SAL Expertise

What follows is not a list of qualifications and certifications, as these would require updating every time a staff member changes. Instead, this page provides the ontological framework that underpins the skills needed by the SAL Technical Staff.

If you have encountered the acronym GIS before, you may have been told the S stands for ‘software’ or for ‘system’ – and those are not wrong… They are just not the whole story either.

Here in SAL, the ‘S’ in GIS stands for Science and the full acronym for our disciplinary framework is GIS&T:

Geographic Information Science & Technology

We facilitate the use of GI software, GI systems, GI data, the lot!
From an Applied Science stance.

What does this mean?

GIS&T is multi-disciplinary in nature, and we bring that mindset to how we support your research. You are the ‘Subject Matter Expert’ at what you do, so we CAN’T ‘do your geospatial work’ for you in a way that a research assistant would. When you hire a research assistant, you are looking for a specific set of skills that include domain knowledge that relates to your research discipline.

Our (SAL Tech staff) Subject Domain is GIS&T, which is a complementary but different set of skills – working with you on the technical components of your geospatial research/teaching will enable the project to leverage the skills and strengths of all parties.

Why ‘Applied’ Science?

To answer this question, it is most appropriate to consider the particular subject domain technical skills that SAL staff were employed for:

  • spatial data handling
  • spatial data management
  • spatial analysis troubleshooting

These relate specifically to the ‘technical cog’ work that underpins a ‘spatial analysis’ research environment and to the overall nature of our roles as SAL Technical Staff.

There are many ways to become a Geospatial Professional, once you identify as this and make it your career path though, it is the topics and elements of the GIS&T Body of Knowledge that become the core elements of your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) work. A Geospatial Professional ‘applies’ the tools and resources of their profession to the problems in their workplace to assist in coming up with better solutions. In SAL, we do Applied Geospatial Science as we are not seeking to expand the domain of GIS&T as a domain or discipline – we are using it (in a sound and responsible, scientifically repeatable manner) as part of a broader research strategy to investigate something that lies within your area of expertise!