In our last blog post: Mobile GIS Made Easy, we focused attention on mobile GIS, and laid out your options. After many years of providing mobile ArcGIS customer solutions, we increasingly favour one approach; namely custom mobile web apps. In this post we will explain why.
Your Mobile GIS Foolproof Formula
Need an GIS mobile app which runs on any device and can be used against your existing GIS infrastructure or new subscription? Welcome to mobile GIS web apps. These are applications you pull up on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Let’s walk through some of the many advantages of web apps:
2. Flexibility – Most organizations today want their mobile GIS apps to work on any device. So called responsive design means web apps have a ‘built in intelligence’ such that they can style themselves based on the device accessing the app. Since web apps are accessed via a browser: Android, Apple and Windows devices are all options. New approaches to web apps rely on widgets. That means a single app can be set up for different groups in your organization. Maintenance staff might get only work order focused widgets, whereas sales staff might get Salesforce-ArcGIS integrated widgets for customer information access. Web apps can access both GIS server directly or new ArcGIS Online/Portal. So never locked into a single back-end solution. Of all mobile GIS options, custom mobile web app are by far the most flexible.
3. Perfect for today and tomorrow – Many organizations worry that a custom app equates to ‘soon out of date’. That technology moves on so quickly, no sooner is the development phase complete the app is obsolete. See the demise of Flex/Flash apps. Web technology is going nowhere. It has the largest world-wide development community, and continues to evolve at a frenetic pace. Today we can take web apps offline, view 3D maps, work with big data. On and on. Web apps are for both today and tomorrow.
How do you get started with custom mobile GIS web apps? Think carefully about what your staff need. Take the big idea, your pain point, and focus on the details: functionality, work flows, look and feel.
Feel free to call us on 801-733-0723, or send us an email, and we can help guide you down the path and build the perfect solution.
Read our free white paper ‘Your Guide to Mobile GIS’, which provides a road map for getting started and moving forward with mobile ArcGIS.
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: