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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.

Mobile ArcGIS – Auto Feature Generation Using GPS

February 7th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

We always like a good challenge. More than once in the last few weeks we have been asked if it is possible to auto generate features – points, lines, polygons – on a mobile device using GPS. So store the path followed using the built in mobile GPS. Then generate a feature from this data. We put our thinking caps on and came up the application you see in the video below

The demo shows the app running on an Android tablet in offline mode. This could just as easily have been an iPad; since we built the app using Mobile Flex which can run on either platform. We first generated a tile package in ArcMap, this forms the offline basemap and is stored on the tablet. Checkboxes in the top left header allow users to select either polygon or line as the final generated feature. Start and stop buttons initiate data collection, and generate the final feature respectively. In the demo we drove around a block; starting and finishing at the same point, so we chose to generate a polygon.

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ArcGIS Online Brings Simplicity

January 28th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

We’ve spent some time on this blog discussing ArcGIS Online. As we have said, we see this new mapping platform as a major step forward. But detailed discussion of the advantages misses the most central point; ArcGIS Online brings simplicity. Users, organisations, developers all will benefit. We thought is worthwhile discussing areas we see ArcGIS Online simplifying:

Organizing, Administering and Sharing Geo-Data with ArcGIS Online within Organizations

1) Groups and users – Online offers a slew of ways to organise data into groups, and share with a specific group of users. If your data is confidential, then host Online behind your firewall.

2) Data Conversion – We are often approached with questions around mobile apps which allow both access to and editing of shapefiles. Sure it can be done, but there is much time and effort needed to achieve, what we often think is a less than perfect solution. With ArcGIS Online shapefiles are converted to interactive feature layers. If these are generated as hosted feature layers, editing is now possible.

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Web versus Installed Mobile Apps in ArcGIS Online

January 17th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

Wanted to follow up on a recent post we wrote on hosted Web apps for ArcGIS Online.

As we pointed out in the article these new Javascript web app templates are terrific. They are integrated into ArcGIS Online, and allow for the building of targeted Web apps, for multiple use (GIS and non-GIS). Further, once built, these apps can be configured by ArcGIS Online admins without the need for a developer. Mobile templates are also in the works. Now these are web apps, so online browser based applications. What if we need an installed mobile application?

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Mobile ArcGIS Online – Adding Attachments when Offline

January 6th, 2013 by Matt Sheehan

Our work with mobile ArcGIS Online and disconnected or offline mode continues. The most recent addition we made to the mobile app was attachments. Those clever people at Esri have integrated attachments – images, video, audio – into feature layers/services. A very nice integration given mobile devices ability to capture photos, videos and audio. So we can use the camera on the mobile device for example, to take a picture of feature and attach that to what is stored in the ArcGIS service for that feature. Adding this functionality while in online mode we discussed in our last post. Doing the same while offline was a little more tricky. But after some late nights we managed to add offline attachments to the app. The demo below shows this in action:

Mobile ArcGIS – Demo of Adding Attachments when Offline

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Mobile App Demo: ArcGIS Online Editing with Photo Attachments

December 31st, 2012 by Matt Sheehan

We’ve just made some updates to our online/offline mobile editing app. As mentioned in a previous blog post, the ability to attach photos, audio files and video to a feature are all now possible in ArcGIS Online. After setting up the hosted Feature Service in ArcGIS Online and enabling attachments, we extended our mobile editing app to include that functionality. See the demo below:

Attaching Images to ArcGIS Online Features on an Android Tablet

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Offline Mobile Editing Santa Clara ArcGIS Data

December 31st, 2012 by Matt Sheehan

We continue our work with mobile online and offline editing. At present our focus is on ArcGIS data in Santa Clara, California. Now editable ArcGIS data needs to served as feature layers from a Feature Server. Data which is served from a MapServer instance of ArcGIS server is largely for visualization. In the video below we have set up a web map in ArcGIS Online. We have published to this web map MapServer data served by ArcGIS Server, and an editable feature service hosted from ArcGIS Online. So a combination of editable and non-editable layers. The video shows the web map running in our mobile app on an Android tablet. We demonstrate editing layers in offline mode, then updating the hosted feature service when back online:

Mobile ArcGIS Online Editing for Transportation

December 30th, 2012 by Matt Sheehan

We were impressed by the work UDOT are doing with ArcGIS Online. It was great to see them presenting at the Esri User Conference in 2012. Their effort forms a part of the AASHTO initiative.

We’ve been working closely with Region 6 of the Idaho Transportation Dept, developing a mobile application which will form part of their IPLAN project. So transportation is an important part of our own work with mobile and ArcGIS Online. One of our key areas of focus has been to build mobile apps which provide the ability to visualize ArcGIS Online web maps and edit layers in both online and offline modes. We thought it might be interesting to test data from UDOT in a mobile editing application. In this example we focused on milepost data.

Below we walk through the simple steps to use this data. We include first a video of the running application:

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Free ArcGIS Online Mobile Offline Editing App

December 5th, 2012 by Matt Sheehan

Mobile offline editing is something we have written much about. It is also the most common request we receive. We have had in our minds the idea to release a demo version of the application we have shown in many videos. So here we post that mobile app.

This downloadable release is for use on an Android tablet. The application can also be run on an iPad, contact us for more information. Before installing the mobile ArcGIS Online app, please watch the video below which shows the various workflows:

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Offline Mobile Editing with ArcGIS Online

December 2nd, 2012 by Matt Sheehan

Hosted Feature Layers in ArcGIS Online

November 28th, 2012 by Matt Sheehan

One of the many nice things about ArcGIS Online, is the ability to host Web App templates on your own server. We thought is worth walking through he steps of how this is done.

Step 1 – Log into your ArcGIS Online account and publish a web map

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