Let's face it, we have it pretty good as GIS professionals. Our projects are so versatile. The location analytics we do is so practical and valuable across a variety of sectors. Our work has the power to enhance any organization’s decision-making workflows, transforming them into smart, powerful data-driven practices. And the opportunities to apply our sense of place can only get better as technology continues to get faster, cheaper, more accessible.
So why leave this enthusiasm for mapping at work, right? Why not let our passion for GIS spill over into the rest of our lives… say, into our hobbies?
Aside from my typical GPS/direction-mapping practices, one example of my personal take on this is that of mapping my runs. Now, let’s be clear -- I don’t love running, but I do appreciate the ability to trace my path and pace throughout my route (thanks, Runtastic, for making this possible). In fact, I love mapping my runs so much that, my friends and I have taken on the habit of planning out specific ‘shape’ routes that are a lot of fun to complete. Even better, what once started as a ‘funny idea’ has also recently evolved into a ‘cause’ of sorts: a new running series called Run into Shape that’s aimed to incentivize running and community health, as well as spotlighting cool non-profit organizations throughout our active Charleston community.
So, if any of this sounds exciting (either from a GIS, running or philanthropic standpoint), please check out the site -- part of which includes a gateway to a simple ArcGIS Online application I developed through Esri’s Web App Builder, the Run into Shape Route Navigator. Speaking of which, kudos to Esri for providing a way of creating a really easy app building platform that uses their standard widgets (which was the only thing we needed for hobby purposes). It’s turned out to be a really easy and practical way of communicating our route of the month, group run meeting location and also allow interested users with the ability to mark-up/plan some runs of their own.