GISCafe Weekly Review August 7th, 2014

During the week of September 15th, GISCafe Voice will run a special feature blog on the topic, “Satellite Imaging.”

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MapPoint for location intelligence discontinued
August 7, 2014  by Susan Smith

Microsoft’s flagship mapping product, MapPoint, will be discontinued, along with AutoRoute, Streets & Trips December 31, 2014. Online support will be available for the latter product through July 14, 2015. The MapPoint product offered offline routing and basic business analytics. There were problems with its delivery, it appears, as it was on a two-year upgrade cycle rather than the more frequent updates offered by competing software packages.

There has not been much press or an official announcement from Microsoft, only mentioned on the official Microsoft landing pages for MapPoint and Streets & Trips (via Neowin). Microsoft has decided to discontinue Microsoft AutoRoute, Microsoft Streets & Trips and Microsoft MapPoint.

We often have clients come to us and request we build a mobile app for iPad and/or iPhone. Our first question, before touching on functionality is: should you build a mobile GIS app for Apple devices only?

There are many reasons why building a mobile GIS app for just one platform (Apple iOS in this case) makes sense. Maybe your staff all have, and love, iPads and iPhones. They are comfortable with Apple products, and your IT department is set up to support iOS devices alone. I know many iOS fans who would cringe at the suggestion of switching to Android, for example. Apps which run on Apple devices are usually (and we will come back to this) written in a programming language called Objective-C. A language unique, or native, to Apple.

Custom cross platform mobile GIS apps are expensive?
August 5, 2014  by Matt Sheehan

 

So … custom cross platform mobile GIS apps are expensive?

They certainly can be. Let’s imagine you would like a custom version of Collector for ArcGIS. Maybe you want a tool which is not provided by Collector. Lets say custom forms. iFormBuider won’t cut it. You need something for your unique workflows. Since you have a field team who use Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices (that means smartphone and tablets) you need a cross platform solution. What do you do?

More than likely you turn to a GIS development company like ours. You’ll ask us, if such a custom app is possible. And most importantly how much it might cost?

Leveraging GIS Data for Mobile Marketing
August 5, 2014  by Tim Garcia

Data companies are not a novelty in the marketing world. For instance, RL Polk, a leader in automotive data was founded in the late 1800’s, Acxiom emerged in the late 1960s, Experian flourished most notably in the 1990’s when it was purchased by GUS (Great Universal Stores) and later demerged. All provide valuable insights on audiences, specific consumer behaviors and tendencies. GIS companies, such as Esri, are also driving a stake in the ground as the mapping giant gathers a vast amount of info and redistributes to companies that can leverage the data. Each data provider brings their own insights and flavors to the table.   Complementing how those insights are packaged, delivered and reinforced provide the real value.

Location-based advertising technology companies have been known to team with consumer data providers to draw insights from demographic and lifestyle data. This data is then presented to marketers with the ability to reach specific consumers on their desktop and mobile devices.   The consumer currency can be pulled, sliced-and-diced from the provider’s proprietary database and suited to fit most ad technology, depending how granular the data can be packaged.

Widen your GIS thinking
August 4, 2014  by Matt Sheehan

We live in a world of narrow thinking. How often do you hear comments like:

“I vote Republican (Democrat) because that is the way my parents have always voted”

or

“I know that mine is the one true religion?”

Or been in one way conversations where you (are forced to) listen to somebody telling you every small detail of their life. Their career, promotion etc.

How do we grow as people, as GIS professionals, if we spend our time staring at our own navels?

Widen your GIS thinking

Its time to widen your thinking.

How useful is somebody who keeps a narrow focus? Their boss wants (expects) them to be continually valuable to the company. That takes more than just doing the “right things” for promotion. Its taking an active interest in the (GIS) activities of the company; the industry, watching what others are doing, talking, reading, making suggestions, having ideas. Its too easy to sit back and go through the motions. Follow behind others. Focusing on how to get promoted directly, instead of what value you can bring to make the company more successful. You more successful. Its a subtle but big difference.

GIS is exploding. As a GIS professional opportunity knocks. Don’t sit and stare at your navel, or worry about all those new “GIS graduates” making you less valuable. You are incredibly valuable. Grab your career by the horns. Read, ask questions, contribute directly to your companies future (not just your immediate tasks).

Take your great ideas and start a company of your own!

Don’t miss out on the GIS wave. Join of us. Before it has passed.

Citizen data can change the world
August 1, 2014  by Susan Smith

Tierney O’Dea Booker, spatial journalist in Support of Citizen Science, with USC Spatial Sciences Institute, gave a fascinating presentation at Esri UC 2014 in San Diego on how citizens can become involved in science, and contribute to data on sensitive projects. Her talk was entitled “Drones, Pigs, Maps and Oil.” Before coming to USC Spatial Sciences Institute, Booker was with NBC working with anchorman Tom Brokaw, and worked with Medic Mobile developing health technology for mobile phones.

droneonfarm

“The most effective way to get involved in science is to do science,” said Booker. She got interested in data journalism while with Medic Mobile, and in spatial data through Ushahidi.

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