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 Mobile GIS & LBS

Archive for August, 2015

Now we are not called mapping guys or gals what is holding us back?

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

 

I’ll admit it was a little tongue in cheek. But my blog post entitled “Please stop calling me the mapping guy” proved to be amazingly popular. Our blog is generally well read but this post pushed things off the chart. See Google analytics below:

But a well read blog post does not indicate approval or disapproval. Simply interest in the topic. From the responses I received it would seem many readers agree with the general thrust of my argument. Which leads me to this next post ….

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4 things you need to know before starting with ArcGIS

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

 

We live in exciting, changing times for GIS. Launches like ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS from Esri, have made GIS technology easier to adopt and use across organizations. But, don’t be fooled, careful thought and planning is still needed for any successful GIS implementation. In this post we discuss four key areas you will need to consider before moving ahead with GIS.

The 4 Essential ArcGIS Elements

From working with customers, we have found success with ArcGIS is built on 4 essential elements:

1. Discovery and Planning

What are your goals and needs? Do you fully understand and can you articulate your requirements?

We discussed in our “What we learned from a failed ArcGIS Implementation” blog post the importance of the planning and discovery phase. Everybody involved in the project needs to provide input and have a thorough understanding of the requirements, goals and path forward. It is in this phase the initial blueprint is put in place. Time spent here potentially saves much time later. You need to be able to articulate your “pot of gold” (the term used by the client in our ‘failed’ blog post) or equivalent. What problems are you trying to solve with GIS?
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Why should all Mobile ArcGIS apps work offline?

Monday, August 24th, 2015

 

Wireless connectivity while outside, remains a challenge for mobile users. The discussion of offline ArcGIS, or the ability to use a GIS application without need for a wireless connection, is often focused on working in remote areas. But poor or slow loading ArcGIS apps are all too common in both remote and highly populated areas. Poor wireless signals can lead to almost unusable mobile apps.

Why should all Mobile ArcGIS apps work offline?

It is for that reason we believe that all mobile ArcGIS apps should be offline enabled. Case in point. Last week we were working with Collector for ArcGIS collecting data in downtown Salt Lake City. We were using the app in online mode (Collector is also offline enabled). Loading the app took over 3 minutes, every pan, zoom, update was painfully slow. A task which should have taken an hour, took considerably longer.

In our view all mobile ArcGIS apps should work offline. Collector for ArcGIS and our Universal Map Viewer are among the few ArcGIS apps which provide both full online and offline or disconnected capabilities.

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Please stop calling me the mapping guy

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

 

“You must love maps”

“Could you make me a map?”

“So your job is map making”

“Talk to those guys down the hall … the map guys”.

Grrrrrrrrrr!

Please stop calling me the mapping guy

Enough is enough. Seriously. I did not like it then. Today, I am even less tolerant. I am not a mapping guy. Period.

Don’t belittle me. Don’t label me. Understand me.

We can bring new insight to your organization. Can provide new ways to view and analyse your organizational data. We are an important (new) face in the changing world of technology. Give us a hug, tell us we are special, then allow us to dramatically change how you run your business

You can tell I have had enough. If you head up an organization and are not leveraging GIS across your organization. You aren’t properly doing your job. Seriously.

Now I have your attention

Let me tell you two stories.
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We need GIS apps which are super simple to use

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

 

We seem to hear so often now: “We need GIS apps which are super simple to use” . Why?

A history of GIS App Complexity

I’m afraid its true. We’ve been building GIS apps which are too complex. Too many GIS apps need users to be trained before use.

GIS has a history of complex and confusing apps

In 2005 Google Maps introduced us to simplicity. True, their target audience were consumers, not the enterprise, but still the simplicity was a thing of beauty. GIS has been pushing out applications filled with (too many) tools. Tools which are complex to use. Applications which are not intuitive. Applications which need training.

New Non-GIS Users

We are in the midst of geospatial revolution, driven by cloud and mobile technology. The geo world is being turned on its head. Traditional GIS users are being joined by a new far wider user base: non-GIS users. That’s not just consumers, but private organizations recognizing their business intelligence (BI) software is only giving them part of the story. By your staff who are looking to location based technology to improve how they work, and improve their organizational insight to make better decisions.

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