Through the WebMapSolutions youtube channel we received a very interesting question. I thought it worth posting in our blog with our reply on the mobile GIS challenges and opportunities in 2014.

“I am a Geography student from the UK doing a module on Geospatial technology. As part of this module, I am attempting to gain an overview of the research challenges that face mobile geospatial computing. Since there isn’t a huge amount of approved literature on the subject, I have been using your videos as a source of information, and have found them very useful and informative.

I was basically wondering what you feel are the few challenges most relevant and problematic to functionality and development to apps such as mobile GIS, as well as location-based geospatial computing tools. Many of the tools you talk about in the videos require an online server to exploit some of the tools of ArcGIS. Do you know of any other mobile software that does not require any online server but provides all of the perks of programmes such as ArcGIS.”

Mobile GIS Challenges and Opportunities in 2014

Maturity of the Technology

In 2013 we saw a rapid acceleration in the evolution of GIS technology. Cloud and mobile computing were key drivers, and in 2013 GIS reached a tipping point. As a company WebMapSolutions recognised back in 2011 the potential impact these technologies could have on GIS. At that time, we began talking about location services rather than GIS. Cheap mobile devices with built in GPS, and cloud platforms we believed would transform our industry. It has taken nearly 3 years, but our prediction is proving correct. Now we have low cost GIS available at any time and place on any device. But the technology is still maturing. ArcGIS Online was released in early 2013, and continues to evolve; new services being rolled out gradually. New companies like GISCloud offer low priced cloud based GIS but remain limited. That will change.

In 2013 WebMapsolutions rolled out some innovative product offerings in the mobile GIS space: disconnected mobile data collection and editing, location analytics and ArcGIS Online Dropbox integration. These were technically challenging. In 2014 innovation will become easier, as enabling GIS services are released.

GIS Companies, Innovation & Old Business Models

Too many GIS companies lack innovation and are not far sighted enough to realise the new exciting world we have entered; too often taking a ‘looking in the rear view mirror’ approach. Some have products which will be replaced by the new mobile cloud based paradigm: these changes are thus a threat not an opportunity. Others talk loudly about being leaders in the GIS space, without leading. Today the most forward thinking and nimble are the small GIS companies. These are the companies pushing the envelope, looking for new innovative ways to apply GIS. There are many innovative thinkers, take for example the folks at GeoJobe. Their new WordPress plug in ‘Web Maps for WordPress’ is one of a number of products released or planned. Very cool.

An acceleration in innovation will come as more GIS and location focused companies grasp the new opportunities.

Bridging the ‘How to apply mobile in our organisation’ Gap

Mobile is new to GIS. Desktop and Web based GIS applications have been with us for over a decade. Clients still are challenged to adopt a mobile mindset. We have spent much time in 2013 discussing the potential applications of mobile GIS, as complimentary to other GIS applications. In many ways mobile is a new frontier. We anticipate 2014 to be the year the penny drops.

Security and the Cloud

Cloud computing is too often met with resistance due to security. In a number of industries this is a real concern: protecting data is paramount. But too often in 2013, security became an excuse for not adopting new technology, rather than the underlying reason.

Open Source Solutions – GeoServer Mapping Platform

We are big fans of open source technology. We have always marveled over Geoserver, and love the Leaflet Javascript library. But we would like elements of ArcGIS Online to be implemented with open source technology. Cloud based geospatial solutions will never be free, since to date there are no free cloud offerings at least not that we know. So maybe that removes open source as a cloud technology per se. Simple publishing, the web map ‘mash up’ concept, and built in authentication are major benefits of ArcGIS Online. A cloud based Geoserver equivalent would be a big deal we think.

Integration

A big push by WebmapSolutions in 2014 will be GIS integration with other technologies. We’ve mentioned our Dropbox integration. In the business world we will be working with Esri on SAP integration. The future of GIS is integrating with other technologies and thus appealing to a wider, non-GIS audience. These are early days; still challenging. But the potential in this area is almost endless.

Indoor GIS, Virtual Reality = Distractions

In our view there has been too much focus on ‘edge case future’ GIS, and not enough on the here and now. Cloud and mobile are new. We’ve highlighted some of the challenges with adoption in 2013 above. GIS companies should be focused on today’s challenges. To us, its a mistake to focus on the moon rover before you have built the rocket to the moon. Let’s talk and think about indoor and virtual reality GIS etc in 2015, and stay focused on today’s realities.

As ever we are interested in your opinions. Contact us and share with us your thoughts.

WebMapSolutions
Schedule Free ArcGIS Consultation
Our goal is to help you successfully apply ArcGIS to solve your business problems. Conducted by an ArcGIS expert, our free 30 min consultation will help move you forward.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG
Our blog is filled with lively discussion, news, ideas. We take a fresh perspective on the rapidly changing world of GIS. Don't miss a post ... join over 1000 of your peers.
Do you want massive traffic?
Dignissim enim porta aliquam nisi pellentesque. Pulvinar rhoncus magnis turpis sit odio pid pulvinar mattis integer aliquam!
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tubus dia montes
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico vutario
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul den lacus
  • Leftomato denitro oculus softam lorum quis
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas gulleria tix digit
  • Dualo fitemus lacus quis preambul pat turtulis
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
WebMapSolutions
CONTACT US
Are you looking for advice or help with ArcGIS? We are happy to share with you our thoughts and expertise to move you forward. Fill out the form below and we will be in contact soon.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
WebMapSolutions
WORKSHOP SIGN UP
Our goal is to help get started and maximize GIS ROI. Conducted by on of our GIS experts, our free 1 hr Discovery Workshop will provide you a GIS road-map.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
WebMapSolutions
Schedule a GeoAppSmart Demo
GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS we have designed with flexibility in mind. Let us show you how the app works. Fill out the form below, and we will contact you to set up a demo.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Request a Demo
Learn more about GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS. Schedule a demo. We can show you the features of this is a new breed on super flexible ArcGIS apps..
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG
Our blog is filled with lively discussion, news, ideas. We take a fresh perspective on the rapidly changing world of GIS. Don't miss a post ... join over 1000 of your peers.
Discounts!
Subscribe now to our free daily newsletter and get special offers and 20% discount.
More than just MOBILE .. All device ArcGIS apps are finally HERE!
GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS is one of a new breed of web based ArcGIS apps which:

  • Runs on any device - PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet
  • Can be used anywhere - Online or offline
  • Infinitely flexible - Built using plug-in tools
  • Easy to set up, configure and use

Download our new eBook, and learn more about these new super flexible web apps.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
New to ArcGIS Online and wondering how to GET STARTED?
Our free eBook 'Success with ArcGIS: Your Roadmap' will walk you through the critical success elements:

  • Defining the problem
  • Evolving the story
  • Building the runway
  • Solution implementation

If you are looking to JUMPSTART your deployment and use of ArcGIS Online this eBook is for you.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
S
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Our newsletter is filled with news, tips, tutorials and lively discussion focused on the exciting, rapidly evolving world of GIS. Join over 2000 of your peers.
     
Wondering about Mobile GIS?
Our free eBook 'Your Guide to Mobile GIS' will help you get started and move forward with this exciting technology. We cover:

  • Your mobile GIS options
  • Provide case studies
  • Discuss best choices
  • Look ahead

If you are looking to improve how your mobile staff get their work done. This free eBook is for you.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
Want to get the most out of ArcGIS Online?
Our free eBook 'Success with ArcGIS Online' will walk you through the critical success elements including:

  • The Why
  • The Who
  • The How
  • The Where

If you are looking to get started or maximize your ArcGIS Online ROI, this eBook is for you.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
IoT on Map - Real-Time Reporting, Tracking and Monitoring Made Simple
Download our free Internet of Things eBook. Learn how to easily track moving assets, monitor fixed assets and report problems in real-time. Simple, flexible and affordable.
Want to get the most out of ArcGIS Online?
Download our free eBook 'Success with ArcGIS Online'. The eBook walks you through the key success elements: the why, who, how and where. Get started or maximize your ArcGIS Online ROI.
Sign up for our free GIS Discovery Workshop
Wondering how to get started or maximize your GIS ROI? Our free 1 hour workshop is designed to provide you a road-map to success with GIS. Sign up for it today.