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 Mobile GIS & LBS
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.

Solving the shapefile conundrum: mobile sharing and editing

April 13th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

We get this question asked often:

“How do we load a shapefile on our smartphone or tablet, allow our team to edit said shapefile on their respective mobiles, then consolidate all edits back into a single shapefile?”

Ours is a three word answer:

“Use the cloud”

If there is any discussion which best illustrates the power of cloud computing it is this one. Today systems like ArcGIS Online and GISCloud make it easy to publish your shapefiles to a single accessible layer. Now your team can load this single source on their mobile device, make their edits, sync and they are done. Nothing could be easier.

We harp on in this blog about today’s GIS revolution. This is one great example. Two key pieces: mobile GIS, and shared data with cloud GIS.

And this technology is cheap. Go back a few years and Trimble mobile devices with shapefiles, and you were paying crazy money. Today you can get a more limited version of ArcGIS Online for free (developer version), with a first tier account costing a couple thousand dollars. GISCloud is around $55 month. Pair that with the mobile phones and tablets many of us now carry at all times, and you have a new paradigm……… mobile enabled cloud based GIS.

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Categories: ArcGIS Online, Mobile ArcGIS, Web and mobile GIS

One Response to “Solving the shapefile conundrum: mobile sharing and editing”

  1. Carl Reed says:

    Using the cloud assumes some level of connectivity. For disconnected or low bandwidth situations, consider using additional technology such as the OGC GeoPackage standard. . Numerous technology providers already support GeoPackage, including Esri. . This is a very new standard, so expect additional vendor functionality in the near term.


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