GIS faces huge challenges. Far greater than it faced in the 90’s with the explosion of the Internet.
And the opportunities for those who solve these challenges are unprecedented.
GIS is moving from being a peripheral, niche technology to an integrated core technology. Let me repeat that: GIS is moving from the periphery to the core.
This is at the heart of both the challenge and the opportunity. What this means is that .. none of the old rules apply.
Sure the core technology remains the same. And is evolving at an astounding pace. But the technology is one thing, how we talk about, and apply it is quite another. We have a new set of users. A much wider group who neither understand nor care about GIS. (more…)
In previous blog posts we’ve discussed the split in GIS. Not so much a split in the core technology, but in the users served and thus solutions provided. Traditional GIS will continue to support GIS professionals. “New” GIS is now serving a far wider user base. These are users who want to move beyond charts and graphs and visualize data on maps.To query business data based on location. These are users who want to replace their use of pen and paper while in the field, with mobile GIS. They want have access to maps and data in both populated (connected) and remote (disconnected) areas. There is much much more.
Its an exciting future. But just how do we bring GIS to this wider set of users?
Are we now looking at a split between traditional GIS and new GIS?
By new GIS I did not mean an offshoot like neogeography. I meant the application of the technology in new industries and use by non-GIS users. This has far reaching implications. Demanding potentially a quite different approach. I received some fascinating feedback by experts in the GIS community on the original post. To each responder I asked whether they would mind my sharing their thoughts with the wider community in this follow up article. Below are some of these responses:
“For its first 25 years or so GIS was in the construction business. It was building homes for applications, tools for businesses, and markets for services. When GIS grew up it became Geospatial Science ready to take on the world with all its new understanding, applications and world wide data resources. Geospatial science has far superseded its adolescence and is now headlong into maturity competing in the information business.”
I’m just back from presenting at the GeCo in the Rockies Conference. My first time in Grand Junction. A sleepy town surrounded by amazing scenery, with the beautiful Colorado River on its doorstep. For me, this felt like a conference of contrast. Traditional meets new. Its fascinating to watch how the GIS industry is changing. This was the first time I fully realised that we are in the midst of a split. Hard core GIS professionals continue to ply their trade. Locked up in modelling, developing and using apps with the traditional GIS look, feel and workflows. New GIS is charting a new and different course. (more…)
We’ve just released a new mobile GIS planning guide. This free eBook will walk you through each of the key areas which need consideration when moving forward with a mobile GIS project. Web versus native, choice of cloud GIS technology, offline, mobile app choice and mobile GIS frameworks will all be discussed. These are exciting times for GIS. Mobile and cloud technology are transforming how and where GIS is being used. This guide should help you get your mobile GIS project off the ground.
When you read a blog entitled ‘Building Offline ArcGIS apps with a Mobile Framework’, I’m thinking the first question which comes to mind is:
What is a mobile framework?
In the crudest terms a mobile framework provides the nuts and bolts to build custom mobile applications. No need to reinvent the wheel each time you need a mobile app. We’ve been building a framework which makes generating offline mobile ArcGIS apps easy. And not just offline, it makes producing any mobile ArcGIS app fast and easy.
Continuing our series of videos showing custom offline mobile editing for ArcGIS. We have developed a framework which allows us to build very flexible mobile apps for clients providing offline GIS editing. In the demo below we show how users can download and use base maps when offline.
Offline Mobile Editing for ArcGIS
As shown in the video, the workflows have been designed to be simple and intuitive.
Yikes, now that is a question: does conformity allow for GIS creativity?
But it is worth pondering. We encourage our children to think for themselves, to be creative, be individual thinkers. And yet we live in a world where one is expected to conform. In both action and thought.
Conform in action and thought?
In work we concern ourselves with pleasing bosses, not rocking the boat, remaining within organizational constraints. Ok, that is maybe an overstatement. But we are first and foremost concerned with conformity, not moving out of step. That is not all bad. But where does that leave creativity and individual thinking?
We have put together below a demo showing work we are doing providing online offline mobile editing from map or geoform.
Offline Mobile Editing from Map or Geoform
There are two perspectives possible when editing data in the field. Map-centric starts obviously with the map. Drop a point (line or polygon), and edit an associated attributes window pop up. There is a second or form-centric perspective. So starting with a form. This maybe a form associated with a feature. It might also be a custom form, required as part of a job; maybe for inspections or legal purposes, which is stored or distributed to concerned/interested parties.
Don’t you hate that. Thinking: I don’t understand your GIS web site, and product offering!
It might look nice, be very professional. But leaves you no wiser as to the product or services offered than before you started browsing. What a waste. Maybe the product is as empty as the Web site. But maybe not. If the latter, you are blowing it royally.
I came across a great example the other day. I know the company well. Know their staff, and the great work they do. They have just launched a new GIS mobile solution suite. A tonne of work has gone into this, their first true products. But visit the Web site and …. you’ll see polish and professionalism, some high level descriptions, mostly marketing messages, but are left with little else. Just ‘Contact us for more Info’.