North Carolinian Attends Our 2006 Conference
By Amos McLamb, Clear Run Forest Services, North Carolina
The reason I drove all the way from eastern North Carolina to St. Cloud, Minnesota to the 16th annual GIS/LIS Consortium Conference, a total of 1440 miles, was not only for the obvious reasons, but also because of a very favorable experience with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Garmin folks several years ago.
As a site prep contractor and a forestry co-coordinator, I was in need of a dependable GPS unit to measure completed tracts and develop basic maps for landowners. So, I chose the Garmin 76S and was completely satisfied with the unit. After measuring my first tract I attempted to develop a simple map. It did not work. So I went to our local Farm Service Agency office where my friend was using the same unit and asked if he would take my unit, hook it up and see if he could produce a map. Sure enough, it worked. He was using ArcView just like me but there was one difference. He had an icon, MnDNR Garmin, on his computer that I did not have on mine which apparently made it all work. I asked the FSA person what that icon was and he said, “I have no idea. It all came in the package when my computer was shipped from the Raleigh office.”
Armed with that information, I went to my computer, typed in “DNR Garmin” on Google, and there was your webpage with a FREE download of the extension needed to put me in business. And put me in business it did! I not only was able to measure tracts that I had prepared for tree planting but I was able to measure tracts for other contractors in the area who cleared land, dug ditches or who just needed acreage and maps on management plans etc.
I’ve had other issues, questions and concerns over the years and DNR staff have always been most helpful in solving any problem, and all for no charge. It is refreshing to know that in this world of money, bottom-line profits and cost-wise administrators, there is a place one can go for answers at no cost to the everyday question of how does a thing like this work?
My sincere thanks to the folks at MnDNR Garmin for such a big help jumpstarting my business.
The conference and workshop were most helpful in my understanding of the huge world of GIS, and the beer tasting was absolutely essential! I look forward to next year’s conference.