworthy?

I ticked one thing off my bucket list and that was Yellowstone. It was about 200 miles from the conference but on the way back to the airport. So I took a day off. Explored. Looked at all the things I’ve seen on videos and television.

I’m chopping down my number of conferences this year. I overdid it last year and I think this year I’ll be a bit more deliberate in what I attend and don’t attend.

I might do the MAGIP one again. It was fun enough to make me consider it. TNGIC will be in Mufreesboro TN next year. I’m not sure where MAGIP will be but I think further west toward Helena.

Overall – A good time was had and I’ve really got to get my head back in the game and stop looking at Yellowstone Pics.

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