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Posts Tagged ‘Cloud-based’

The Happy Dilemma: New Positioning Solutions Provide Attractive Options for GIS Professionals

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

The rapid evolution of geospatial technologies brings to mind a Yogi Berra quote: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Berra made the remark while giving directions to his home—either choice would take you to Berra’s home in the same amount of time. Like many “Yogi-isms” that blended wisdom and counterintuitive logic, this quote carried a deeper message: Seemingly divergent paths can lead to the same result.

Berra’s advice especially strikes a chord with geospatial data collection, where GIS and other positioning professionals can choose from a pair of approaches to gathering data in the field. Purpose-built data collection devices, which have been the norm for a decade or more, are now sharing the stage with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions such as consumer-grade smartphones and tablets.

Both are good options. The happy dilemma lies in determining which approach provides the best route to the objective: efficiently gathering accurate information that can be quickly provided to the people who need and use it.

There are convincing arguments both for BYOD and commercial data collection solutions. On the commercial side, specialized field hardware such as the Trimble® Geo7 series GNSS handheld is rugged and well suited for operation in challenging environments. The displays and keyboards provide good visibility in sunlight and perform well under difficult conditions. The devices can run task-specific software provided by manufacturers such as Trimble and Esri. Alternatively, software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) enable third-party developers to create their own specialized applications for the rugged units.

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Beyond the Field: GIS data is more than positions and attributes. Here’s how the additional information can work for you.

Monday, June 27th, 2016

When most people think of GIS, they think of maps, and rightfully so. For decades, typical consumers of spatial data were cities, municipalities and other organizations that used GIS to manage and visualize information about assets and environments. This is continuing, of course, as the use of geospatial information moves into new private, commercial and industrial segments. However, as GIS data flows from the field to end users, opportunities exist to develop information that goes well beyond the traditional positions and attributes.

 
Three Components for Data Delivery
To understand this potential, let’s look at how GIS data moves through an organization. There are three components to the process.

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Producing Value Through Partners: As opportunities expand for GIS technologies, some solution providers are taking a team approach to innovation.

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

The use of spatial information is growing rapidly in both the consumer and professional arenas. The growth, with its voracious appetite for data, is moving the geospatial industry into new application domains. These domains have significant variations in the type and precision of data needed, the environments where it is collected and the workflows of the people collecting it. A forester, archaeologist, environmental engineer and wetlands biologist all gather GIS data (features, attributes, positions, etc.), but to significantly different ends. In many disciplines, an object’s location is a minor component among many attributes that are needed.

The increase in data volume and types has had a profound impact on the geospatial industry. Geospatial manufacturers historically emphasized their positioning technologies. Position sensors are still needed of course, but they are not the entire solution. Today’s GIS solutions must speak the language of the users, making it fast and efficient to capture the pertinent data while presenting information and instructions in familiar terms.

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