ESRI UC: Lots of Awards, Need a Drowning Pool Though
It’s Thursday, and the natives are getting restless. As people reach information overload, they’re shifting more towards the tribal behavior ESRI conferences are known for. The theme for tonight’s party is New Orleans Mardi Gras.
Lots of Carrots, But No Sticks
There is something missing from the tribal character of this group though. While lots of recognition has been directed to people who’ve done cool things. There has been no public shaming. Public shaming is an integral part of tribal culture.
In the “Moral Geography” chapter of his book Simon Schama describes how a drowning pool was used to punish and deter debtors who failed to adhere to the strict Dutch work ethic.
Step Right Up and Dunk a GIS Professional
One of the biggest problems I see for the ESRI user community is our reputation, especially among Neogeographers. They typically view “GIS Professionals” as gatekeepers to information silos refusing to provide access to those lacking the appropriate technology or credentials.
To discourage this sort of behavior I propose a Drowning Pool at the UC. Randomly select someone from a public agency, perhaps from an Appraisal District. To qualify, they must be running ArcGIS Server but have refused to expose RESTful
endpoints to their data. Sit them on a collapsible carnival style chair above a tank of water next to a laptop equiped with ArcGIS desktop. Require them to respond to emails, manually clipping, zipping and shipping with shapes from attached shapefiles. Once the request queue grows beyond an acceptable level the, the chair would collapse letting them fall into the water.
Only when we actively purge (or dunk) our ranks, will the tribe regain acceptance in the broader geospatial community.