We’ve been pondering the expansion of GIS into the business sector. Location intelligence, location analytics, business GIS; you will find many points of reference. we wrote a blog post called Taking the gobbledygook out of Location Analytics in an effort to explain current approaches and solutions. But as with so much associated with GIS, there remains much complexity.

One of our internal development efforts has been find ways to reduce this complexity. We wondered about integration. Combining or deep linking ArcGIS into existing business platforms (or vice-versa). This proved a path we steered away from quickly. It struck us we were really looking to geo-enable business processes and workflows using ArcGIS. To geo-enable is to ‘apply geospatial capabilities to business processes to enable contextual spatial analysis’. In our case we were looking to leverage ArcGIS but avoid the need to fully integrate. Touch-points between ArcGIS and any business platform should remain minimal.

Think about an asset management system. Assets in non-GIS systems are treated as business objects. Assets each have a location. Imagine being able to map these objects, and to search, identify and select the right asset or group of assets: Show me every valve within a 5 mile radius of my current location which has not been inspected in the last 6 months. How about editing these assets and pushing the changes back into the business system. Maybe updating the inspection records of those valves you have inspected that day with comments. This is the true power of a geo-enabled system; business objects can be mapped and analysed using a GIS.

Two other key element to our development effort were:

– The ability to easily build cross-platform/cross-device geo-enabled applications. That means applications which work on PC’s laptop, and any Apple, Android or Windows device.

– Adding offline capabilities, so providing the ability to view maps and edit assets when not connected to the Internet

Geo-EnableJS for ArcGIS

Our approach involved developing a Javascript framework which provides touch points between ArcGIS and any business system. The framework relies on REST calls. The ArcGIS Javascript API provides the ArcGIS muscle while Javascript Geo-Connectors provide business system geo-enablement. Offline capabilities are implemented by leveraging databases on devices.



What does that mean?

This framework provides an easy way to build PC or mobile based applications which geo-enable business processes using ArcGIS. If you need a mobile app for your maintenance staff, sales folk, real estate agents etc look to this framework. Maybe your executives need to use geo-intelligence to improve their decisions making process. Again this framework will provide what is needed.

Geo-EnableJS for ArcGIS brings geo to any non-geo enabled system. It brings simplicity to an otherwise complex process.




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