Archive for the ‘ArcGIS Online’ Category
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
In our first article in this series: Basics: Offline Maps and How to Get Started Part 1, we provided background on offline maps. We discussed the difference between base-maps and layers, and covered what are interactive and editable map layers. In this second post in the series we will discuss how we take base-maps and layers offline.
1. Taking Base-Maps Offline
For this conversation we will focus much of our attention on ArcGIS. Note, the same basic principles discussed here will apply to other map and GIS offerings. So what is a base-map? It is a series of pictures or tiles combined into a single image. Rather like a jigsaw puzzle. And just like a jigsaw puzzle a single image is usually broken into smaller pieces. Think of a huge satellite image. Take a cookie cutter and break that up into smaller chunks. These are tiles.
So why generate tiles? Improved user experience that is why. Google in 2005 released Google Maps. Suddenly we could pan and zoom satellite images for free on the web. And yes the first thing I did was zoom in to see my house. But take a closer look at Google Maps or an ArcGIS web map today. You will see the individual base-map tiles as you pan and zoom. Your experience is seamless and super fast. Imagine each time you panned the map, just for a moment the map disappeared, then reappeared with the new extent. That was the pre Google Maps reality.
So how does this relate to offline? To be able to use base-maps in areas without wireless connectivity we need to copy these tiles to our smartphone or tablet. In Esri-land this can be done dynamically (see Collector for ArcGIS and the base-map selection option for offline) or through a tile package or TPK. This is simply a zip file of images. Tiles at different zoom levels: a “pyramid” of images.
Why tiled maps? from Penn State is a good article on this subject, well worth reading.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016
Let me start this blog post with an age test. Do the following lines of dialogue mean anything to you?
“Oh, the pain, the pain”
“Where are you my hairy friend?”
“You Deplorable Dunderhead”
“Nickel Plated Nincompoop”
This will mean nothing to the younger generation. But to some of you (and yes I can see you smiling) this means Lost in Space. Forget the movie remake, this was one of the greatest American TV sitcom’s ever made. Filled with terribly wooden actors, predictable story lines, comical monsters (many also seen in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’), cheesy sets .. I could go on. ‘Great American TV sitcom?” I hear you ask. Without question. Why?
Dr Smith that is why!
A simply marvelous character: sneaky, underhanded, greedy, lazy, cowardly. He stole the show. Dr Smith was the reason we watched.
Monday, August 15th, 2016
I’m troubled by fixed mindsets. Whether that be personal or corporate. I’m old enough to have experienced the dot com boom. Embedded tech ideas driven mostly by internal ‘brilliance’ than solving real client problems. The ‘if we build it they will come’ approach. Rather like the film Field of Dreams. Fiction!
GIS Technology on its own is Useless
I like the title of this blog post: GIS Technology on its own is Useless. We could take the GIS part of that title away. Technology helps to solve problems. It is not a solution on its own. Read that again.
If we throw technology over the fence at users/clients/colleagues does that solve their problem?
Today’s GIS technology is incredible. But it is only as useful as the problems we know how to solve using GIS. On its own GIS is useless.
Tuesday, August 9th, 2016
A GIS solutions engine: state the problem and with the simple press of a button …. out comes your answer. Sounds too good to be true. I bet I have you wondering where you can get this wondrous technology.
What is a GIS Solutions Engine?
There is little doubt that GIS has become easier. Releases like ArcGIS Online have greatly simplified the process or mechanics of generating and publishing maps. There are now many configurable (that means you don’t need to build from scratch) web and mobile applications which come with these platforms. Now anybody can set up and help provide answers to where questions with GIS. Right?
Well… definitely, maybe!
From our experience with customers, if you do not have in-house GIS expertise or are not prepared to spend time learning GIS ….. answering your business where questions with GIS might not be so easy.
Thursday, August 4th, 2016
You know the story about the ugly duckling. Poor little chap; taken for granted, disregarded, under-valued. Then one day he turns into a beautiful swan.
Is Data the Ugly Duckling of GIS?
In some ways that is GIS data. It was not that long ago that data was incredibly hard to find. Everything changed in the mid-2000’s with Google maps, Open Streetmap and others stepping up. Suddenly a whole variety of base maps were available. Many at little or no cost. In addition, data which sits on top of these basemaps – point, line and polygon layers in GIS speak – also was easier to find.
From famine to feast … data became taken for granted
Just like the ugly duckling data became under-valued. Ubiquitous and free was the assumption. How unfortunate!
Let me ask you this. How many projects stall because of a data problem? That is missing data, inaccurate data, or lack of understanding on how to find, convert and publish data. From our experience many.
Monday, August 1st, 2016
In this blog post we will be discussing mobile integration. That is between Maximo® and ArcGIS: two very complimentary technologies. Let’s start with some definitions. As described by IBM, Maximo® is:
A comprehensive enterprise asset management for asset lifecycle and maintenance management
While ArcGIS is:
A geographic information system (GIS) for working with maps and geographic information. It is used for: creating and using maps; compiling geographic data; analyzing mapped information; sharing and discovering geographic information; using maps and geographic information in a range of applications; and managing geographic information in a database.
On the mobile front we have Maximo® Anywhere:
Which provides a set of resources for building and deploying mobile apps that integrate with IBM Maximo Asset Management
As mobile ArcGIS experts. we have been looking into the integration of ArcGIS with Maximo® Anywhere to provide both online and offline asset management.
Monday, July 18th, 2016
I’m at it again. Writing controversial blog posts. But I want to explain why GIS SUCS.
Now I often do not follow conventional wisdom. I like to step back and look at the big picture. I try to base my opinions not on what I am told, but what I observe, and hear. This is why I have come to the conclusion GIS SUCS.
Now I do think the new platform is a significant advance. It’s easier to work with, and comes loaded with so many new services and applications. New is good. A plethora of new tools and services is fantastic. But all of the focus put here is why GIS SUCS.
It’s broken record week, since I seemed to have repeated this in a number of posts over the last 7 days. But starting with the technology is starting in the middle.
Success with GIS .. requires
Curiosity … and the
SUCS. Let me explain where I am going here.
Friday, July 15th, 2016
If I used the term Open Kimono what comes to mind?
For me its nudity. I’m sorry. Maybe my mind sits in the wrong place, but when a colleague recently used the term when discussing GIS, I raised an eyebrow. So today’s blog post is about getting naked.
Open Kimono GIS
Well not exactly. The smarty pants among you will of course know the term open kimono. The formal definition:
To reveal what is being planned or to share important information freely. Similar to ”open the books” or an “open door policy,” opening the kimono means revealing the inner workings of a project or company to an outside party.
Sorry to disappoint but though we are thinking here about naked, its not in the ‘without clothes’ way. Discovery is where we are going. Specifically problem and story discovery.
I have mentioned in other blog post this notion of stepping back from the technology and focusing on the problem. Too often we jump into GIS projects focused on the technology. Understanding the problem is key. And that doesn’t mean a short conversation, it means having in place what we call a Discovery process.
Wednesday, July 13th, 2016
I often get phone calls which start like this: “We need an application built which does X”. Do you know my next question?
On the surface that would seem like an odd response. But think about it, the caller has a problem and yet the conversation starts with the technology. This is not the fault of the caller. But without understanding the problem the caller is trying to solve, how can we build out a solution. In this blog post I will share our approach to solving problems with GIS. We have developed a step by step process we use with those both new to GIS and experienced GIS users and organizations. Less an advertisement for what we do, more for you to think about how you might better solve organizational problems with GIS.
Getting the most out of GIS requires careful planning and thought. Below we discuss our systematic approach to solving problems using GIS.