Mobile GIS Background, Components, and Benefits

With the availability of mobile phones, laptop computers, and personal digital assistants (PDA’s) in the mobile devices fields, it basically offers a myriad of options for improving communication across the organization and also with the customers and including all the trading partners and others.

Because of the such “go-anywhere” gadgets which enable all the users to access the organization network from anywhere and at any time the technology is improving by time through time. To accomplish mobile GIS a reality, the recent technological advancement comes in handy such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

Furthermore, in a business environment, the mobile GIS is a natural expansion of the business system. It provides an entire workforce, from office-based analysts to field-based managers, with immediate access to the information at any place and at any time. This function actually will result in faster achieving the intended solution and better decisions.

As real-time access becomes more of a reality, mobile GIS will use existing data for more sophisticated query and analysis operations. There are 4 basic components of mobile GIS technology which is the client: mobile end-user devices, the location: position determining equipment, and the network: telecommunication service providers and the servers: GIS content provider.

For the position determining equipment (PDE) –

the location of the mobile GIS is usually coupled with Global Positioning System satellites (GPS) and wireless communication to facilitate exchanges between the existing spatial server and the mobile devices. While the mobile end-user devices – the client (see figure above), emphasizes the client devices utilized in the field. A full range of client devices can be used for mobile GIS from mainstream laptop computers with all the computing power of a PC to PDA or Pocket PCs with smaller screens to cellular telephones with even smaller displays, simple input devices, and limited processing power.

There are two main ways to access and use GIS data and function on mobile and wireless devices which are online, with real-time access to service/corporate data, and the offline, where data is downloaded and used without a real-time connection to a server/corporate database Then the telecommunication service providers-communication networks side (see figure above) which is the part of wire-line or wireless communication networks.

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The internet Enabled Devices rely on the wireless network to transport information. Furthermore different wireless networks have different transmission rates. Then the last is the GIS content provider-the server-side (see figure above) where it serves data and applications to the user for example its offers location information content and information processing services. Typically a GIS content provider includes the GIS server (with GIS content), Information Processing Services, and Gateway services.

There are a few benefits of the usage of mobile devices such as:

  • Increased productivity due to less driving
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved accuracy of data
  • Access to relevant datasets
  • Smarter decision making
  • Enhance field worker safety