Ten Commandments of GIS

  1. Thou shalt be humble and patient in all things, and thankful this stuff works at all; for lo, there are many paths to wisdom, and if one module faileth to work as advertised, thou shalt figure out a workaround.

  2. Thou shalt manage thine geodatabases, and follow the paths to thy data files and be a good shepherd unto them, and not forsake critical files in Default.gdb or the temp directory.

  3. Thou shalt not rename, move or copy thine GIS data files except with Arc Catalog lest they come to grief.

  4. Thou shalt set thy data frame to an appropriate coordinate system.

  5. Thou shalt specify the cellsize of thine rasters, and attend to their other Environment settings, and not blindly accept the default settings lest thy project founder in confusion.

  6. Thou shalt pay attention to database field types, neither confusing short integer with float nor long integer with double.

  7. Thou shalt not depend on a corrupted Map Document file after thy project has crashed, lest it crash upon thee yet again; yea verily, thou shalt open a blank new map and add thine data to it, knowing where to find them.

  8. Thou shalt create maps both simple and fancy, but they shall represent thy research steps forthrightly.   Thou shalt not lie with maps, neither shalt thou idolize eye-candy, even when creating TIN or 3D images to please the Philistines in charge of thy research funding.

  9. Thou shalt not abuse the lab equipment, even if wroth unto blasphemy.

  10. Thou shalt accept success with grace, and disappointment also, and if thy best efforts reward thee not, thou shalt retire for beer, and return to the lab another day. Thou shalt not weep over GIS.