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 Mobile GIS & LBS

Archive for August, 2014

Does conformity allow for GIS creativity?

Friday, August 15th, 2014

 

Yikes, now that is a question: does conformity allow for GIS creativity?

But it is worth pondering. We encourage our children to think for themselves, to be creative, be individual thinkers. And yet we live in a world where one is expected to conform. In both action and thought.

Conform in action and thought?

In work we concern ourselves with pleasing bosses, not rocking the boat, remaining within organizational constraints. Ok, that is maybe an overstatement. But we are first and foremost concerned with conformity, not moving out of step. That is not all bad. But where does that leave creativity and individual thinking?

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Offline Mobile Editing from Map or Geoform

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

 

We have put together below a demo showing work we are doing providing online offline mobile editing from map or geoform.

Offline Mobile Editing from Map or Geoform

There are two perspectives possible when editing data in the field. Map-centric starts obviously with the map. Drop a point (line or polygon), and edit an associated attributes window pop up. There is a second or form-centric perspective. So starting with a form. This maybe a form associated with a feature. It might also be a custom form, required as part of a job; maybe for inspections or legal purposes, which is stored or distributed to concerned/interested parties.

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I don’t understand your GIS web site, and product offering!

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

 

Don’t you hate that. Thinking: I don’t understand your GIS web site, and product offering!

It might look nice, be very professional. But leaves you no wiser as to the product or services offered than before you started browsing. What a waste. Maybe the product is as empty as the Web site. But maybe not. If the latter, you are blowing it royally.

I came across a great example the other day. I know the company well. Know their staff, and the great work they do. They have just launched a new GIS mobile solution suite. A tonne of work has gone into this, their first true products. But visit the Web site and …. you’ll see polish and professionalism, some high level descriptions, mostly marketing messages, but are left with little else. Just ‘Contact us for more Info’.

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Where do great GIS ideas come from?

Monday, August 11th, 2014

 

Its a question worth asking: where do great GIS ideas come from?

I attend plenty of conferences. Its always a pleasure to see how companies and individuals are applying the technology. Always, there are a small group who stand out. Those with unique ideas and products. These are often breathtakingly simple. See Valarm and their work with monitoring and sensors for an example.

Where do great GIS ideas come from?

So do innovators sit in dark rooms on stormy nights pen in hand, feverishly scribbling down ideas?

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Should you build a mobile GIS app for Apple devices only?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

We often have clients come to us and request we build a mobile app for iPad and/or iPhone. Our first question, before touching on functionality is: should you build a mobile GIS app for Apple devices only?

There are many reasons why building a mobile GIS app for just one platform (Apple iOS in this case) makes sense. Maybe your staff all have, and love, iPads and iPhones. They are comfortable with Apple products, and your IT department is set up to support iOS devices alone. I know many iOS fans who would cringe at the suggestion of switching to Android, for example. Apps which run on Apple devices are usually (and we will come back to this) written in a programming language called Objective-C. A language unique, or native, to Apple.

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Custom cross platform mobile GIS apps are expensive?

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

 

So … custom cross platform mobile GIS apps are expensive?

They certainly can be. Let’s imagine you would like a custom version of Collector for ArcGIS. Maybe you want a tool which is not provided by Collector. Lets say custom forms. iFormBuider won’t cut it. You need something for your unique workflows. Since you have a field team who use Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices (that means smartphone and tablets) you need a cross platform solution. What do you do?

More than likely you turn to a GIS development company like ours. You’ll ask us, if such a custom app is possible. And most importantly how much it might cost?

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Widen your GIS thinking

Monday, August 4th, 2014

We live in a world of narrow thinking. How often do you hear comments like:

“I vote Republican (Democrat) because that is the way my parents have always voted”

or

“I know that mine is the one true religion?”

Or been in one way conversations where you (are forced to) listen to somebody telling you every small detail of their life. Their career, promotion etc.

How do we grow as people, as GIS professionals, if we spend our time staring at our own navels?

Widen your GIS thinking

Its time to widen your thinking.

How useful is somebody who keeps a narrow focus? Their boss wants (expects) them to be continually valuable to the company. That takes more than just doing the “right things” for promotion. Its taking an active interest in the (GIS) activities of the company; the industry, watching what others are doing, talking, reading, making suggestions, having ideas. Its too easy to sit back and go through the motions. Follow behind others. Focusing on how to get promoted directly, instead of what value you can bring to make the company more successful. You more successful. Its a subtle but big difference.

GIS is exploding. As a GIS professional opportunity knocks. Don’t sit and stare at your navel, or worry about all those new “GIS graduates” making you less valuable. You are incredibly valuable. Grab your career by the horns. Read, ask questions, contribute directly to your companies future (not just your immediate tasks).

Take your great ideas and start a company of your own!

Don’t miss out on the GIS wave. Join of us. Before it has passed.

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