Mobile GIS & LBS
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.
Engineering Companies are Excited about GIS
October 22nd, 2013 by Matt Sheehan
If the recent requests we have received for GIS development and knowledge help are anything to go by; engineering companies are excited about GIS. The project needs have been many and varied from GIS support and data services to Web and mobile development. More evidence we think of the widening interest in GIS; from GIS pros to now ever more non-GIS professionals.
Here is a short list of some of these needs:
Mobile GIS Planned Pipeline Visualization
“We are an engineering company who design pipelines. A key part of this work is involving property owners in the process. Driving and walking along the planned pipeline route with these individuals is important. The one thing we lack currently is the ability to visualize the planned pipeline. An iPad with pipeline and related feature overlays would be a huge help.”
This was a project solution we were quickly able to deliver for this client. Given our 2 years of work developing both smartphone and tablet based GIS apps. Using the cloud based ArcGIS Online platform, allowed easy access to the data from anywhere.
Field based GIS Map Annotation
“Our focus is on engineering in the water utility sector. Our engineers are often in the fields, visiting sites and noting needs and new requirements. If we had the ability to annotate on a map what we see, maybe attach an image. This would be a big help both for sharing requirements with others in our organization, as a record of needs, and would speed up our work process: from field to office.”
A particular emphasis in our work is to build Web and mobile GIS applications which can be easily customized. For this customer we took an existing base map viewer framework and extended it to provide map annotation. This was a cross platform solution: meaning it ran on both iPhones and Android smartphones. An early version of the mobile GIS app can be seen in the video below:
Mobile Engineering GIS Data Collection
“We are an engineering company working in the transportation sector. A key part of our work involves collecting data on various transportation related assets including traffic lights, and road lighting poles. We like the Esri Collector app, but field crews have complained that in some areas the application is less than ideal. We would like a custom data collector which provides for our specific needs.”
WebMapSolutions were able to build a simple data collection app, which was affordable to this small engineering client. Built with input from the field crews; the app has dramatically improved how these field based staff collect data. We are providing ongoing support to this client, as their work expands. This is one of a number of similar solutions we have built for clients focused on transportation GIS.
Offline Mobile GIS Data Collection
“When working on site, we often find ourselves without a wi-fi connection. It means our data collection needs to be done by pen and paper. Its frustrating, and inefficient to have to go back to how we used to collect data. We would really like an offline data collection solution for our iPads”
WebMapSolutions are one of the few GIS companies who are able to provide client with an offline GIS Mobile data collection solution. In this clients case we provided our offline base product which satisfied all their field data collection needs without the need to resort back to pen and paper. A demo of the mobile GIS app can bee seen below:
Storing Data Centrally and Organizing Geographically
“As a medium sized engineering company, we find sharing and collaborating on data across the organization is difficult. If there were only a way we could store our data centrally and organize it around location it would greatly improve how our staff work and interact on projects”
As early adopters of cloud GIS technology, we were able to provide this client with a number of potential solutions. They settled on ArcGIS Online as their platform of choice. It has proven to be a perfect centralised solution for their data; easy to administer and accessible to both office and field based staff. WebMapSolutions have also been building complimentary Web and mobile apps for the use of staff across the organization.