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Posts Tagged ‘application development’

3 Exciting Applications of GIS for Non-GIS Users

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

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.

3 Reasons GIS Is Now More Affordable

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

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 reasons GIS is now more affordable, for big and small organization alike.

Low Cost Web and Mobile GIS Apps


Share your Travel Photos with GIS

Friday, November 1st, 2013


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: (more…)

GIS Has Never Been More Affordable

Monday, October 14th, 2013

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. (more…)

5 Point Checklist for any GIS Web or Mobile Project

Monday, October 7th, 2013

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. (more…)

Mobile and the Cloud: A New Paradigm for GIS

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Let’s step back a little in time. Remember the dot com boom in the 90’s, when the Internet went from being a tool only known to academics to ubiquity. We all began feverishly buying computers, and installing Web browsers to access network based applications. Financially it was a boom and bust period, but the new paradigm that was the Internet was here to stay. The world of GIS was then a world filled with desktop nerds working with ArcInfo, ArcMap and the like. With Esri getting wind of this new shift to networked computing the IMS products were released; we remember fondly MapObjects IMS and ArcIMS. Using the Internet we began to be able to build networked GIS apps which allowed developers to share with everybody interactive maps.

Exciting times indeed. But for those developing Internet GIS apps there were two major frustrations:

1) Geo-data was hard to find; in particular base maps.

2) There were no good API’s or tools for developers to use. Many older developers remember well building Internet GIS applications from scratch in Flash; cool output which took an age to build. For those unfamiliar with API’s, these are the building blocks for developing applications, they make the process easier. In the same way as constructing a car is the process of combining pre-built components; wheels, engine etc, this is the same process developers walk through to build an application. Imagine how long and painful car making would be if you had to build every component – wheel, engine – from scratch!


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