Remarkably, DOLETA analysts estimate a total 2008 geospatial workforce of 857,000 individuals, not including geospatial software programmers and application developers.
Consistent with the expansive DOLETA definition recommended by the GITA and the AAG, Daratech defined geospatial technologies as a superset of technologies that includes:
However, given that both the ASPRS industry definition is more narrowly focused than the GITA/AAG definition adopted by the DOLETA and Daratech, it seems reasonable to conclude that the ASPRS initial estimate was conservative, that the DOLETA estimates are not extravagant, and that workforce estimates depend highly on how the geospatial industry is defined.
The shortcoming became apparent during the study that the GITA and the AAG conducted for the DOLETA.
The DOLETA commenced its Industry Competency Initiative in 2005.
Although the tiers are illustrated in pyramid form (shown in Figure 1), the content of each DOLETA competency model is a list of competencies corresponding to the first five tiers of the framework.
The GTCM is the first DOLETA competency model to include Geography as a core academic competency area.
The initial draft of the DOLETA GTCM (April 28, 2008) included Foundational Competencies (Tiers 1 to 3) and 27 industry-wide Critical Work Functions (Tier 4) under six headings: "Principles of Geospatial Technologies," "Geographic Information Systems," "Cartography," "Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry," Surveying and Global Positioning System (GPS)," and "Computer Programming and Database Management.
As part of the High Growth Job Training Initiative, the DOLETA convened meetings with geospatial industry representatives in April of 2003, July of 2003, and March of 2005 to learn about workforce challenges.
The unfortunate result of this debate was that the DOLETA could not affirm that the industry definition proposed by the GITA/AAG team reflected a true consensus in the field.
Prospects improved in March of 2009, when representatives of the National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence (GeoTech Center) approached the DOLETA to offer assistance in its competency modeling effort.
The Geography competencies identified in Tier 2 of the DOLETA GTCM are drawn directly from this research (Solem, Cheung and Schempler 2008).