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Archive for the ‘ArcGIS Online’ Category

With GIS today we are all to some degree groping in the dark

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

 

With GIS today we are all learning together. That is a statement not a question. And in making that statement, I want to make my suggestions on how we make this learning process easier.

With GIS today we are all to some degree groping in the dark

1. Lets all working harder at asking questions

Its time to step back and ask questions. Lots of questions. Too often we make presumptions. We believe what we read. Challenge your pre-conceived notions by asking questions. I’ll give you an example. I presumed, because ArcGIS Online had made it so much simpler to publish maps and apps, that many barriers to adoption had come down. So I went to some local cities and asked the question of their GIS folks. And what did I find: time, money, data, education and intransigence were still key barriers.

2. Really talk to users and clients ……. and listen

I hate to use a car dealers billboard to illustrate, but I believe the above rings true. We need to be better listeners. What are the problems and challenges? Too often we are trying put a square peg into a round hole. Thierry Gregorius GeoHipsters interview is well worth reading, in it he states:

“Much of my job involves talking to stakeholders across an organisation to find out what they’re really trying to achieve, what data they need to achieve it”

Or put differently, at the core of Thierry’s job is listening. How good are you at discovery through listening?

Listening to clients, managers, field staff: both to the organization and across the organization

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What we learned from a failed ArcGIS Implementation

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

We pride ourselves on honesty. To not just talk UP about our working world, but discuss the DOWN. Our (my) biggest lessons in life were learned from failure .. not success.

Its time to talk about a WebMapSolutions hiccup. And what we learned from a failed ArcGIS implementation.

We spent the first part of 2015 working with a private company who had no experience with GIS. They had a forward thinking senior staff member who quickly grasped the possibilities GIS might bring to their company. They enlisted WebMapSolutions to help evolve that vision.

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ArcGIS and Making Sense Out of Google’s Geospatial Evolution

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

 

I thought it worth following up on John-Isaac Clark’s article Making Sense Out of Google’s Geospatial Evolution. I’ve met John at past geo-conferences. He is Chief Innovation Officer at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology. Thermopylae have built their product suite on top of Google, so the recent changes announced by Google around their geospatial products could have a direct impact on Thermopylae’s business. In some ways Johns blog post was written to reassure his companies existing clients. Aside from this, there are some interesting points made worth discussing.

Google Impact on Geospatial

The launch of Google Maps in the mid 2000’s sent ripples (tidal waves?) across the geospatial industry. Suddenly interactive maps were easy to access and use. The Google Maps interface was beautifully simple. No head scratching was needed to use their maps. And with slippy tiles the user experience was extraordinary. For those of us developing mapping applications, simply finding good base map data was a huge undertaking. Google changed all of that. Rich base map data-sets suddenly became available. That was a huge change. I agree with John that the Google geospatial releases “enabled geo-literacy to be introduced to non-geographic information system professionals”.

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6 Key Challenges Slowing ArcGIS Online Adoption

Monday, June 8th, 2015

 

From our work with customers, we are beginning to see the pace of adoption of ArcGIS Online and the ArcGIS Platform pick up. Ever more maps are being published in Online. But for apps, we remain in a world of early adopters.

What do we mean here?

We mean the pace of those deepening their engagement with ArcGIS Online beyond simply map publishing. Below we discuss 6 key challenges slowing ArcGIS Online adoption.

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5 things you need to know about Web mobile ArcGIS

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

 

ArcGIS Online is still relatively new. Many organizations have begun looking seriously at this cloud based GIS solution. Sure there are still worries about credits, cost concerns, confusion around named users. But wider scale adoption is on the horizon.

Web Mobile ArcGIS

As organizations dig deeper into ArcGIS, the question of mobile is often raised. In this post let’s discuss 5 things you need to know about Web mobile ArcGIS.

1. Ubiquitous – run on any device and platform

In today’s world we use many devices: PC’s, laptops, smartphones, tablets. These are all basically computers. Devices like smartphones, and tablets mean we are no longer limited to our office or home based computers. Now we can use applications anywhere and at anytime. GIS technology is particularly useful on mobile devices. Not only does it provide (easily understood) maps as output, but detailed, focused information based on location:

“Show me all the water valves which have not been inspected in Sandy City in the last 2 months”

“Alert me if I start digging with my excavator within 30 ft of an oil pipeline”

We all have a mix of different mobile devices: smartphones, tablets, Apple, Android, Windows, Blackberry. Ideally we want our mobile ArcGIS applications to run on any and all of our devices. Web ArcGIS is the perfect solution. Write once run everywhere is the true power of web ArcGIS technology. Pull up a browser on your device and you are good to go.

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Is the GIS Revolution still being driven by early adopters?

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

 

In this blog post I wanted to step back and reflect on the dramatic changes in GIS, we’ve been calling it the GIS Revolution. To ask the question is there a gap between perception and reality? And discuss the continued importance of early adopters.

The emergence of cloud and mobile technology have raised dramatically the profile and demand for location technology. Esri and other vendors in the GIS space have reacted to these technology changes and new demands by releasing new products. That actually understates reality, in the case of esri, they are in many ways reinventing themselves. We are in a phase of GIS innovation. The path is to mainstream acceptance and use of GIS; new uses of the technology and a vastly expanded user base.

Traditional GIS users are seeing their world turned upside down. Those new to GIS now have an entry point. They are no longer excluded from the technology. Publishing maps has never been easier. A plethora of GIS apps are now available. Configure first has become an esri mantra. And why not. If your GIS app needs are shared by others why reinvent the wheel? Esri are releasing new configurable apps at a prolific rate.

Is there a Gap between Perception and Reality

So where are we in the GIS revolution?

Have traditional users adopted the new cloud based solutions, are they configuring apps and providing them across their organizations? Are non-GIS users adopting the technology in droves? Reading the GIS press you would think yes.

The reality is definitely, maybe!

The Importance of Early Adopters

The GIS Revolution still being driven by early adopters. The GIS press is in reality focused on where we are going not where we are. We see adoption rates as picking up, definitely close to a tipping point, but not there yet.

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Do those new to GIS understand the value?

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Value. Now there is a slippery term. Value is very much down to individual perception. Yet providing and demonstrating value is at the heart of our mission as GIS solution providers. And I don’t just mean by companies like ourselves who provide GIS services. Those looking to provide new GIS based tools across an organization will come across the value proposition. Why should i give up my paper based approach to data collection? Stop using spreadsheets for asset management?

Do those new to GIS see the value?

As GIS professionals the value of GIS to us is obvious. Location based data is better understood, easier to work with, when presented on a map. Maps are images, our brains are wired to understand images. Hidden behind the (map) covers is the analysis part of GIS. Spatial analysis, location intelligence call it what you will. GIS is very powerful technology.

So then do those new to GIS understand the value?

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Super Flexible ArcGIS Apps: a Sneak Peek

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Flexibility and simplicity. This should apply to any and all ArcGIS apps. As a company we stay focused on providing this perfect balance. In this article will provide a sneak peek into a development effort in which we have been engaged which brings amazing flexibility and simplicity to ArcGIS web apps.

Sounds like cheap advertising. If you read this blog regularly you know me better than that. Read on you might be surprised.

The ArcGIS Platform

Before we jump in, let’s just step back for a moment. The concept of the ArcGIS platform is still sinking in for many. Those who attended the recent Esri developer or partner summits in Palm Springs were given a deeper dive into the idea of the ArcGIS platform: identity, web map, maps and apps. Esri aren’t alone in their evolution. As GIS becomes a core technology (its popularity driven by cloud and mobile technology) much is changing. Its change for the best. Different to our old narrow comfy niche. Call it advance and progress. Long overdue in our view.

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GIS Asset Management Solution Providers need to Act Fast

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

 

If you are GIS asset management solution provider, small or large, you need to ask yourself two questions:

1) Do we have a mobile solution which works on all devices (PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet) and platforms (Apple, Android, Windows)?

2) Are your field products offline enabled?

If you answer is no to either or both questions … you need to act fast!

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GIS anywhere, anytime, on any device

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

 

Inside of WebMapSolutions we repeat often “GIS anywhere, anytime, on any device”. The phrase is actually included in our mission statement.

But what does this phrase mean to us?

We will jump around a little in this blog post in explaining.

Some while ago we wrote an article entitled The Democratization of GIS. In the post we wondered whether GIS is like the automobile of the early 1900’s, and paraphrasing Henry Ford:

“I’m going to democratize GIS, and when I’m through, everybody will be using the technology.”

The democratization of GIS is about mass market adoption.

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