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GIS Database Administrator

Ensure that GIS information is stored properly and securely.

What does a GIS Database Administrator do?

In a standard workday, a GIS Database Administrator completes tasks that would be familiar to both Librarians and Bodyguards. The Librarian in the GIS Database Administrator makes sure the data that sits behind a geographic information system (GIS) product is stored properly. Meanwhile, the Bodyguard in the GIS Database Administrator makes sure that information is protected from hackers and other mischievous people.

As a GIS Database Administrator, you make sure every day that your GIS database has enough memory to hold all of the information your team is entering. Adding new servers or archiving out-of-date materials can help you create space when you’re running low. In addition, you make sure to create backup copies of your database periodically, so you won’t lose data if the system fails.

Each GIS user on your team needs a password to access the system, and you ask your team to change their passwords on a regular basis. You also run reports from the database to determine who has accessed the system, and you look for login information that you’ve never seen before, as this might signal a security breach. If you spot a problem, you shut down the database and ask all users to create new passwords. Staying one step ahead of hackers comprises a large part of your work.

As the GIS database grows larger and larger, users might need bigger computers to access the data. If you find that you’re flooded with calls from angry users who are hampered by slow computers, you contact your GIS Coordinator and request hardware upgrades for the team.

At times, the staff needs a bit of training about the way the database is structured and what it’s designed to do. New staff members, in particular, may be perplexed about the database. You hold formal classes from time to time, and remain available to coach people on a one-on-one basis.