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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.

Why is my mobile GIS app so SLOW?

May 4th, 2016 by Matt Sheehan

I hear this question all the time: why is my mobile GIS app so SLOW? Whether simply loading a map, trying to edit features on the map, or routing; mobile GIS apps can be maddeningly slow. More than maddening, this slowness can actually get in the way of getting work done!

In this post we will discuss the cause and solutions to mobile GIS app slowness.

So what is the cause of mobile GIS app slowness?

For mobile GIS there are two primary causes:

1) Poor wireless connectivity – In both remote and populated areas wireless reception can be very variable. Take a look at the wireless signal bars on your smartphone or tablet. You will see changes in signal strength as you move. The weaker the signal the longer it will take for your mobile GIS app to load or return results. Sometimes you will wait and wait and the application fails. Very frustrating.

2) Loading a large number of features – If you are using a mobile GIS app which loads tens of thousand of features eg points representing water valves, your application will likely be impacted. Often that means a poor performing app. You are taxing the resources of your smartphone or tablet.

So two core reasons for mobile GIS app slowness: wireless connectivity and feature overload.

Solutions to mobile GIS app slowness

We take a perspective that mobile GIS solutions should:

1) Work on ALL mobile devices and platforms
2) NEVER run slowly

So what is the solutions path?

1) Offline mobile GIS – We build mobile apps which work in offline mode. That means never needing to reach over a slow wireless connection to load maps. All data is local, meaning stored on the device. Load a map and layers .. all is pulled from a database on your smartphone or tablet. And that means FAST.

2) Design mobile GIS apps for performance – Let me ask you this: when do you need to see 10,000 features, let’s use our earlier example of water valves, on your map? Never, would be my guess. More than that, too many visible features is more confusing than helpful. The mobile GIS apps we build are designed to be user friendly and FAST.

Let me add a couple of other words to this post: configurable and custom. We see these going hand in hand. We don’t build so called ‘canned apps’, or inflexible apps with which ‘you get what you get’. We build FAST, easy to use mobile GIS apps which can be altered based on your needs and workflows.

In today’s world of GIS, FAST and FLEXIBLE mobile GIS apps should be a requirement not a wish!

Need a fast mobile GIS app? Contact us on 801-733-0723.

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

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