This years Esri UC in San Diego was the best yet. So much cool new technology. The GIS revolution is in full swing. But now it is all over, as you sip your coffee on your first day back at the office. Now what are you going to do?
Floods on new information, ideas, products. Its your job to organize your thoughts, and take action on implementation within your organization. Inertia is your biggest enemy.
What’s your mobile strategy?
Mobile is everywhere. Quite literally. We have become so dependent on our mobile devices. At this years UC it was hard to avoid discussions around mobile. More than any other advance, mobile is having a profound affect on GIS. Esri are pushing forward with new mobile technology. There is no doubt that Collector has raised the profile of mobile ArcGIS. Mobile data collection integrated with ArcGIS is hot at the moment. Old methods of using paper and pen are rapidly being replaced. Collector took a while coming, but it was well worth the wait. We are working with ever more clients helping set up Collector, and train staff.
Mobile presents new opportunities to apply GIS in new ways To replace outmoded methods. To use GIS technology in a seamless manner both in and out of the office. Data collection is but one application of mobile GIS technology. As was demonstrated at this years UC, there are a plethora of new applications of mobile GIS.
Mobile GIS is exciting. It offers a new ways for field based staff to get their work done more efficiently, and provide more accurate data. Energy sector regulation and management have many challenges. Field surveys are often done in remote areas outside of mobile communication coverage. Data collection still relies on a disjointed combination of equipment. New mobile GIS technology offers potentially dramatic improvements in how Mineral Exploration Regulation Teams get their work done. We will discuss a new integrated approach in this article.
Mobile GIS and Energy Sector Regulation
Its worth providing some background on a typical scenario for mineral and energy activity regulation.
Mineral Exploration Regulation Teams
Much of the work done by mineral exploration regulation teams is centred on monitoring ground exploration activities. Comparing reported activity and impacts, against what is observed. Field inspections are typically ground based and often done in remote areas. Off-road 4WD vehicles and possibly air support may be needed depending on the activity, urgency of an inspection, the availability of staff and accessibility of sites. There are other dependencies on ground conditions such as weather, agricultural and cultural practices.
Caught your attention? Those words: change your company change you career. Today you have the opportunity to light a fire under your career or company. You’ll ask:
“But where do I begin?”
First understand. Don’t be overwhelmed by information overload. Filter and focus. GIS is changing. Its changing for the best; moving from the periphery to the core. What does that mean? See Esri repeating “whats your location strategy” to business executives for a clue.
We are in the throes of upheaval. Look only as far as the end of your nose, focusing on your jobs tasks at hand, and you’ll miss it. Look back at how you always did business before, and you will be out of business.
Forget yesterdays leaders. Who are the leaders of tomorrow?
Questions. Questions. Its confusing. Nobody knows the path things will follow. That is because it is not set.
YOU CAN SET IT (am I shouting?)
So get up and go. These are amazingly exciting times. Don’t be told the path. Set it. Your career and/or company are depending on it!
Let’s keep this mobile and cloud GIS theme moving forward. We’ve spoken in this blog about the realities, as we see them, of GIS in 2014. Chris Cappelli at Esri talks about muscle memory. Its a good analogy. Mobile and cloud GIS remain a tough sell. Do they provide anything new? In many ways no: if you have deep pockets anything is possible. But that is the point, few of us have deep pockets, and all of us are looking to do things better, quicker and cheaper. And that is what we get with mobile and cloud GIS.
You want proof?
Its time for demos I think. Let’s show what is now possible. From data collection, to focused customised, cloud based GIS Web apps to location analytics for business users. (more…)
Mobile GIS can be used in so many different ways. In combination with the cloud, this is a powerful new way to view, analyse and gather location based data.
And yet we remain in a world where paper and pen are still the main tools used in the field. In many organizations there is a reluctance to move to new mobile GIS technology. Many factors are behind this resistance:
1) Data security concerns.
2) Concerns over budget.
3) Worries over integration with existing business systems.
4) Lack of understanding of what is now possible.
5) Resistance to change.
Cloud, mobile, platform, location analytics, security, location strategy, indoor … GIS is in a state of flux. That’s a challenge. Am i still useful? What’s our best future path? Confusion and uncertainty.
Disruption can be tough.
The technology is moving so fast. Its hard to keep pace. Flex is out HTML5 in. Responsive design. Cross-platform. Multi-device. ArcGIS Online. Storymaps. Templates. Dashboards. Integration.
Esri are moving their messaging to platform.
So many Esri partners and GIS companies in general are still focused on how they have always worked with GIS; their solutions in isolation. Is cloud GIS a threat? ArcGIS platform?
Paper maps remain at the core of what many commercial real estate GIS departments produce. In this fast paced sales environment often these maps are needed yesterday. But this maybe about to change. The popularity of mobile devices: smartphones and tablets, and advances in mobile GIS technology could mean the dominance of paper maps in commercial real estate is ending.
What are the biggest challenges today faced by pipeline companies when it comes to data collection and management?
Cost is maybe number one. Many of the current PODS systems are very expensive. Inefficiency and inaccuracy is a close second. Still paper and pen are an important part of how data is collected in the field. This then has to be collated and input into the central company system when back in the office. Often this can take weeks or even months.
Today using cloud and mobile technology, there are far better and cheaper ways to collect and manage field data. Imagine a real scenario faced by pipeline companies; tracking encroachments. The video below shows an iPad application which dramatically improves on old methods: