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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.

Very Interesting Survey on ArcGIS Online

 
November 18th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

Last week we were one of the sponsors of the excellent South West Users Conference (SWUC), here in Salt Lake City. One of our activities at the conference was to conduct an informal attendee poll. Nearly one third of attendees responded. It proved to be a very interesting survey on ArcGIS Online. We asked 4 simple questions; the results are below: Read the rest of Very Interesting Survey on ArcGIS Online

Honoring Veterans with GIS

 
November 10th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

WebMapSolutions have started honoring Veterans with GIS; story maps providing the perfect mechanism.

The Military Banners Program has been adopted by many US cities: honoring local veterans with banners hung along designated streets. WebMapSolutions wanted to share these banners with those being honored. Now those serving overseas can find and view their banner in a story map published over the Internet.

WebMapSolutions have adapted an existing story map to enable search and enhanced viewing capabilities for data from the city of Chino Hills. Data collection was done using Esri’s Offline Mobile Editing App. Read the rest of Honoring Veterans with GIS

Offline ArcGIS Editing on an iPhone Cannot be Done Right?

 
November 6th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

Instead of asking:

Offline ArcGIS editing on an iPhone cannot be done right?

We could just as easily have asked if offline editing can be done period!

At WebMapSolutions we have been building an offline ArcGIS Online editing solution. Offline is complex; the process involves reading and writing data to/from the mobile device, then syncing with ArcGIS Online. But there is a huge need for such a mobile app, given such spotty Wi-Fi coverage in so many areas.

This initial version is targeted at iPad and Android tablets. We’ve made it affordable to both large and small organizations. The mobile app was launched in September to the Esri Marketplace, and has proven very popular. Read the rest of Offline ArcGIS Editing on an iPhone Cannot be Done Right?

Citizen Engagement Apps Made Easy

 
November 4th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

Collecting feedback from citizens has always been a challenge for local government. Pot holes, graffiti, localised flooding, blocked roads are all citizen and local government concerns. But having a simple system in place which is easy for citizens to use, and local governments to view and act upon, has proven difficult and expensive. We have all done it, wanted to report an issue of concern. Usually we would phone the city office, be passed between departments and finally our concern noted by a staff member. And that was that; no feedback mechanism for citizens – the issue is in our system and will be fixed tomorrow – and no way for city staff to centrally log the issue.

Sure, there are systems in place which provide this mechanism, but they are often very expensive. That is not the case any more. New technology means citizen engagement apps are now easy to develop. Thus the title of this post ‘Citizen Engagement Apps Made Easy’. Here we will discuss new approaches to engaging with citizens using location technology. Read the rest of Citizen Engagement Apps Made Easy

Share your Travel Photos with GIS

 
November 1st, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

I’ve just returned from a trip to China. Part business part pleasure. Having a smartphone ensured I took plenty of photos and video. I’ve been asked a number of times since my return to ‘send some photos’. It made me wonder: is there a way to share your travel photos with GIS?

Share your Travel Photos with GIS

Esri have recently introduced the notion of storymaps; these are application templates which can be easily extended and customized. These templates are responsive meaning they look good on phones, tablets and PC’s. One template in particular caught my attention. It seemed perfect for sharing both the photos and the story of my trip. The results I will show at the end of this post, but they far exceeded my expectations. Let me walk through the process of setting up the application: Read the rest of Share your Travel Photos with GIS

Searching for Low Cost GIS Data Collection Solutions?

 
October 23rd, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

We are often approached by new clients who are searching for low cost GIS data collection solutions. It was once the case that data collection:

1) Required specialized, expensive equipment
2) Needed GIS trained staff
3) Cost a small fortune
4) Was often delivered in varying formats or required additional work to make use-able.

Thankfully those days are now gone – though you will still find some (expensive providers) trying to pursued you otherwise. So what has changed? Read the rest of Searching for Low Cost GIS Data Collection Solutions?

Engineering Companies are Excited about GIS

 
October 22nd, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

If the recent requests we have received for GIS development and knowledge help are anything to go by; engineering companies are excited about GIS. The project needs have been many and varied from GIS support and data services to Web and mobile development. More evidence we think of the widening interest in GIS; from GIS pros to now ever more non-GIS professionals.

Here is a short list of some of these needs:

Mobile GIS Planned Pipeline Visualization

“We are an engineering company who design pipelines. A key part of this work is involving property owners in the process. Driving and walking along the planned pipeline route with these individuals is important. The one thing we lack currently is the ability to visualize the planned pipeline. An iPad with pipeline and related feature overlays would be a huge help.”

Read the rest of Engineering Companies are Excited about GIS

GIS Has Never Been More Affordable

 
October 14th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

GIS was once a technology used only by those with the deepest pockets. Today things have begun to change. In this post we will discuss 3 ways GIS is now more affordable, for big and small organization alike.

Low Cost Web and Mobile GIS Apps

Go back a few years and the cost of Web and mobile GIS apps was sky high; $20,000, $30,000 … And that was just for the application, add ArcGIS server or equivalent to the mix and costs could easily push north of $50,000. Today all that has changed. Web and mobile applications are now easier to build. The emphasis has been on simpler, more intuitive GIS apps. Those built to provide a specific purpose, maybe data collection, map annotation, dashboard or routing. Gone are the days of bloated expensive applications loaded with tools. There are now many free apps available. Esri’s mobile Collector app is one example. In addition many basic application frameworks have been released which can be extended. No more reinventing the wheel. At WebMapSolutions we have been extending our own and others frameworks to simplify and reduce the cost of Web and mobile application development. Read the rest of GIS Has Never Been More Affordable

3 Powerful New Ways to Apply GIS

 
October 10th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

Geographic Information Systems or GIS has entered a new and exciting phase in its evolution. In this blog post we discuss 3 powerful new ways to apply GIS technology.

Consumer Discovery GIS Apps

Gone are the days when GIS only served power geo-users. Today consumer apps are being built which use GIS. Maps are a perfect and intuitive way to discover information. An example might be providing moms a simple way to discover local parks for their kids. A GIS powered Parks Finder mapping app is the perfect answer.

Read the rest of 3 Powerful New Ways to Apply GIS

5 Point Checklist for any GIS Web or Mobile Project

 
October 7th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

Its daunting starting any GIS Web or Mobile project. Where does one begin? In this post we provide a 5 point checklist for any GIS Web or mobile project.

1. Project Requirements

Do you have a clear idea of what the app should do? A detailed list of requirements is essential. If you are still in the ideas phase, flesh it out before you reach out to any external GIS development company. Be prepared to discuss in detail your requirements, and answer any questions posed by prospective development companies. Be clear to describe the purpose of the application. Read the rest of 5 Point Checklist for any GIS Web or Mobile Project

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