We have been asked many times about offline mobile capabilities. Situations where users are in areas without Wi-Fi access and still wish to access their mapping and GIS data, and geospatial tools using their Apple or Android mobiles. We have put together a video below which demonstrates a number of ways this can be done. To summarise the content. We need consider basemaps, layers and tools:
1) Basemaps – to access basemaps offline – street, satellite, topo maps – the basemap tiles for required zoom level need to be stored on the smartphone or tablet. The video shows two potential ways this can be done:
a) While online; auto zoom to a specific zoom level, and cache the tiles loaded during this zoom. Then referencing these when offline
b) Load a tpk or tile package which contains all the tiles required when offline.
2) Shapefiles – to view our layers, a shapefile needs be loaded onto the mobile device as a zip while online. In the video we discuss performance. The depackaging of the zip and rendering of the shapefile can be time consuming. We have optimised shapefile rendering by using fast shaepfile depackagers and generating a bitmap of the shapefile.
3) Geospatial tools – Offline annotation has been another area of discussion. How do i dispense with pen and paper when I am in the field and use my mobile device either on or offline? Mark and note on a mobile map where a pipe is broken, maybe attach a picture. Further how can I share in real time or near real time my gathered data with office based workers, when i have wi-fi access? The video below demos a mobile annotation solution:
Tile Package (TPK) Links
As ever we are interested in your thoughts on offline mobile. Do you have work flows which require offline usage? Maybe you have developed you own offline solution. Email us your thoughts.