Not that long ago mobile apps which allowed users to edit offline maps were few in number. Today that has changed. Now there are some excellent choices for those looking to work in the field without wireless connectivity, and update, add and delete map data. But one complaint we hear over and over is the lack of flexibility offered by these mobile apps. We are asked often:
“Can we add additional tools to the app, like custom forms?” and “Can we adjust the workflows of the app so it fits better how we work?”
Always the answer is a resounding NO.
Flexible Editable Offline GIS Maps Made Simple
Thankfully we are moving into a new phase of editable offline maps: offline web apps. Now this is a huge change. In many ways revolutionary. Think about the GIS web application you pull up in your browser on your office PC each day. Imagine this same app being available on any device – laptop, smartphone, tablet – regardless of whether you have an Internet connection or not. Well that day has arrived.
Offline web apps have the advantage of being super flexible. You can make them look how you wish, add functionality you need, and adjust workflows based on what’s familiar to your staff. No more fixed functionality, and workflows which are alien to your organization. Let me give you an example using Collector for ArcGIS. This is a nice data collection app from Esri. But Collector for ArcGIS has a big drawback; it is inflexible. Meaning:
- You cannot change how Collector looks; colour, logo etc.
- You cannot extend Collector to add additional tools and functionality
- You cannot modify Collector to change its workflows
In short you get what you get.
We built our GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS to provide the core offline functionality provided by mobile GIS apps like Collector. But, we built it to be super flexible. So it can be styled, extended and adjusted to fit your needs. More than that it is built using plug-in tools or widgets. Just like Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS it is easy to drop the tools you need into the app. But unlike Web AppBuilder these are both online and offline tools.
GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS is one of new breed of all device GIS offline web apps. Feel free to contact us on 801.733.0723 for more information.
Read our free white paper ‘ArcGIS Deployment Guide’, which provides a road map for getting started and moving forward with ArcGIS Online.
Author: Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan is a Principal at WebMapSolutions. Matt evangelizes GIS and location intelligence around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books. Follow him on Twitter: