The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that by 2015 smartphone sales will reach 982 million and, according to Morgan Stanley, by 2014 mobile web users will surpass traditional desktop internet users. At first glance these facts seem astounding. But not if you take a closer look at how many of our daily interactions with a desktop PC are becoming increasingly augmented by the use of smart devices. These days many of us don’t even think twice about using smart devices to navigate unfamiliar destinations, manage our appointment calendar, take notes at a meeting, browse the Internet and conduct many other routine activities. We have the ability to respond to phone calls, emails, texts, social networking – from anywhere. Add to this the ability to capture, store and use data while in that mobile environment.
A major contributor to the widespread use of mobile data is the ability for a smart device to tie location information to an activity. It’s these kinds of spatial relationships that enable us to make better decisions regarding just about any activity, ranging from choosing an entertainment venue to collecting and analyzing data regarding physical land or water features. And… today’s location-based data is even more reliable based on the proliferation of GPS and mobile operating systems. What’s more, wireless communications including Wi-Fi and broadband, allow data to be immediately accessed and updated on the spot.
In the engineering and construction industries, those of us at the forefront of this technology are using smart devices with GIS mapping applications to make informed decisions in real time in the field. GIS applications can be developed to conduct an inventory of assets, track the maintenance of valuable resources and their protection, map activities such as complete wetland delineations and urban forestry identification, locate nearby amenities and services, and more.
At raSmith, we have developed several mobile GIS applications, across several operating systems (Windows XP, Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows 7, Android) and web-based platforms for the mobile data capture of sanitary, storm, water, street sign and urban forestry. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-317-3364 to discuss how you can think mobile.
Read more about the emerging trends and opportunities for mobile data.
About the Author
Kyle Belott is the geospatial project manager at raSmith. His 20-plus years spent in data management, systems integration, technology implementation, geospatial analysis, and technical support have allowed him to successfully serve many Wisconsin communities.