GISCafe Weekly Review August 30th, 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 ….

4 things you need to know before starting with ArcGIS
August 25, 2015  by Matt Sheehan


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?

In a world that is constantly changing and rapidly growing, having a stable infrastructure is vital to the economy and everyday life.  It’s fair to say, we take our infrastructure for granted and only give it the attention that it needs when something goes wrong or is in need of repair, resulting in interruption of traffic flow, transportation of goods and utilities, and high costs.  The facts are clear that an aging infrastructure is inevitable. Roads, bridges and rail tracks age through usage over the years and damage due to natural disasters and accidents can speed up that aging process.

Transportation Departments and local governing agencies usually team up to create Operating and Maintenance Plans (O&M Plans) to keep their infrastructure in optimal condition.  O&M Plans usually are a direct result of a well-devised project plan and development at the birth of a project, before it even breaks ground.  In today’s economy, every dollar counts and every decision needs to be a good one in order to obtain a better world of transporting people, goods and materials safely and efficiently.  Autodesk’s Infraworks is the tool that can and has been making project planning and development for infrastructure designs better and more efficient.

Update on Ebola, Epidemiology, and Geo-intelligence
August 24, 2015  by Susan Smith

RADM Scott Giberson, Assistant US Surgeon General Commander, Commisioned Corp Ebola Response, moderated the panel discussion entitled “GEOINT and Epidemiology : The Role of Geospatial Intelligence in Health Crisis Analysis and Mission” at GEOINT 2015.


Why should all Mobile ArcGIS apps work offline?
August 24, 2015  by Matt Sheehan


Wireless connectivity while outside, remains a challenge for mobile users. The discussion of offline ArcGIS, or the ability to use a GIS application without need for a wireless connection, is often focused on working in remote areas. But poor or slow loading ArcGIS apps are all too common in both remote and highly populated areas. Poor wireless signals can lead to almost unusable mobile apps.

Why should all Mobile ArcGIS apps work offline?

It is for that reason we believe that all mobile ArcGIS apps should be offline enabled. Case in point. Last week we were working with Collector for ArcGIS collecting data in downtown Salt Lake City. We were using the app in online mode (Collector is also offline enabled). Loading the app took over 3 minutes, every pan, zoom, update was painfully slow. A task which should have taken an hour, took considerably longer.

In our view all mobile ArcGIS apps should work offline. Collector for ArcGIS and our Universal Map Viewer are among the few ArcGIS apps which provide both full online and offline or disconnected capabilities.

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