Happy New Year. Like many other we have been mulling over our 2015 GIS predictions. But before we jump in let’s review 2014.
GIS in 2014
We saw GIS in 2014 as a year of advancement and self examination. Mobile technology, fed by data and services in the cloud, has put location on the tips of many tongues.
Show me who and what is near me
Give me the ability to search and query using my current (GPS) location
Give me (spatial) tools to help me run my business
The (niche) GIS industry is in the process of reinventing itself. Our blog post suggesting GIS is Splitting was met with a considerable reaction: from outright agreement to “what do these guys know they don’t even have GIS in their title!”
We don’t actually believe GIS is splitting, but it is definitely changing. In 2014 we saw a more polarised GIS sector; on one end traditional GIS, or business as usual. On the other emerging GIS; the wild west of GIS: uncharted, rule free, a little scary, but filled with opportunities. We also began to see discussions on these changes, challenges and opportunities.
In previous blog posts we’ve discussed the split in GIS. Not so much a split in the core technology, but in the users served and thus solutions provided. Traditional GIS will continue to support GIS professionals. “New” GIS is now serving a far wider user base. These are users who want to move beyond charts and graphs and visualize data on maps.To query business data based on location. These are users who want to replace their use of pen and paper while in the field, with mobile GIS. They want have access to maps and data in both populated (connected) and remote (disconnected) areas. There is much much more.
Its an exciting future. But just how do we bring GIS to this wider set of users?
I’m just back from presenting at the GeCo in the Rockies Conference. My first time in Grand Junction. A sleepy town surrounded by amazing scenery, with the beautiful Colorado River on its doorstep. For me, this felt like a conference of contrast. Traditional meets new. Its fascinating to watch how the GIS industry is changing. This was the first time I fully realised that we are in the midst of a split. Hard core GIS professionals continue to ply their trade. Locked up in modelling, developing and using apps with the traditional GIS look, feel and workflows. New GIS is charting a new and different course. (more…)
We’ve just released a new mobile GIS planning guide. This free eBook will walk you through each of the key areas which need consideration when moving forward with a mobile GIS project. Web versus native, choice of cloud GIS technology, offline, mobile app choice and mobile GIS frameworks will all be discussed. These are exciting times for GIS. Mobile and cloud technology are transforming how and where GIS is being used. This guide should help you get your mobile GIS project off the ground.
When you read a blog entitled ‘Building Offline ArcGIS apps with a Mobile Framework’, I’m thinking the first question which comes to mind is:
What is a mobile framework?
In the crudest terms a mobile framework provides the nuts and bolts to build custom mobile applications. No need to reinvent the wheel each time you need a mobile app. We’ve been building a framework which makes generating offline mobile ArcGIS apps easy. And not just offline, it makes producing any mobile ArcGIS app fast and easy.
Continuing our series of videos showing custom offline mobile editing for ArcGIS. We have developed a framework which allows us to build very flexible mobile apps for clients providing offline GIS editing. In the demo below we show how users can download and use base maps when offline.
Offline Mobile Editing for ArcGIS
As shown in the video, the workflows have been designed to be simple and intuitive.
We have put together below a demo showing work we are doing providing online offline mobile editing from map or geoform.
Offline Mobile Editing from Map or Geoform
There are two perspectives possible when editing data in the field. Map-centric starts obviously with the map. Drop a point (line or polygon), and edit an associated attributes window pop up. There is a second or form-centric perspective. So starting with a form. This maybe a form associated with a feature. It might also be a custom form, required as part of a job; maybe for inspections or legal purposes, which is stored or distributed to concerned/interested parties.
Don’t you hate that. Thinking: I don’t understand your GIS web site, and product offering!
It might look nice, be very professional. But leaves you no wiser as to the product or services offered than before you started browsing. What a waste. Maybe the product is as empty as the Web site. But maybe not. If the latter, you are blowing it royally.
I came across a great example the other day. I know the company well. Know their staff, and the great work they do. They have just launched a new GIS mobile solution suite. A tonne of work has gone into this, their first true products. But visit the Web site and …. you’ll see polish and professionalism, some high level descriptions, mostly marketing messages, but are left with little else. Just ‘Contact us for more Info’.
Its a question worth asking: where do great GIS ideas come from?
I attend plenty of conferences. Its always a pleasure to see how companies and individuals are applying the technology. Always, there are a small group who stand out. Those with unique ideas and products. These are often breathtakingly simple. See Valarm and their work with monitoring and sensors for an example.
Where do great GIS ideas come from?
So do innovators sit in dark rooms on stormy nights pen in hand, feverishly scribbling down ideas?