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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.

The Rise and Rise of Location Technology

July 21st, 2016 by Matt Sheehan

So has Pokemon Go finally put location technology on the map?

That is a terrible pun, but an interesting question. One worth exploring.

The Rise and Rise of Location Technology

Let’s start with what is location technology?

Leveraging the built in GPS your mobile device knows where you are at all times. That means it can find what and who is around you. How it does that is through location technology. As an example, fire up your favourite mapping app and ask the question “Where is the nearest gas station?”. The map magically shows all stations close to your current location. Now that is a simple question. How about something more complex. Show me all the homes for sale within a 5 mile radius of my current location which are priced under $200,000.

You get the idea. Location technology is focused on providing users the ability to display and query location based data. Maps are the most common display method. But is location technology the same as mapping technology? That is a tricky one. Both yes and no.

Location technology is really designed to answer where questions. You will come across terms like location intelligence and location analytics. The complexity of the where question will determine the most appropriate location technology to use. Google maps is perfect for answering simple where questions. Geographic information systems (GIS) are designed to answer both simple and complex where questions. For more on GIS options read our recent GIS-Lite blog post. With ArcGIS, Esri provide the most widely used GIS in the world. Our friends at Centigon Solutions have built a GIS lite solution which integrates into existing business intelligence platforms. Open source and other proprietary solutions have their own flavours of location technology.

So where does your question fit on the location technology spectrum? That’s really at the core of what we do as a company. It’s why we introduced our Discovery Workshop. Forget the technology for now, first what is the problem. Fitting the technology to the problem, which has historically been the approach, is backwards.

Pokemon Go is built on location technology: maps, features, geo-location, geo-fencing … it’s all there. The location component of Pokemon Go has helped make this a compelling mobile app. You may not realise, but increasingly you are using location technology in your daily lives. Both at work and at play.

Have a where question? Contact us on 801-733-0723.

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

One Response to “The Rise and Rise of Location Technology”

  1. Abimael Cereda Junior says:

    Great article! More than “minecraft or pokemon generation”, we are living the emergence of a society connected by geography and technological platforms – read:

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