Mobile GIS technology has come a long way over the past decade, and it’s quickly transforming the data collection industry. Whether you’re using GIS data to create maps, collect field measurements, or view real-time surveillance data, there are many new mobile software platforms on the market that can help you get the job done. With so many choices available today, it can be challenging to determine which platform will best meet your needs. Here we have listed some of our favorite GIS software applications for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Note that the list is not arranged in any particular order; rather, each application was chosen based on popularity and community feedback from business users just like you.
This is a popular wireless real-time GPS unit that doesn’t require much experience to use. Polhemus gives you access to free maps, making it useful in a variety of settings and locations. A drawback is that it’s difficult to change map modes on some units. It requires an external power source and has an extensive setup process.
This is a tool that allows you to map your GPS location and integrates with more than 150 GPS models. TrackMaker contains numerous icons to represent features collected through the app. The platform is flexible and robust allowing teams to collect massive data and transmit the data to the server in real-time. It also offers the functionality to fully integrate with Googe Earth for data tracking and visualization.
GeoCollector is a mobile field data collection tool that enables users to capture points, lines, and polygons and then edit all aspects of that information right in the field. The app includes a voice-over option, image overlays, and unlimited custom attributes. There is also direct integration with popular mapping platforms like Mapbox and Mapinfo so you can integrate your maps into existing business applications or websites. The app is available on iOS devices only, with plans to support Android devices soon.
This app works on both iOS and Android devices. It can be used in multiple languages and it offers offline data capture. You also don’t need to own a smartphone to use it; VisiData will loan you one if you need to do fieldwork with your tablet. And, should you lose your device or have it stolen (or break it), no worries—VisiData backs up your GPS coordinates so that you can easily recover them if needed.
More than 20,000 organizations around the world use Collector for ArcGIS to solve real-world challenges with location-based data. The app is an easy way to collect and manage field assets, track personnel, automate workflows, and more on your mobile device. A free version with basic functionality is available, or you can upgrade to a paid version ($149 per user per year) that offers extra capabilities.
The collector is a popular FFA tool that has built-in GPS capability, allowing you to incorporate location-based information into your business processes. The Collector team recently released an update to their core product with new features like integration with Salesforce, Google Earth, and Bing Maps, improved user experience, and more. They offer three different editions based on your needs.
It’s easy to see why Hexagon Geomedia is one of our favorite tools. It combines traditional desktop tools with mobile apps and even cloud-based capabilities, while its interface is simple, sophisticated and elegant. It has many unique features including mobile support, import/export data from various formats, add geospatial business logic rules to provide custom mapping according to users’ needs.
When it comes to mobile survey apps, Survey123 is one of the most popular choices out there. It offers a clean UI and works well in most areas around the world. The app can be used both in landscape and portrait mode and includes a navigation map as well as an offline GPS system. Survey123 allows for flexible form builds and customizations with fast analysis in real-time. It also supports multiple languages.
The WhiteBox GAT is a GPS application that provides asset management and field workers with route-tracking and mapping features. In addition to these capabilities, however, WhiteBox also integrates scheduling, workflow, and collaboration tools into its mobile platform. The company has recently expanded its product offering with four new modules in order to provide end-users with greater customization. This all-inclusive platform caters to various industries: construction, utilities, and public works among them.
This GIS software is feature-rich and very affordable. It’s an excellent choice if you want to collect points, create polygons, measure distances and areas, track GPS units in real-time, and more. You can even display grids over your survey imagery or photos in order to reference coordinates during fieldwork. Plus, its setup is quite user-friendly; just about anyone can pick it up quickly. Overall, Surfer is a great way to kickstart any mapping project at a great price point.
Since I created my first map using computer-assisted mapping techniques (Geographical Information Systems: GIS) I have had a fascination with locating places on paper or online maps using geographical referencing techniques.
Software programs made specifically for the mobile workforce, Maptitude is designed to help users share data in real-time and collect field surveyor information through its user-friendly interface. It also features a suite of analytical functions that enables you to overlay spatial data on other business systems. For example, it can connect with Salesforce or Excel in order to incorporate these into your mapping platform. Pricing ranges from $1,150-$7,000+ based on your needs.
ODK is another popular free and open-source mobile application used for GIS data collection. ODK allows you to build powerful forms to collect data in the fields. It also has a powerful form-building platform that allows for great customizations on the forms.
Basically, mobile GIS is becoming increasingly popular attributed to the portability and reduced costs of devices with the growth in technology. The need to collect massive GIS data has led to increased development and innovations over time. Mobile GIS applications continue to grow and reach more users in various sectors just like the use of UAVs that has become favorable over conventional survey techniques. Hopefully, you can find something that works for your needs. If you do please don’t forget to share it with us! We would love to hear about it.