Much of the focus of GIS remains on ArcGIS and the ESRI suite. In terms of access and distribution, the Web continues to dominate the future plans and thinking of many companies. But good though the ESRI ArcGIS suite is, the open source world still provides some excellent alternative solutions. In addition, we think that the future of GIS is about mobile. That is the mobile Web and native (installed) apps. With that in mind, we revisited an excellent open source GIS development library called OpenScales. We have worked with OpenScales before. A new 2.0 version has just been released which we were interested to look at, particularly from the mobile perspective.
GeoMobile for ArcGIS – A Free Mobile ArcGIS Viewer
Last year we released a free mobile ArcGIS app to the Android, iOS and Blackberry app stores. Called GeoMobile for ArcGIS our goal was to demonstrate the potential uses of a custom mobile ArcGIS viewer. We have plans next to build GeoMobile for GeoServer; an open source equivalent.
GeoMobile for GeoServer- A Free Open Source Mobile GIS Viewer
The video below shows our first steps in the direction of building GeoMobile for GeoServer:
Our current focus from this work, beyond visualization, is online/offline mobile GIS, mobile feature editing in the field, the integration of GPS (geolocation) into the GIS work-flow and much more. We should note, there is some disagreement in the open source community over whether Adobe Flex/AIR should be regarded as open source. The IDE (or programming tool) Flash Builder is not free. But there are free IDE’s available. OpenScales and Geoserver are free, and the source code open. Indeed we have and will be editing this source code to build GeoMobile for GeoServer.
As ever we enjoy feedback on this work. Our goal is to show there are robust mobile GIS open source solutions available. GeoMobile for GeoServer will form the base of work we will do for clients who want an alternative to ArcGIS.