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Posts Tagged ‘arcgis’

Is GIS really Google Maps on Steroids?

Monday, January 4th, 2016

 

When you are in conversation and somebody asks what you do for a living, how do you respond?

“I make maps”

“I provide location intelligence to businesses”

“I solve real world problems using geography”

“I work with a technology called GIS”

Over the years I have tried all of the above. And am usually met with the same blank stare or a polite “very nice” response. I find the answer which provides at least a glimmer of understanding is:

“I work with a technology which is like Google Maps on steroids”.

I still cringe every time I say this, but everybody knows Google Maps and by including steroids in this sentence we add the (mental) image of muscle or power.

Is GIS really Google Maps on Steroids?

This is our 2016 reality (see our 2016 predictions). Less the competitive challenge of Google, more perception. We owe thanks to Google for making maps ubiquitous, but now need to overcoming the barrier which has become Google Maps. Googles ending of its march into the enterprise GIS sector – with Google Maps Engine – has drawn a line between a pretty map product (Google) and business solution (GIS). Both have their own unique strengths.

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Why are you wasting money on ArcGIS?

Friday, December 11th, 2015

 

This blog post could also have had the title:

Why Waste your Money on ArcGIS?

Yikes! Why would I write a blog post using “waste” and “ArcGIS” in the same sentence?

Its ok relax, i’m not expecting Jack to turn up at our offices any time soon with a big stick!

Read on.

Why are you wasting money on ArcGIS?

I love swiss army knives. Such useful items. More than just a simple knife you get a saw, screw driver, scissors, pliers. On and on. Sure they are more expensive than a simple knife, but you get so much. With such a variety of tools, all of which I use, for me a swiss army knife provides a great return on investment (ROI).

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What are my Mobile GIS Options?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

 

In this post we will provide a quick overview of the 4 options currently available for developing a mobile GIS applications. The most appropriate approach should be determined by your project requirements.

Mobile Web GIS Apps

Web technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. HTML5/Javascript is today the most popular client application technology. Helped by advances in browser technology, HTML5/Javascript now dominates the Web development space, sweeping away technologies like Flash/Flex and Silverlight. With a worldwide development community, 3D and offline are now part of the HTML5/Javascript landscape.

There are today many Javascript frameworks available for building mobile applications. Responsive design allows one mobile web app to automatically style itself based on the device being used.

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Offline Mobile GIS: Finding a Location which has no Address

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

 

Ok so I often say in this blog “we live in exciting times”. GIS is coming out of the shadows. Innovation is taking off. New thinkers are bringing fascinating ideas forward.

I became very interested in work being done by a UK based company called what3words. After meeting Chris Sheldrick the co-founder, we thought it worth spending time looking at their technology and ways to integrate it with ArcGIS.

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Water Utilities: GIS has Changed Have You?

Monday, October 26th, 2015

 

Water utilities both big and small are faced with a range of different challenges. A recent American Water Works Association (AWWA) report listed but a few:

1. Condition of water/wastewater infrastructure
2. Water scarcity/supply
3. Drought potential
4. Customer/community relations
5. Emergency planning and response
6. Government regulations
7. Managing assets

New technology is today helping to provide solutions to these challenges. Key among these technologies is GIS.

Water Utilities: GIS has Changed Have You?

GIS is not new. It is a technology which today is undergoing dramatic changes. Changes which are making it easier to afford, access and use. So what are these changes?

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Wondering about Mobile GIS?

Friday, September 25th, 2015

 

Are you wondering about Mobile GIS? Looking to improve how your field staff get their work done, looking to provide access to maps and GIS from any device and any mobile platform? In this article we will discuss some of the core elements of mobile GIS.

Mobile GIS Platform

Often a first question for those of us looking to use or build mobile GIS apps is: which mobile platform should we target – Apple, Android, Windows? At one time, this singular question was popular. We were focused on one platform, then often the popular choice was targeting Apple devices; the iPad and iPhone. But things are changing. The popularity of mobile devices means users have a mix of Apple, Android, and Windows devices. Cross-platform is increasingly the focus of today. That is mobile GIS apps which run on any device. Mobile Web GIS is one of the best cross-platform solutions. Ever more of our mobile development, as a company, is web focused for this reason.

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GIS Transforming Data Collection

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

 

Mobiles are everywhere. Smartphones, tablets, even these new ‘somewhere in between’ phablets. They are cheap, come with amazing additions (GPS, camera, compass etc) and most importantly can be loaded up with an incredible assortment of apps. Go to the various app stores and the selection is amazing. Add to this those ever more popular Web apps, opened in your mobile browser, and things become almost overwhelming. Mobile technology has changed our world. Look around you and see how many people have their noses in a mobile.

GIS Transforming Data Collection

This post is focused on how location technologies like GIS in combination with mobiles are transforming how we gather and share data. We can split data collection into 3 distinct phases:

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Now we are not called mapping guys or gals what is holding us back?

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

 

I’ll admit it was a little tongue in cheek. But my blog post entitled “Please stop calling me the mapping guy” proved to be amazingly popular. Our blog is generally well read but this post pushed things off the chart. See Google analytics below:

But a well read blog post does not indicate approval or disapproval. Simply interest in the topic. From the responses I received it would seem many readers agree with the general thrust of my argument. Which leads me to this next post ….

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4 things you need to know before starting with ArcGIS

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

 

We live in exciting, changing times for GIS. Launches like ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS from Esri, have made GIS technology easier to adopt and use across organizations. But, don’t be fooled, careful thought and planning is still needed for any successful GIS implementation. In this post we discuss four key areas you will need to consider before moving ahead with GIS.

The 4 Essential ArcGIS Elements

From working with customers, we have found success with ArcGIS is built on 4 essential elements:

1. Discovery and Planning

What are your goals and needs? Do you fully understand and can you articulate your requirements?

We discussed in our “What we learned from a failed ArcGIS Implementation” blog post the importance of the planning and discovery phase. Everybody involved in the project needs to provide input and have a thorough understanding of the requirements, goals and path forward. It is in this phase the initial blueprint is put in place. Time spent here potentially saves much time later. You need to be able to articulate your “pot of gold” (the term used by the client in our ‘failed’ blog post) or equivalent. What problems are you trying to solve with GIS?
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We need GIS apps which are super simple to use

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

 

We seem to hear so often now: “We need GIS apps which are super simple to use” . Why?

A history of GIS App Complexity

I’m afraid its true. We’ve been building GIS apps which are too complex. Too many GIS apps need users to be trained before use.

GIS has a history of complex and confusing apps

In 2005 Google Maps introduced us to simplicity. True, their target audience were consumers, not the enterprise, but still the simplicity was a thing of beauty. GIS has been pushing out applications filled with (too many) tools. Tools which are complex to use. Applications which are not intuitive. Applications which need training.

New Non-GIS Users

We are in the midst of geospatial revolution, driven by cloud and mobile technology. The geo world is being turned on its head. Traditional GIS users are being joined by a new far wider user base: non-GIS users. That’s not just consumers, but private organizations recognizing their business intelligence (BI) software is only giving them part of the story. By your staff who are looking to location based technology to improve how they work, and improve their organizational insight to make better decisions.

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