In honor of GIS Day, a celebration dedicated to geographic information sciences, students enrolled in SSCI 301: “Maps and Spatial Reasoning,” launched a 5-foot weather balloon in Alumni Park with an infrared camera to demonstrate aerial mapping technology.Up in the air · Robert Abugel, a junior majoring in policy, planning and development, prepares the weather balloon in Alumni Park. – Jessica Zhou | Daily TrojanThis semester, the course is taught by Darren Ruddell, an assistant professor and the director of undergraduate studies for the Spatial Sciences Institute.Once the helium-filled weather balloon was launched into the air, the mounted GoPro camera captured photos every couple of seconds. After enough photos were captured, the individual images were stitched together using MapKnitter, an open-source mapping tool, to form one large geospatial image.“One of the key features of this technology is the application of layering features,” Ruddell said.Students then analyzed the map that they have created in terms of geospatial decisions and land use.“I wanted to create a good balance of assignments and hands-on activities,” Ruddell said. “This project is all about integrating hardware and software platforms and doing field work.”Yvette Ximenez, a sophomore majoring in policy, planning and development, is in the course and helped launch the weather balloon.“We have been learning how to make maps. We take geospatial data, make maps of it and interpret it,” Ximenez said. “This technology of aerial photography can be used for anything, such as finding a specific store in South Los Angeles.”Some students were surprised by how popular the activity is.“The most interesting part of the project is seeing how many people are interested in doing [do-it-yourself] mapping and seeing that there is a community for DIY mapping,” said Matthew Del Muro, a junior majoring in environmental studies and earth sciences.Brigid Kelly, a sophomore majoring in policy, planning and development, was also enthusiastic about the launch.“I am fascinated with why the built environment impacts social and spatial experiences,” Kelly said. “This is a great opportunity for me to learn about it in an academic setting.”Kelly and other students in the course are learning computer programming that involves the ArcGIS software, a platform that allows users to design solutions by utilizing geographic knowledge.“This course has been teaching me design planning, which requires geospatial information such as statics and thinking geospatially,” said Haijing Lin, a senior majoring in policy, planning and development. “What’s exciting is that everything makes sense and it ties everything you think about in regards to urban and rural natural environment.”As a participant of GIS Day, Ruddell hoped to raise awareness about geospatial literacy and the programs that are offered at USC in regards to geodesign.“This course is all about map design, cartography, map interpretation, GIS software and spatial literacy, which is all the skills required by students who want to pursue careers in water resource management or forest management,” Ruddell said. Follow us on Twitter @dailytrojan
Compelling reason to change: If your dream client doesn’t have a compelling reason to change, it’s difficult to forecast that deal. Like a crime, you are looking for a motive. No compelling reason to change doesn’t mean you may not win eventually, but it’s not a deal you can forecast with any certainty that you are going to win it by a certain date.Client driven date: If the prospect doesn’t have a date by which they believe they need to–or want to–implement your solution, the date in your CRM is merely a placeholder. How can you forecast a date when the client isn’t even aware of the date you have selected?Support beyond formal process: Do you have access to the stakeholders you need? Do you have access to the information you need? How much closer than “arm’s length” are you? It’s a mistake to forecast a blind RFP with any certainty over 17% unless you helped write it.All stakeholders are known and engaged: In small companies or large companies with a dominator hierarchy, you may be able to make a deal with a single stakeholder. But in larger, more complex deals, you are likely to need consensus. You won’t know how to build consensus if you don’t know who the stakeholders are. Not knowing them means they don’t support you. Maybe lower your certainty.Obstacle identified: If you don’t know who your obstacles are, you may want to reduce your certainty when it comes to forecasting. If you don’t know how you are likely to lose a deal, then you don’t know where you are likely to be flanked by your opposition or your competitor. Knowing how you may lose is how you know what changes to make. And who you need to help. Hold on that 75% certainty score.All stakeholder needs are addressed, and the solution tailored: If you don’t know what people want and how your solution may be difficult for them to accept, you can’t give them what they want. If you have “a” solution, you might want to think about “solutions,” (plural) tailoring your proposal for the people whose support you need and who you will later serve.Collaboration on solutions: You are much more likely to win a deal in which you collaborated with the contacts within your dream client’s company. If it’s your solution alone, it is not “our” solution. The more the solution belongs to your prospect, the greater the likelihood you win.Support of leadership: Just because you need consensus doesn’t mean that there isn’t still someone who has to sign an agreement. Consensus still requires the support of leadership. You don’t want to ask if leadership supports the change initiative you are working on with your prospect. Would you rather lose?Access to investment: A lot of people and companies have problems worth solving. Few of them have an unlimited budget for everything they would like to have. The question isn’t “Is there a budget?” It’s “is this compelling enough for you to make the necessary investment?” You can forecast a deal, but if there isn’t a reason to pay for the change, you are looking a “no decision.”Competitor’s known: If you haven’t had a scrappy competitor sneak into a deal and beat you, you will. You can’t easily differentiate your offering from your competitors if you don’t know who they are. You also can’t always generate the best deal strategy. It’s better to know who you are competing against than not to know and do nothing.