Part of the point of setting goals is also to evaluate them. As 2015 winds down, I’m forced to review my 2015 goals and whether I met the goals I set out to achieve or not.

In BOLD I’ll be re-capping on what I’ve done, where I’ve succeeded and where I’ve failed.

Here it goes…

1. Open Source GIS as default

From now on my rule-of-thumb will be to attempt to geoprocess using open source tools rather than using an Esri solution as default.


This goal was maybe 50% achieved. There are still times I default to Esri, but in many of the projects I’ve worked on or started anew, I was able to reduce my dependence on proprietary GIS software greatly. Sometimes using open source created more work and reduced productivity but in many cases it was worth the pain, as every time I use some open source it adds more open source tools to be toolbox. My 2016 goals will reiterate this goal and will make using open source software more regularly.

Grade: B

2. PostGIS

Probably the biggest initial hindrance of PostGIS is deciding which version to install. Once I get past those hurdles and have a reliable install of PostGIS I think I’ll be ready to roll. I have been using a ton of GDAL/OGR tools lately so I’m really looking forward to the efficiencies of doing more work in PostGIS.


I’ve been using a lot more PostGIS. I’ve blogged about it a bit, and have really enjoyed doing more with PostGIS. Where I may have failed is not learning as much SQL for geoprocessing as I wish I had, oh well, another thing to add to my 2016 list.

Grade: B

3. Personal Website updates

Rebuild the personal website. Include mapping examples (even some static ones) as I don’t have much of an organized web portfolio.

Pretty much achieved this goal and extended it past my initial expectations.

Grade: A+

4. Rolling out a Jekyll Bootstrap site*

I was just dabbling with jekyll bootstrap again recently and I forgot how easy it is to use. I haven’t actually done anything in production with it but feel like it would be great to.

* This could be achieved in rolling out updates to my personal website.


I’ve done quite a few of these sites. Big fan of Jekyll.

Grade: A

5. Use CartoDB more

CartoDB just opened their US office a few blocks from my home in Brooklyn so there’s really no excuse for me to not be using their products more. They’ve also made the default academic accounts much larger for storage.


I’ve learned considerably more about CartoDB but I think there’s much more I need to learn, specifically, really leveraging CartoDB.js.

Grade: B

6. Blog more*

I’d like to increase the frequency with which I blog. It’s useful for me to document things I’ve learned.

* This could be achieved in lock step with using Jekyll

I blogged a bit for the Exploratory Data Analysis and Visualization Course I took in the spring of 2015 but could have blogged more this summer/fall. Grade: B

7. Updated and Additional 2015 Goals

  • Write out more goals! It seems like when I write the stuff down I actually end up following through.

  • Try out Python for Processing 2.0

I did not do much with this. Maybe messed around for 20 minutes total. Grade: F

I did do a bunch more with ggplot for Python but should extend this into a 2016 goal to do more and build better plot templates I can reuse. Grade: B

  • Javascript Goals
    • Learn CartoDB.js see Use CartoDB More
    • Make good slide show frame using Javascript SlidesJS. I couldn’t manage to get this to work on Chrome at all so I ended up changing my forwarding to HTTP from HTTPS. I’m not totally sure what the consequences of this will be, but figure since I don’t engage in any commerce here it should be all right. Achieved, Grade: A