Excuse the pun, but the question need be asked: has Collector helped to put mobile GIS on the map?
We are just back from the Esri user conference in San Diego. A horrible place to go for a conference! As ever a terrific event. And the most popular sessions were ….. anything mobile. The Collector demos were standing room only extending into the corridor. Everybody seems to have mobile and Collector fever. Having been preaching the gospel of mobile GIS and mapping for so many years, this fills our hearts with joy.
From our perspective, this surge in mobile interest has created new client needs. Most notably:
Collector Set up and Training
We’ve been inundated with requests from clients to help set up and train staff on the use of Collector. The app is popular with GIS and non GIS trained staff alike This has necessitated familiarizing these field based workers with the online and offline Collector workflows. Data set up and publishing in ArcGIS Online has also been required. Collector is replacing older pen and paper based methods once used to collect data. Using a smartphone or tablets built-in GPS, users location and the location of features can be automatically set. Feature attributes are stored on the device if offline, locally stored edits or additions are pushed to ArcGIS Online when back online. Images can be attached to features using the mobiles built in camera.
Custom Configurable Versions of Collector
Increasingly we are getting requests for custom, configurable versions of Collector. This is for reasons of branding, custom functionality, and flexibility in loading non ArcGIS Online services. We have been working with Esri, and have built a mobile framework which allows us to provide clients with custom versions of Collector. An example of this work is a mobile app we are building for a large engineering company. Their need is a branded version of Collector which provides custom forms (printable to pdf), which can use services published in ArcGIS server as well as ArcGIS Online
Mobile GIS and Mapping Apps
A plethora of new mobile requests are now coming in. Pipeline companies needing to track the location of vehicles in relation to buried pipes (via mobile devices) using technology like the GeoEvent processor. Retail site location teams searching for and viewing location linked documents relating to potential new sites on their iPads. Mining companies wanting to use location linked forms to store information collected by geologists on their smartphones while in the field. Real estate companies focused on land sales looking to use GIS driven mobile mapping apps to help in the sales process.
Brilliant. So many great ideas we are making reality. Need a mobile GIS or mapping app developed? Contact us