Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
Instead of asking:
Offline ArcGIS editing on an iPhone cannot be done right?
We could just as easily have asked if offline editing can be done period!
At WebMapSolutions we have been building an offline ArcGIS Online editing solution. Offline is complex; the process involves reading and writing data to/from the mobile device, then syncing with ArcGIS Online. But there is a huge need for such a mobile app, given such spotty Wi-Fi coverage in so many areas.
This initial version is targeted at iPad and Android tablets. We’ve made it affordable to both large and small organizations. The mobile app was launched in September to the Esri Marketplace, and has proven very popular. (more…)
Monday, November 4th, 2013
Collecting feedback from citizens has always been a challenge for local government. Pot holes, graffiti, localised flooding, blocked roads are all citizen and local government concerns. But having a simple system in place which is easy for citizens to use, and local governments to view and act upon, has proven difficult and expensive. We have all done it, wanted to report an issue of concern. Usually we would phone the city office, be passed between departments and finally our concern noted by a staff member. And that was that; no feedback mechanism for citizens – the issue is in our system and will be fixed tomorrow – and no way for city staff to centrally log the issue.
Sure, there are systems in place which provide this mechanism, but they are often very expensive. That is not the case any more. New technology means citizen engagement apps are now easy to develop. Thus the title of this post ‘Citizen Engagement Apps Made Easy’. Here we will discuss new approaches to engaging with citizens using location technology. (more…)
Friday, November 1st, 2013
I’ve just returned from a trip to China. Part business part pleasure. Having a smartphone ensured I took plenty of photos and video. I’ve been asked a number of times since my return to ‘send some photos’. It made me wonder: is there a way to share your travel photos with GIS?
Share your Travel Photos with GIS
Esri have recently introduced the notion of storymaps; these are application templates which can be easily extended and customized. These templates are responsive meaning they look good on phones, tablets and PC’s. One template in particular caught my attention. It seemed perfect for sharing both the photos and the story of my trip. The results I will show at the end of this post, but they far exceeded my expectations. Let me walk through the process of setting up the application: (more…)
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
We are often approached by new clients who are searching for low cost GIS data collection solutions. It was once the case that data collection:
1) Required specialized, expensive equipment
2) Needed GIS trained staff
3) Cost a small fortune
4) Was often delivered in varying formats or required additional work to make use-able.
Thankfully those days are now gone – though you will still find some (expensive providers) trying to pursued you otherwise. So what has changed? (more…)
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
If the recent requests we have received for GIS development and knowledge help are anything to go by; engineering companies are excited about GIS. The project needs have been many and varied from GIS support and data services to Web and mobile development. More evidence we think of the widening interest in GIS; from GIS pros to now ever more non-GIS professionals.
Here is a short list of some of these needs:
Mobile GIS Planned Pipeline Visualization
“We are an engineering company who design pipelines. A key part of this work is involving property owners in the process. Driving and walking along the planned pipeline route with these individuals is important. The one thing we lack currently is the ability to visualize the planned pipeline. An iPad with pipeline and related feature overlays would be a huge help.”
Monday, October 14th, 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 ways GIS is now more affordable, for big and small organization alike.
Low Cost Web and Mobile GIS Apps
Go back a few years and the cost of Web and mobile GIS apps was sky high; $20,000, $30,000 … And that was just for the application, add ArcGIS server or equivalent to the mix and costs could easily push north of $50,000. Today all that has changed. Web and mobile applications are now easier to build. The emphasis has been on simpler, more intuitive GIS apps. Those built to provide a specific purpose, maybe data collection, map annotation, dashboard or routing. Gone are the days of bloated expensive applications loaded with tools. There are now many free apps available. Esri’s mobile Collector app is one example. In addition many basic application frameworks have been released which can be extended. No more reinventing the wheel. At WebMapSolutions we have been extending our own and others frameworks to simplify and reduce the cost of Web and mobile application development. (more…)
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
Geographic Information Systems or GIS has entered a new and exciting phase in its evolution. In this blog post we discuss 3 powerful new ways to apply GIS technology.
Consumer Discovery GIS Apps
Gone are the days when GIS only served power geo-users. Today consumer apps are being built which use GIS. Maps are a perfect and intuitive way to discover information. An example might be providing moms a simple way to discover local parks for their kids. A GIS powered Parks Finder mapping app is the perfect answer.
Monday, October 7th, 2013
Its daunting starting any GIS Web or Mobile project. Where does one begin? In this post we provide a 5 point checklist for any GIS Web or mobile project.
1. Project Requirements
Do you have a clear idea of what the app should do? A detailed list of requirements is essential. If you are still in the ideas phase, flesh it out before you reach out to any external GIS development company. Be prepared to discuss in detail your requirements, and answer any questions posed by prospective development companies. Be clear to describe the purpose of the application. (more…)
Thursday, September 26th, 2013
There are many ways to market mobile apps. We Esri’s MarketPlace release new wanted to compare in this blog post the iStore versus ArcGIS MarketPlace for marketing and selling mobile apps.
We are a GIS focused development company. This is mapping technology in simple terms, or as we prefer to say location focused. GIS can be complex, often dealing with big data. Mobile and cloud technology have revolutionized the field, and are now widening the audience for GIS (routing, and mobile apps which show what or who is near somebody are two good examples of potential applications of the technology). A conundrum for companies like ours is how best to market the mobile apps we build, and provide trial versions of these apps. Sure the first choice might be the Android or Apple stores; maybe provide a watered down version of the app for free. Mistake. You will see many people downloading the app, but get little back. We have had an app in both stores for nearly two years now with over 40, 000 downloads. Apart for bragging rights – we launched the first ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online mobile apps in iStore- these apps have little benefited us.
Friday, September 20th, 2013
This week Esri launched ArcGIS Marketplace; a one stop shop for ArcGIS focused applications. Finally users can discover mobile, Web and desktop GIS applications simply and easily. Esri have made the site intuitive, with excellent search capabilities and categories. Want a GIS application targeted at your industry or sector, ArcGIS Marketplace simplifies the discovery process.