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 Mobile GIS & LBS
Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan
Matt holds an MSc in Geography and GIS. He has been working with clients solving problems with GIS for over 17 years. Matt founded WebMapSolutions whose mission is to put innovative, intuitive GIS driven applications into the hands of new and existing users.

So you want to Integrate your Desktop, Web and Mobile GIS Apps

March 28th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

Many of our clients use desktop GIS applications such as ArcMap. Some have developed Web GIS applications. One common theme across all clients with whom we work, is an increasing need to integrate their GIS data and applications.

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Web and Mobile GIS Projects from Idea to Reality in 3 Easy Steps

March 26th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

Starting any software project can be daunting. GIS in particular presents many confusing choices. With this in mind we have just written a free guide: Web and Mobile GIS Projects from Idea to Reality in 3 Easy Steps, which should help kick start your Web or mobile GIS project:

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Do you really have GIS Thought Leaders in your Company or Organization?

March 21st, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

Company Web sites often prominently display their ‘leaders’. Organizations usually have their in-house GIS gurus. But have you ever stopped to ask the question:

“Do we really have GIS thought leaders in our company or organization?”

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What are your Best Options for Collecting and Synchronizing GIS Field Data?

March 19th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

A question we often get asked is “What are our best options for collecting and synchronizing GIS field data?

Until recently this was a difficult question to answer, particularly for those with tight budgets. Today there are some a slew of potential solutions available.

Hardware and Software in 2014

Once mobile data collection required high priced Trimble units and complex software such as ArcPad. Though still in use, these technologies now have lower cost, simpler competitors. For hardware, smartphone and tablets are ubiquitous. They are low in price and easy to use. With built in GPS, and optional high accuracy external GPS units, these devices are replacing their more costly mobile rivals and expanding the number of users able to collect location based field data. Read the rest of What are your Best Options for Collecting and Synchronizing GIS Field Data?

3 Strategies for Making Money with the ArcGIS Platform

March 14th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

This blog post was written mid way through back to back Esri conferences in Palm Springs. The Partner Conference preceded the now buzzing Developer Conference. More cosy than the July User Conference, this is a 5 day deep dive into the Esri world.

For WebMapSolutions, this year has been a little unusual. We were invited to be part of the Partner Plenary. This gave us not only the chance to share our experience with the ArcGIS platform, but to sit together with key folk at Esri.

Based on conversations, presentations and reflections on the focus and tone of this years Esri conferences versus 2013, in this post we give our thoughts on 3 strategies for making money with the ArcGIS platform. Read the rest of 3 Strategies for Making Money with the ArcGIS Platform

3 Reflections on the Esri Partner Conference

March 11th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

Palm Springs in spring is just fantastic. Beautiful weather, a great downtown and so many super places to run.

The Esri Partner Conference back to back with the Developer Conference has swelled the numbers in town this week. For WebMapSolutions, this years partner conference was a little different. We were honored to be part of the plenary. The hard work required to prepare was well worth the time. More on the plenary in a future post.

While fresh in our minds, some reflections on the partner conference we thought were worth sharing in this blog post.

Focus on the ArcGIS Platform

Esri are very much focused on the ArcGIS platform. What constitutes the platform? Every piece of the Esri universe: desktop, ArcGIS Online, portal, mobile etc. Portal and ArcGIS Online are essentially the glue which hold all together. ArcGIS Server sits in the background quietly of both Online and Portal. Now publishing, sharing and controlling access to data is easy.

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4 Popular Uses of Mobile GIS

March 3rd, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

As a mobile GIS development company we have had many fascinating conversations with clients, and built some very cool apps. We thought it might be interesting to look back at our experiences and list 4 popular uses of Mobile GIS.

Disaster Management and Assessment

Time is of the essence when managing disasters. Both providing relief to affected communities quickly, then following up with assessment and help with rebuilding. Mobile GIS has become a very important tool used by NGO’s and public safety departments.

We wrote last year about work we were doing with Monroe County. They were looking into improving their pen, paper and spreadsheet based approach to disaster assessment. Providing iPad’s to non-GIS trained Red Cross volunteers, loaded with a simple to use GIS app, was the goal of the work. The mobile GIS app built by WebMapSolutions allowed these volunteers to view interactive maps, collect data, share and collaborate while on site. The data resulting from the field reporting was quickly provided to state officials as an interactive Web map which was easy to understand, showed damage information at a parcel level, and helped with discerning patterns. This Web map approach has dramatically helped the decision making process, allowing for fast turnaround of relief funds.

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Thoughts on Tablet and SmartPhone Field Data Collection

February 19th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

We have spent a chunk of time focused on mobile data collection. Much of our work has leveraged Esri’s ArcGIS Online. In this post we thought it worth providing our thoughts on tablet and smartphone field data collection, based on our experiences.

Tablet and SmartPhone Field Data Collection

Esri’s mobile Collector we like. The two area which were problematic for us were the built in GIS workflows; the folks who are collecting the data are not GIS savvy and lack of disconnected or offline functionality. We ended up developing our own offline editing app. Read the rest of Thoughts on Tablet and SmartPhone Field Data Collection

3 Exciting Applications of GIS for Non-GIS Users

February 9th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

GIS is now being applied in many new areas. With the popularity of mobile and cloud technology opportunities have opened to apply GIS in new ways and to serve a new audience. In this post we will discuss 3 exciting applications of GIS for non-GIS users.

GIS for Non-GIS Users

Every home, business, road, park exists at a specific location, and can be represented as a point, line or polygon. People move from location to location, as do vehicles. In its simplest form, GIS is a system designed to visualize and analyse anything and everything which has a location or locations. Where are my best performing retail outlets, find me the closest park to my current location which has a playground, send text messages to shoppers as they enter your store about today’s specials.
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5 Cool Uses of Mobile Offline Maps

February 4th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

Mobile applications require networking. Not any more: here we discuss 5 breakthrough offline use cases available now!

How often do you find yourself without mobile Wi-Fi connectivity? More often than you would like. Maybe you are in a remote area; working, possibly hiking, boating or fishing. Maybe you do not want to exhaust your mobile data plan. Its quite possible your mobile device has no outdoor Internet connectivity. Lower cost tablets only provide direct home or office based network connectivity and have no 3G/4G providing mobile data capabilities. Even if you have a tablet with networking service built-in from the telephone carriers, the service is inconsistent at best and sometimes it doesn’t exist.

This is a huge disappointment because tablets and smart devices have a great deal to offer businesses and consumers of all types, especially those that marshal resources to the field with the dreaded pen and paper. But until we can solve how we collect data of all types, integrate it into our workflow seamlessly, and do that in an occasionally connected world, we are going to remain in the stone age with pen and paper use by field staff.

The wait is over

Since we are mobile map and GIS experts, in this post we will describe 5 cool uses of mobile offline maps.
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