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Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan
Matt holds an MSc in Geography and GIS. He has been working with clients solving problems with GIS for over 17 years. Matt founded WebMapSolutions whose mission is to put innovative, intuitive GIS driven applications into the hands of new and existing users.

Offline Mobile GIS App Demos

March 6th, 2012 by Matt Sheehan

We have been asked many times about offline mobile capabilities. Situations where users are in areas without Wi-Fi access and still wish to access their mapping and GIS data, and geospatial tools using their Apple or Android mobiles. We have put together a video below which demonstrates a number of ways this can be done. To summarise the content. We need consider basemaps, layers and tools:

  1. Basemaps – to access basemaps offline – street, satellite, topo maps – the basemap tiles for required zoom level need to be stored on the smartphone or tablet. The video shows two potential ways this can be done:
    • While online; auto zoom to a specific zoom level, and cache the tiles loaded during this zoom. Then referencing these when offline
    • Load a tpk or tile package which contains all the tiles required when offline.
  2. Shapefiles – to view our layers, a shapefile needs be loaded onto the mobile device as a zip while online. In the video we discuss performance. The depackaging of the zip and rendering of the shapefile can be time consuming. We have optimised shapefile rendering by using fast shapefile depackagers and generating a bitmap of the shapefile.

The video below walks through solutions for offline basemaps and shapefiles:

3. Geospatial tools – Offline annotation has been another area of discussion. How do i dispense with pen and paper when I am in the field and use my mobile device either on or offline? Mark and note on a mobile map where a pipe is broken, maybe attach a picture. Further how can I share in real time or near real time my gathered data with office based workers, when i have wi-fi access? The video below demos a mobile annotation solution:

As ever we are interested in your thoughts on offline mobile. Do you have work flows which require offline usage? Maybe you have developed you own offline solution. Email us your thoughts.

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Categories: Mobile ArcGIS, Mobile GIS

One Response to “Offline Mobile GIS App Demos”

  1. janes says:


    thanks for the explanation, very useful! But, only one question. For the cache solution, is supposed that you are storing the tiles “directly” in your sd to access them later, or are you creating some kind of bundle of tiles “in the fly”?


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