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Thread: What software do you use most daily?

  1. #1
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    What software do you use most daily?

    Hello Planners! This is my first post here, let me know if I'm doing it right .

    Which do you use most? GIS, AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino etc? Am I missing any? Also, do you find there is a difference public-sector vs. private-sector planners based on what software they use most often.

    Any recommendations for best free online tutorials? (I know youtube is a resource but I like being able to use the software while learning rather than just watching).

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    As a public planner I tend to use the internet most to slack off on this website. When on not slacking I use ArcGIS and Access for my database. Bigger places might have better database systems, but that's just what I use.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    {Public Sector} Daily it is primarily the MS Office Suite of programs, Adobe Acrobat, Assessing Database Software, web browser (I typically use our on-line GIS for most day-to-day stuff).
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    MS Office and Outlook and GIS.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    MS Word, MS Outlook, and Explorer. Explorer is a distant third. Occasionally, I use Excel too, but mostly for personal uses. I use ESRI GIS on occasion, but I have a GIS Planner at my disposal for my mapping needs!
    The cookies are worth the drive

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Oracle, Excel, Access, Word, Chrome, ArcMap

    For the record, I am a semi-quasi-government employee.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I'm a public type and while I am trained as a planner, I work in economic development.

    I couldn't function without Excel. Heck, I use Excel so much that I don't know how I would function on a personal level without it!

    I also use Access daily.

    Software I use often, but maybe not daily:
    ArcGIS (definitely need the Business Analyst license), EMSI, REMI, Acrobat Pro, InDesign, ERI Assessor Platform, Sales Force


    Now we just need one of our more seasoned planners to chime in with, "I know my t-square is hardware but Mylar is pretty soft, does that count?"
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    ...I work in economic development.

    I couldn't function without Excel. Heck, I use Excel so much that I don't know how I would function on a personal level without it!
    One of the biggest hiring challenges I have had throughout my career is finding people who really know how to use Excel. People at the administrative staff level seem to know little more than how to ype numbers in a cell. At the professional level they can set up simple calculations, but few can do the complex stuff.

    Currently I function pretty well with just using Word, Excel, and a graphics suite. I will occassionally open up GIS. What you use will probably change as you progress in your career. At the entry level you will be tasked with the technical work, which means more time on GIS, CAD, database, and similar programs. As you progress you will spend more of your time writing and editing, attending meetings, doing administrative work, marketing (in the private sector), and hiding in your desk fort.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Public sector planner who uses Word, Excel, Access, Acrobat. The usual.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    ArcGIS Online Credit Monster

    Is anyone else worried about the new "cell phone" plan ESRI has with charging credits for online GIS? The explanation I got from ESRI is that it will be like my cell phone plan, but for Arc Maps online! Great, I HATE all cell phone data plans due to their complete lack of user friendly billing and inability to verify amount of data used.

    I'm all for change but establishing a cell phone credit plan for hosting maps online sounds EXPENSIVE!!

    Also, ESRI just took away the online geocoding service locator systems and is now telling me that I have to have fully maintained software or the newer ArcGIS Online subscription to access geocoding functions now They are telling me I can't create my own locator service either and the ONLY way to get geocoding done in Arc is with ArcGIS Online subscriptions!

    Any of you run into this stuff???
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
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  11. #11
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Is anyone else worried about the new "cell phone" plan ESRI has with charging credits for online GIS? The explanation I got from ESRI is that it will be like my cell phone plan, but for Arc Maps online! Great, I HATE all cell phone data plans due to their complete lack of user friendly billing and inability to verify amount of data used.

    I'm all for change but establishing a cell phone credit plan for hosting maps online sounds EXPENSIVE!!

    Also, ESRI just took away the online geocoding service locator systems and is now telling me that I have to have fully maintained software or the newer ArcGIS Online subscription to access geocoding functions now They are telling me I can't create my own locator service either and the ONLY way to get geocoding done in Arc is with ArcGIS Online subscriptions!

    Any of you run into this stuff???
    The first person to make a reasonable alternative is going to make a bajillion dollars. Unfortunately ESRI is the only game in town. We are trying to determine if we can afford their new model or not as well...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    The first person to make a reasonable alternative is going to make a bajillion dollars. Unfortunately ESRI is the only game in town. We are trying to determine if we can afford their new model or not as well...
    QGIS is open source and has almost all of the capabilities of ESRI as a mapping platform, including those that cost extra from ESRI as an extension. I do not know about its web/mobile functions as I never have use for them. As for Business Analyst, I always build my own models as the "data" they provide is often garbage. I replaced the $1500 per year fee for the most basic version of Arc with a free software having much greater capabilities.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally posted by smurf View post
    Which do you use most? GIS, AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino etc? Am I missing any? Also, do you find there is a difference public-sector vs. private-sector planners based on what software they use most often.

    Any recommendations for best free online tutorials? (I know youtube is a resource but I like being able to use the software while learning rather than just watching).
    Public-sector here, I use our web-based GIS for most requests and for simple zoning reviews. ESRI is our GIS, which I use on a weekly basis for more complex work (we have two GISP's on staff though). I use Excel quite a bit, and it has taken a few years, but I now know how to do more things with it. As far as free tutuorials, I am not sure, but I have taken specific college courses on GIS (2 classes) and AutoCAD (1 course) and those helped tremendously with learning the programs. Considering the fact that some weeklong GIS training courses cost $1000+, the college level, semester long courses are not a bad deal.

    An alternative to ESRI.....MapInfo (a program used by some planning professionsals but also by the banking industry). MapInfo, to me, seems to be a little behind in user conviences compared with ESRI, but still an option.

  14. #14
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    The biggies, in order of how often I use them:

    * Microsoft Word
    * Mozilla Firefox
    * ArcMap
    * Microsoft Excel
    * Adobe Photoshop
    * Whatever development tracking software my community uses
    * Microsoft Powerpoint
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Physical land planner/site designer here so AutoCAD, Outlook, Photoshop, in that order
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

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  16. #16
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    GIS in planning vs LA

    I have a question... I was trained as a landscape architect but might be working in planning soon. I know how LAs use GIS, but not how planners use it. I get the impression you develop data sets and extract information more than we do, we tend to use it to create area maps to as a base for CAD files. Would anyone be willing to give their two cents on how planners use GIS day to day? The environment is a small city/ suburban town.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Typically it is used for mapping. In the kind of economic development work I do it might be to document first floor uses in a downtown district, to map a trade area, or plot the locations of new business starts in a region. Related to market analysis, I might use it to pull the population data from a trade area, but more often it is easier to get data from a spreadsheet from the Census.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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