GIS Tech News (#91)

1 Dec, 2009 By: Cadalyst Staff

Mobile Apps Make GIS Pocket-Sized

Intensifying battles between rival smartphone providers spawn a bevy of geospatial and mapping applications.

By Andrew G. Roe

As the Apple iPhone and other smartphones begin to fend off challenges from the market's newest player — the Droid from Motorola, Verizon, and Google — consumers are seeing a burgeoning market of mobile phone applications. Hardware vendors and mobile service providers are peddling more attractive built-in apps to lure consumers to their respective platform, and software developers are scurrying to fill niches for new add-ons. In addition to generic contact management, e-mail, and Web browsing, new apps are adding location-based services to provide more technical capabilities.

Geographic information systems (GIS) professionals are among those affected by this trend, with new capabilities suddenly available at their fingertips. Although early GIS-related smartphone apps were mainly geared toward a broad consumer market, professional uses are expanding.

LBS Wireless, a software developer with offices in Sydney, Australia, and Malibu, California, recently introduced Field Assets, an iPhone/iPod touch tool that enables mobile workers to collect data on assets such as roads and utilities. The app uses the device's GPS capabilities to verify locations, and allows users to enter information such as photographs, voice recordings, and free-form text. Data can be wirelessly exported in real time via peer-to-peer Bluetooth connectivity, e-mail, Twitter, and web site uploads. According to the company, a Droid version is forthcoming. Read more »
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Andrew G. Roe is a registered civil engineer and president of AGR Associates, Inc.


Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events


ESRI Southeast Regional User Group Conference
April 26–28, 2010
Charlotte, North Carolina
The ESRI Southeast Regional User Group (SERUG) Conference will bring together more than 500 GIS software users to discuss using geospatial technology to address today's issues and get guidance from peers and ESRI staff with varied specialties. Read more

Cityworks 2010 User Conference
May 17–19, 2010
St. George, Utah
The Cityworks User Conference is the premier event for Cityworks users, business partners, and potential users. Complete with Cityworks technical courses, user, and partner presentations, Cityworks doctor’s office, exhibit hall, networking, and evening socials, the conference provides an educational and enjoyable atmosphere. Read more 

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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