GIS Cloud Visualize, analyze and share your geo data online. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:23:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Geomobility Interview – Using GIS Cloud in Railroad Industry Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:23:42 +0000

We did an interview about Railroad GIS with Tomy Brown, owner of Geomobiliti Inc. and a Railroad GIS expert. What are the trends in the Railroad Industry from the GIS perspective, and his experience in using GIS Cloud are all covered in this interview.

GC: Tomy, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what do you specialize in.

TB: I am the owner of Geomobiliti Inc. We are located in Florida and we specialize in GIS for short lined railroads and we provide GIS services to companies in general.

GC: What is the background of your clients in terms of industries?

TB: For instance, some of our clients come from Telecommunications industry. We provide TIS (Technological Innovation System) Analysis to identify candidate parcels for terrasse and as an example we have to take into a consideration how property is zoned.

GC: How did your workflow look like prior to GIS implementation?

TB: We have used GIS from the very beginning, but I can tell you how it looked like In the Railroad Industry before. Majority of work was done manually, so paper maps were used, documents were stored and things like that. So with the GIS introduction, a lot of the data was now cataloged and stored in a data repository and attached to features in a GIS map allowing people to very easily pull up and print the information using the GIS.
There is a particular example of an old school user who wouldn’t use GIS. He had a situation where he had a potential client calling about 2 pieces of property that the railroad owned. So by using the GIS technology and some simple operations like intersection he was able to get results super-fast and was able to go and check the locations of his results in the field. Had he have done it the old fashioned way, he would have had to go and look through the maps looking for those intersections and what took him 5 minutes with GIS would have taken him 2 hours. So I don’t need to tell you that that, sold him to start using GIS.

GC: What would be the main components of a GIS Railroad industry?

TB: Railroad GIS is usually created for the Real-estate Department. It’s to help record all the real estate transactions that take place, not only with the land but also that include license agreements with utility companies. There is a considerate amount of revenues generated from utility companies’ crossing over railroad property which is especially important in US because the railroads are not nationalized. Private railroad companies have transactions that take place with utility companies and adjacent land owners to lease land that the railroad owns. All of that data is captured in an affirmative agreement and we were able to map that on GIS. When we gather all that data and put it in a database, which is stored on a server, users can access the data online as supposed to going to a file cabinet and look for it manually. You can click on a feature on a map and retrieve not only attributes but also attached documents like PDF-s.
It is so much easier now that you can for instance see an aerial image of the location and associated document to it. It allows a user to do actions in 5 minutes what would have taken them couple of hours usually.

GC: You use both Desktop and GIS Cloud. How has that been for you in terms of combining both to create a perfect workflow for your company?

TB: We use Desktop for doing analysis and then creating maps. Once we have maps done and ready at a point where we are ready to publish them, we then publish the maps using GIS Cloud Publisher for ArcMap. Once the maps are published to GIS Cloud, we prepare the map for client. We set the layers so they are easily identifiable, we color code it so the features stand out and then we attach documents to the layers and features. We have tried different options of map publishing for our clients to keep their cost down. Once I found GIS Cloud, we found that the performance of the map and functionality of the apps outweighs far anything else we have come across.

GC: Are your clients satisfied with GIS Cloud apps, and do they find them user friendly to use?

TB: When I suggest to my client’s different solutions that we offer, and show them the GIS Cloud option and its capabilities along with its price, the decision has been very easy for them thus far.

GC: Is there a need for prior knowledge of GIS before using GIS Cloud?

TB: The interface has been designed very user friendly, it is very straight forward, so it has been one of the main advantages of the apps for our clients. Some other solutions, while they may have similar tools, they are not very inviting to amateur users. So that is why I think some of the older users in Railroad companies, who are resistant to change, are willing to go GIS Cloud once they try it out. In other words GIS Cloud makes it inviting for everybody to be able to use GIS.

GC: When you could point our features to recommend GIS Cloud to other users, what would those be?

TB: I would definitely start with map performance which is probably one of the biggest selling points. We recently had a client swap over using an ESRI product to use GIS Cloud. One of the biggest compliments coming from them is how fast the map display is. With GIS Cloud you can create attractive maps that are easy to use, and then everyone wants to use them. So when we present our clients different solutions, and when they see how fast and how beautiful their maps are using their data, they are easily converted to GIS Cloud. And then the search tool that GIS Cloud apps have, is such an awesome and life saver feature.
The other big selling point for GIS Cloud for Railroads is Mobile Data Collection app. The ability to record data about their assets and to record property and drainage issues, so to collect that information is very valuable for them to understand patterns, trends and the issues that they are dealing with on a daily basis.
GIS is also a great way to make departments collaborate and work together. To put all the data in one repository, so that everyone can access it and work simultaneously.

GC: Special thank you to Tomy Brown who was kind as always to find the time and do an interview with us.

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Introducing Maplim free Webinar Tue, 21 Apr 2015 14:01:14 +0000

With the release of the newest addition to our app family: Maplim – an application that delivers the fastest and most intuitive real-time collaboration on a map using any device, we want to show you everything this app can do. Register for our free webinar where we will show you the app possibilities in a live demo as well as the idea behind this new cool app.

Reserve your spot!

Webinar time and date:
Tuesday, April, 28th at:
1:00 p.m. EST   10:00 a.m. PST   7:00 p.m. CET

Following Topics Will Be Covered:

  • What is Maplim?
  • What are the Maplim features?
  • How can you utilize Maplim?

Key Takeaways:

  • What is the idea behind the Maplim app and how does it work.
  • Live demo about Maplim features: Organizing your team and data with cards, redlining and commenting, attaching and sharing your documents, and getting your results instantly.
  • How can you utilize and adjust Maplim to suit your needs and set up the perfect workflow you have been looking for.

Who Should Attend:

  • Everyone? Everyone!
  • Future Maplim community, fans, users.
  • Everyone who wants to bring their organization collaboration on a high level


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GIS Cloud Releases Maplim Tue, 21 Apr 2015 13:47:02 +0000

We are happy to announce the release of the newest addition to our app family: Maplim – an application that delivers the fastest and most intuitive real-time collaboration on a map using any device. We invite you to sign-up for free and get an early access to Maplim.

Activate Maplim

Register for Webinar
What is Maplim?

While Maplim is simple on the outside and super-easy to get started with and use, it consists of absolutely everything you’ll need to set up a perfect collaboration for your entire organization. Check out the video below to get a preview of what Maplim is.

The idea is to put a map in the context of an organization board where you created projects and cards’ while engaging with your colleagues in discussions, making drawings (redlining and annotations), attaching documents, or just leaving comments.

Organize Your Team and Data with Cards

  • Create real-time collaboration streams as cards, to which you can add any content around a map and share it with your colleagues. Maplim adapts to your project, team, and workflow.

Redline and Comment

  • Seamlessly make drawings on a map, add notes, marks, and comments, and provide your team with everything they need to get things done in real time.

Attach and Share Your Documents

  • Attach and access important media such as photos, videos, PDFs, and Excel and Word documents relevant to a card.

Get Results Instantly

  • Maplim stays perfectly in sync across all your devices, wherever you are. Post comments for instant feedback, follow your team’s activity in real time, and share results with anyone, anywhere, and on any device.

See Maplim in action
To see Maplim in action be sure to register for our free webinar on Tuesday, April 28th and get a live preview of the app’s features and possibilities.

Activate Maplim

Register for Webinar

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GIS Cloud Geocoder Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:13:37 +0000

In this video we give you instructions on how to prepare your data table prior to geocoding and steps to follow for your geocoding process. With only couple of clicks your geocoded addresses are up and ready on a map. Download your data or continue using it in Map Editor.

Be sure to try out our geocoding app for free.

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Getting Ready For The Field Season With GIS Cloud Webinar Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:00:21 +0000

Dear GIS Cloud Community,

Thank you for attending our webinar on the topic of ‘Getting Ready For The Field Season’, your participation, questions and feedback.

You can access the webinar recording in the video below and for all of your questions, more info, material please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Video Blog: Adding WMTS To Your Maps and Projects Thu, 09 Apr 2015 13:07:17 +0000

A Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) is a standard protocol for serving pre-rendered georeferenced map tiles over the internet or in other words WMTS provides a standard based solution to serve digital maps using predefined image tiles. In the video below we are showing you steps on how to add WMTS to your maps in Map Editor and use them in your GIS projects.

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Orange County Interview – Fighting Droughts and Watershed Monitoring Tue, 07 Apr 2015 12:06:24 +0000

With the recent severe drought happening in California, we wanted to do an interview with one of our users from the area, Grant Sharp, Environmental Monitoring Section Manager with the OC Watersheds Division of OC Public Works in Orange County, California. We wanted to get his thoughts on the matter and find out what is the action plan for fighting it and see if GIS can be of any help. The entire interview can be accessed in the video below.

GC: Could you tell us briefly what is your role in the Orange County?

GS: The organization I work for is called Orange County’s Public Works and I manage the divisions called Environmental Monitoring and we are a division within the Environmental Resources Service area of OC public works. Our main job as a division is to collect information about the environment in the county, to provide a service of what is going on in the environment to residents and businesses. The ideas is to protect the environment in a better way, that is done in a way that supports wildlife, aquatic habitats, providing safe and healthy habitats for animals, birds, fish and humans to enjoy.

GC: With the recent discussion in the media about the fact that California has one year of water left, do you guys in Orange County have an action plan to fight it?

GS: What is going on in California is a very serious crisis and we are facing severe shortages in water supplies for domestic, agricultural, industrial, business use and so on. There is a strategy to do something about it and residents, businesses and local governments plays an important role in it. We all have to do our part to conserve water so a lot of environmental monitoring that we do is about the surface water. What we have seen is that with the drought a lot of people are cutting back on the amount of water that they are applying to their landscape area or their driveways and sidewalks. So basically they are starting to change their behavior and that is resulting in less impact on the surface water. We are definitely seeing improved conditions in environment because during the dry weather people are using less water which results in less pollutants ending up in the water which reflects on healthier streams, bays and harbors. So it hasn’t all been that bad, people are definitely changing their behavior, so there are some indirect environmental benefits from that change.

GC: There have been some quite shocking meteorological statistical info, that this January has been the driest in the records history. Have you been monitoring and collecting the data that can justify this piece of information?

GS: We monitor rainfall amounts for Orange County, and we just had a January and February with almost no precipitation. Another thing this draught is doing is that it is causing the people to look at the storm water or rainwater as a resource. Our infrastructure is designed so that when it rains most of the rain when it falls on the urban landscape, runs of directly into underground pipe and then from there it goes into a channel. It’s not used or treated as a water resource and so with the draught problems, it is causing the people to start looking into the storm water more as a resource of drinking water. And that is a good thing because people are looking into engineering ways to harvest and reuse water so it has a good impact on the environment.

GC: Given that you rely on different methods of collecting the data, how do you see the importance of GIS in your everyday workflow?

GS: In terms of being able to collect data from the field, GIS Cloud has provided a major benefit to our organization. It allows us to be more efficient and productive in terms of how we go into the environment and collect the information. We are able to record and document data in real time. It has helped us streamline our workflow and processes. We were able to convert what used to be done largely on paper and can now be done electronically with mobile devices. Once that information was in the GIS Cloud applications, it opened a lot of doors in terms of what we can do with that data.

GC: What did your workflow look like before you started using GIS Cloud and how has it improved since?

GS: We basically recorded info on a piece of paper, brought it back to the office and inputed the information into the database or an excel spreadsheet at which point you were still not able to do anything really with that information. So having the ability to push the data into the cloud in real time in the field has definitely made us much more efficient.

GC: Do you use Desktop solutions together with the GIS Cloud?

GS: Yes, the ability to integrate both GIS Cloud and Desktop had been a great asset as well. We can have people working on the desktop and then pushing the info to the cloud for everyone to see and collaborate on it. This especially comes in handy with working with our customers and clients or for sharing internally with our staff. So it becomes a very powerful tool for collaboration once you combine it with desktop.

GC: Your data was in ESRI shapefiles prior to using GIS Cloud, so has transferring your data into the GIS Cloud been an easy road?

GS: Yes, the transfer process has been really easy and that is another thing we really like about the GIS Cloud package. You can easily publish the existing data using ArcGIS Publisher. It publishes ESRI shapefiles to the GIS Cloud platform in only couple of clicks. The process for taking the existing data sets and converting them into usable layers in GIS Cloud platform is a very easy and a quick process. And because it is so easy and straightforward and while the entire system operates so fast, it has opened the door to a lot of our data that previously we didn’t have the use of. It has allowed us to explore datasets we haven’t explored before and to get more use out of the existing data sets.

GC: In terms of customization of some of the apps to fit more your area of expertise, can you tell us from your own experience how did you find using the GIS Cloud’s API?

GS: Yes, so we have used GIS Cloud’s REST API and it has been relatively easy to bring in real time data from some of our Remote Sensing equipment that collects rainfall and water level data from over 80 stations throughout the county. We were able to customize the map so that the data is being pushed to the map in real time. Our users are able to pull out charts and graphs of the historical data and export the data in various formats. So we are providing our customers with the current information they need, especially with everything that has been going on lately. They have a lot of interest in where it’s raining and so on and can get that information but also historical data as well.

GIS Cloud has reduced the amount of time that we as an organization have spent helping people obtain that data. They are able to access the data themselves and download exactly what they need from any device.

GC: You have used GIS Cloud for volunteer projects. What was their take on using the MDC app in terms of user friendliness?

GS: We do a lot of volunteer clean ups where residents can come out and help collect the garbage and trash, preventing it getting into the environment. So we wanted to be able to collect the data on the trash that was being cleaned up. We did a crowdsourcing type of a project where the volunteers accessed the Mobile Data Collection app for the data collection and they all found the MDC app extremely easy to use. And once we had the collected data that the volunteers had sent to our map, we were able to continue using the data for different analysis.

GC: With the GME shutdown, there has been a lot of discussion in terms of alternatives. Would you consider GIS Cloud to be a good alternative or as we like to say, simply a better solution?

GS: I would definitely see GIS Cloud as not necessarily alternative but as a viable solution for anyone who looks to extend their abilities to manage and share data and collaborate. There are several things what makes GIS Cloud unique compared to other providers. First and foremost is the relative ease and simplicity of the platform is what sets GIS Cloud apart from every other application I have used. It doesn’t require a lot of training, you don’t have to sit through expensive online webinars to be able to use the platform. You can literally jump in day one and be able to develop content and collect data from the field. Additionally, I want to provide my employees with tools that will make them do their job more efficient and effective, and that is what makes GIS Cloud a very attractive solution.

Another thing that sets GIS Cloud from other providers is the speed that the platform operates, there is no delay in caching layers even when it comes to large amounts of data. Whether you are on your desktop connection or mobile device you are able to work very fast.

I would also like to emphasize that while these things are advantage, I don’t want to understate the fact that you can use GIS Cloud to do powerful analysis with large amounts of data. We have used GIS Cloud for integrating a lot of different data bases, data sources and data sets so that we can do powerful analysis by using the tools and features GIS Cloud provides. It helped us in decision making and how we manage our assets, so that is another thing that sets GIS Cloud apart from other providers. And the ability to integrate GIS Cloud with other desktop solutions as I had mentioned has been a tremendous feature when it comes to collaboration throughout our organization.

GC: As a conclusion, what would you like to add?

GS: We have been using GIS Cloud for the past 3 years and still use it on a daily basis, and we keep finding new and improved ways of utilizing the apps. It has helped us a lot in achieving the goals we he have set for our organization in terms of providing better services to our customers. So we really look forward in many more years of using it.

GC: Special thank you to Grant Sharp who was kind as always to find the time and do an interview with us.

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Free Webinar: Getting Ready For The Field Season with GIS Cloud Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:19:14 +0000

With the field season coming up for many, we would like you to enjoy the advantages of our apps even in the field. By using GIS Cloud apps it has never been easier to create projects and collect data. You are simply creating custom forms to follow your industry, company and project needs but are also user friendly and easy to use no matter what your background is. Whether you are exporting the data and using it in your Desktop solution or simply using it in our Map Editor, we have a solution for it all. We invite you to join us for our free webinar on the topic: Getting ready for the field season with GIS Cloud.

Webinar time and date:
Thursday, April, 9th at:
1:00 p.m. EST   10:00 a.m. PST   7:00 p.m. CET

Following Topics Will Be Covered:

  • Creating your field data collection project
  • What to do if your project is in remote areas with no internet connectivity
  • Using your collected data further…in your own Desktop solution or using Map Editor
  • GIS Cloud field data collection user success stories coming from various industries like traffic and roadwork, tree inventory, trapping etc.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hands on demo how to set up your field data collection project, from creating your custom form, adding as many fields as you need, sharing your projects with your team and assigning them different privileges, accessing the projects in your MDC app, creating reports, and exporting your data
  • Using Map Editor to enhance your projects for editing your data, adding layers, changing base maps or exporting it in various formats to use in your existing Desktop solution
  • Examples of Field data collection success stories from GIS Cloud users who use MDC on a daily basis

Who Should Attend:

  • Everyone who is in a need for an effective data collection process that will make your field season easy and effective, will bring you accurate results and will save time
  • Everyone who wants to know more about interoperability of GIS Cloud apps
  • Everyone who needs more proof why to test out GIS Cloud


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Video Blog: Adding WFS To Your Maps and Projects Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:06:25 +0000

What is WFS?

The Open Geospatial Consortium Web Feature Service Interface Standard (WFS) provides an interface allowing requests for geographical features (points, lines, and polygons) across the web using platform-independent calls.

As we are covering how to use the OGC standards in GIS Cloud, in this video we are showing you how to add a Web Feature Service to your maps and projects in Map Editor. Also, what do you do in a scenario where your WFS doesn’t match your other data like a base map? Not to worry, we covered that in the video as well.

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Why Go GIS Cloud Webinar Available Online Fri, 20 Mar 2015 15:11:24 +0000

Dear GIS Cloud Community,

Thank you for attending our webinar on the topic of ‘Why GO GIS Cloud’, your participation, questions and feedback.

You can access the webinar recording in the video below and the GIS Cloud User Success Stories by clicking the Success button below.

For all of your questions, more info, material please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Success Stories

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