May 15, 2014
Excel and ArcGIS.
Both - you need to have the domain knowledge to ensure the integrity of the information being communicated; the technical knowledge to manipulate the inputs and imagery; and a strong grasp of graphic design principles (e.g., color theory). But one also needs the artistic instinct to visualize the end product and ensure that the focus is on the idea, not the technique.
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I'm a mid-career regional economist and economic development wonk who likes to simplify complex information for busy, smart people to speed decision-making and knowledge transfer.