This is a tribute to Who I follow in GIS, Data, and Life

Below is a list of folks who make the biggest impact for me. It aint all about technology. ;-). I tend to list folks here that CREATE content and conversation. While I follow many people, those that tend to make an impact are those who just don't retweet something we already know. News has been commoditized folks, give me your raw opinions and creations. You make the most impact with everyone as a creator of things, not a reporter of things that we've ALREADY received through the media firehose. The folks below are truly original. Below is my brief tribute to them and a description of why they have my attention.

Spatial punk | Todd Barr is the little voice in your head for geospatial telling you that there's a better way to do things. He frustrates me from time to time, and that's a good thing. He's the shock jock of GIS, and proud of it. His rants on using proprietary tech are a gut punch for many working in Geospatial, as you'd have to live under a rock not to at least occasionally be forced into working with proprietary formats and software. What separates him from other folks who might come across as elitist when it comes to toolsets? He's not smug, he's not beneath a public conversation. Where others will err on the side of caution from a public debate, he'll dive right in. He's also a truly universal dude. He takes on his super hero form because he feels like he must for the sake of all of us. And I'm grateful for it. Here's a little nugget from this week:

Ryan Holiday introduced me to stoic philosophy. His books are the biggest secret to my career and approach to life. When you take on the advice from the stories laid out in his books, you'll feel unstoppable-- and he aint no Tony Robbins (and that's a good thing). I read every single one of Ryan Holiday's books-- and listen to them too, because he narrates ALL OF THEM. The Obstacle is the Way was the first: My absolute favorite. I don't listen to music in my car. I Bluetooth my phone and plug in Ryan Holiday on my commute. One day we'll look back at the philosophers of our age, and Ryan Holiday will be at the top of the list.

Pieter Levels Creator of Nomad List and Hood maps, and others. Pieter is THE digital nomad. Follow him to truly understand less-is-more startup philosophy when it comes to technology. One of his websites, that makes him close to 50K per month (at the time of writing this) is running on a few php scripts. He's also extremely humble and extremely transparent as to the recipe that got him there. From time to time, I get a kick out of how pedantic developers will reach out to him, and try to instruct him on a "better" way to do something. If they could only understand that Pieter makes more money in three months than they probably do in an entire year. But he'd never remind them that. ;-)

Pooja Gandhi 1/2 of the data duo-- A blog that pits two Tableau zen masters against each other to produce the most beautiful and impactful data visualizations that you can imagine, spanning a myriad of topics. Her work is truly inspirational for providing a feedstock of ideas for my day job where I'd try to create beautiful and functional visualizations in Tableau that might someday hold a candle to her work product. Here's an example below of her work.

Saltbae Why do I follow this crazy butcher/meat master turned-internet-legend? Because he resonates one thing for me: discipline and determination. He had humble beginnings, and he keeps up his practice. Be like Saltbae in everything you do. Keep practicing, soon your muscles will form memory, and you'll be kicking ass before you know it on things you once thought impossible.

Nadieh Bremer creates stunning, award winning, visualizations. Follow her to understand true creativity at work coupled with the technical fortitude necessary to deliver in visualizations in their most native form. She's a d3.js ninja.

in conclusion, that's it! There are others, but these folks have my attention. They're truly inspiring.