What does a GIS Analyst do? Are they different from Spatial Analyst?

Gruhasree D

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GIS analysts have a comprehensive quantitative skill set. Most are trained in programming languages such as R or Python. Some, in addition, might know front-end design languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and a kind of mapping languages. On the other hand, Spatial analysts need experience with mapping tools in vector and raster data, besides spatial modeling.

Because they (GIS Analysts) work at the junction of data analysis, programming and cartography, they should have expertise and exquisite at problem solving besides an impressive analytical attitude is mandatory. The tools a GIS analyst uses are extensive in joining data sets together to create additional information or to spot trends.

GIS Analyst performs following tasks in usual cases:
  1. Analyzing spatial data through the use of mapping software.
  2. Discovering patterns and trends through a spatial mapping of data.
  3. Designing digital maps with geographic data and other data sources.
  4. Creating “shapefiles” to merge topographical data with external data by layering external data over a topographical map.
  5. Producing maps showing the spatial distribution of various kinds of data, including crime statistics and hospital locations.
  6. Developing mapping applications and tools.
  7. Converting physical maps into a digital form for computer usage.
  8. Performing data engineering and cleaning to convert data into its desired form.
  9. Produce reports on geographic data utilizing data visualizations.
  10. Managing a digital library of geographic maps in various file types.