What it takes to become an Urban Informatics Analyst

Today majority of people around the world live in fast growing cities. Growing cities need to be understood and managed well. Urban informatics is an interesting field, which combines research and practice and uses information technology for the analysis, management, planning, inhabitation in cities.

Ph. D. Giedrius Pasakarnis, sales manager in Hnit Baltic company is working to support municipalities with GIS (Geographic information system). GIS is used to map, monitor and analyze various sets of urban data: water use, traffic jams, schools‘ distribution within neighbourhood, disease spreading and so on. Urban informatics analyst performs analysis and uses maps to visualize problems or their solutions. Urban informatics analyst uses cool software that can be nicely combined with many other technologies, such as video, web development, and phone apps.


Urban informatics analyst analyzes the information in the database according to certain criteria, helps design databases, prepares and compiles data, maps and graphs, supports colleagues that use GIS. He investigates what-if scenarios, makes models, asks questions, and investigates possible outcomes. This profession enables to solve issues in your own community: health, zoning, services, greenways, crime, trash, traffic, and more.



  • analytical skills;
  • reasoning ability;
  • cartographic proficiency and knowledge of GIS analysis techniques;
  • mathematical and statistics proficiency;
  • communication and collaboration skills.


Urban informatics analysts are well-rounded, tech-savvy spatial individuals, who care about cities. They like to think outside the box. Also, they are multi-tasking, multi-disciplinary, fast-on-their-feet and are happy to share their work with the public.


Which subjects´ knowledge is essential for a career?

Urban informatics analysts usually have a Bachelor or Master degree in geography, computer science, math, urban planning or related field. Many university geography programs offer courses specifically teaching GIS such as GIS and mapping. Usually courses cover statistics, cartography, historical geography, urban planning, and measurement analysis.


Curiosity and the desire to crunch big data among the most important things in this field. Students, who are considering becoming Urban informatics analysts, should be curious. At school they should focus on geographics, computer science, mathematics and statistics and history. The new trend is internet of things – therefore, mechanics will become more and more important. Students can get experience in this field, if they will try to use open data in their school projects.


The demand for urban informatics analysts (and GIS analysts) is growing. For example, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted 29% growth from 2014-2024 for cartographers and photogrammetrists, which is the broader job category that includes GIS analysts. As the demand of professionals in this field is growing, it offers opportunities for people with different work experiences and educational backgrounds. According to the Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA), because geospatial technology use is so widespread, “the geospatial market is growing at an annual rate of almost 35 percent.”[1]

Q: If you could start all over again, how you would change your career path?
A: I would recommend students do not waste time on gaming, but try to be involved in various projects. For example, there are hackatons, where you can work with big data, develop your own apps and maps.

Ph. D. Giedrius Pasakarnis, sales manager in Hnit Baltic


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*Any company mentioned in the text in no way supports this publication and we do not promote any specific tool, instead, we give examples of the most popular ones.

Sources of information:

[1] https://www.esri.com/news/arcuser/0311/many-reasons-to-consider-gis-as-a-career.html; https://study.com/articles/GIS_Analyst_Job_Info_and_Requirements_for_Becoming_a_Geographic_Information_Systems_Analyst.html; https://taubmancollege.umich.edu/urbanplanning/degrees/graduate-certificate-urban-informatics.

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