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Mobile GIS Challenges and Opportunities in 2014

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Through the WebMapSolutions youtube channel we received a very interesting question. I thought it worth posting in our blog with our reply on the mobile GIS challenges and opportunities in 2014.

“I am a Geography student from the UK doing a module on Geospatial technology. As part of this module, I am attempting to gain an overview of the research challenges that face mobile geospatial computing. Since there isn’t a huge amount of approved literature on the subject, I have been using your videos as a source of information, and have found them very useful and informative.

I was basically wondering what you feel are the few challenges most relevant and problematic to functionality and development to apps such as mobile GIS, as well as location-based geospatial computing tools. Many of the tools you talk about in the videos require an online server to exploit some of the tools of ArcGIS. Do you know of any other mobile software that does not require any online server but provides all of the perks of programmes such as ArcGIS.”

Maturity of the Technology

In 2013 we saw a rapid acceleration in the evolution of GIS technology. Cloud and mobile computing were key drivers, and in 2013 GIS reached a tipping point. As a company WebMapSolutions recognised back in 2011 the potential impact these technologies could have on GIS. At that time, we began talking about location services rather than GIS. Cheap mobile devices with built in GPS, and cloud platforms we believed would transform our industry. It has taken nearly 3 years, but our prediction is proving correct. Now we have low cost GIS available at any time and place on any device. But the technology is still maturing. ArcGIS Online was released in early 2013, and continues to evolve; new services being rolled out gradually. New companies like GISCloud offer low priced cloud based GIS but remain limited. That will change.

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Powerful New Ways to Apply GIS in 2014 – Part 1

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Setting the Stage – GIS in 2013

GIS was once a niche technology. It was expensive, and used largely by those who had geospatial training. In 2013 that picture began to change. GIS is undergoing a rapid evolution. The increasing popularity of cloud computing, and mobile devices: tablets and smartphones, have helped broaden the appeal, and reduced the cost of location technology. In this article we will discuss this evolution and look at powerful new ways to apply GIS in 2014.

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Mobile Offline Data Collection on an iPad mini

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

iPad minis are cool. Their size means they are easy to carry; ideal for field work. But they are poor cousins to their larger relative. The biggest complaint is their lack of resources. Put simple they are badly under-powered. RAM is the biggest problem, try running too many apps or start using the camera and slowness and app crashing is inevitable. We wanted to demonstrate mobile offline data collection on an iPad mini. Our integrated ArcGIS Online mobile disconnected app has been recently optimized with this aim in mind. The short video shows the app in action:

Mobile Offline Data Collection

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5 Cool New Applications of Mobile GIS

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

The full potential of GIS is only just being realised. Esri and other location focused companies are driving forward with regular, new service releases which extend the possible applications of the technology. A wave of company mergers and acquisitions is underway in the location sector.

There are many exciting new ways to apply location technology. We thought it worth listing 5 cool new applications of Mobile GIS:

5 Cool New Applications of Mobile GIS

Geo-Triggers

Geotrigger technology adds location awareness and location based alerts to mobile apps. Esri’s 2012 purchase of the Portland based Geologi, has helped raise the profile of this technology. They describe how the service works as follows:

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3 Reasons GIS Is Now More Affordable

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

GIS was once a technology used only by those with the deepest pockets. Today things have begun to change. In this post we will discuss 3 reasons GIS is now more affordable, for big and small organization alike.

Low Cost Web and Mobile GIS Apps

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Mobile iOS and Android App for Location Selection

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Our development team really like the GeoEnrichment service from Esri. We’ve been working with this service for some time and see some key commercial areas of application. In a previous blog we mentioned a mobile app we were building as a demo. Our focus was using GIS on your mobile for location selection. The development effort was largely driven by requests we have received from a number of retail organizations looking to improve how they assess potential locations for new stores. Moving forward we see this as an important area in our commercial GIS development division.

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Mobile Site Selection GIS using ArcGIS Online

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

The possibilities presented by mobile technology and GIS is only just beginning to truly be realised. As a company we have been actively developing Android and Apple mobile GIS apps for over 2 years. We are ever more excited about how we can now apply GIS in the field. One new release from Esri which really caught our attention was the GeoEnrichment service. Below is an iPad demo of site selection analysis using ArcGIS Online, and this new service.

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5 Reflections on the South West User Conference

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

With this years conference now over, I thought it worth listing my 5 reflections on the South West User Conference (SWUC) held last week in Salt Lake City. The conference was a great success. WebMapSolutions was one of the sponsors of the event, along with a number of other local GIS focused companies including Gateway Computing and CityWorks. We took an informal survey of SWUC attendees.The results we thought were surprising. Below we reflect in our overall thoughts on the conference. (more…)

Very Interesting Survey on ArcGIS Online

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Last week we were one of the sponsors of the excellent South West Users Conference (SWUC), here in Salt Lake City. One of our activities at the conference was to conduct an informal attendee poll. Nearly one third of attendees responded. It proved to be a very interesting survey on ArcGIS Online. We asked 4 simple questions; the results are below: (more…)

Honoring Veterans with GIS

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

 

WebMapSolutions have started honoring Veterans with GIS; story maps providing the perfect mechanism.

The Military Banners Program has been adopted by many US cities: honoring local veterans with banners hung along designated streets. WebMapSolutions wanted to share these banners with those being honored. Now those serving overseas can find and view their banner in a story map published over the Internet.

WebMapSolutions have adapted an existing story map to enable search and enhanced viewing capabilities for data from the city of Chino Hills. Data collection was done using Esri’s Offline Mobile Editing App. (more…)

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