GIS Cloud http://www.giscloud.com Visualize, analyze and share your geo data online. Sat, 29 Aug 2015 15:07:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Data Publishing Use Case: GIS Solutions for Government http://www.giscloud.com/blog/data-publishing-use-case-gis-solutions-for-government/ http://www.giscloud.com/blog/data-publishing-use-case-gis-solutions-for-government/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 21:15:53 +0000 http://www.giscloud.com/?p=9712 The Easiest Solution for Sharing and Publishing the Data on a Public Map: An example from Argentina

shutterstock_226350037 Many governmental departments just recently started to discover how to benefit fully from geospatial technologies. Especially in the case of planning, public works and services, having an adequate tool for data visualization on the map might be a game changer in terms of creating an efficient workflow. This concerns sharing the data on current projects such as infrastructure maintenance and expansion within and between the departments, sub-departments, ministries and other smaller and larger organizational units. In conducting the project on a larger scale, it is also important to have a good infrastructure for making the data publicly available, completing a data flow circle with the best possible outcome.

An example coming from the Secretariat of Public Works, a department of the Argentine Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services shows how the needs in the public sector can easily be met with a simple mapping solution. 

The imperative coming from the department was to have a reliable, fast and cost-efficient data sharing and publishing solution. What the Secretariat of Public Works had in mind was to open the access to information about more than 45 000 federal public works to their citizens. The projects which were to be shown on the map were the result of government programs conducted in the last 12 years, as a collaboration from different departments throughout Argentina.

All that information, concerning various works in the healthcare, education, transportation, residential and other parts of infrastructure should be easily accessed and managed by both governmental staff and the citizens of Argentina.

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In the process of finding the perfect solution for sharing and publishing the data, the biggest challenge was to find a way to escape from the ‘inertia’ of having the GIS data limited to desktop solutions.

The centralization of the data storage on individual computers has shown its shortcomings: it wasn’t easy to share the great amount of collected data in various formats and on different devices with other people, and there was even more difficulty in the distribution of data to wider public. A unique methodology and a platform for data sharing and management was needed.

What could be done?

The answer was simple. What the Department of Public Works needed was a cloud solution. They needed a platform for which the only requirement was to have a browser and Internet access. The department was offered a recommendation of GIS Cloud applications, which met all the prerequisites for the Argentine government data publishing project.

In the first phase of the project, the required software had to offer them a possibility to add the data and attributes like the information about the particular education, health or transportation facility to map layers in collaboration with different users, and store it on the cloud. GIS Cloud’s Map Editor helped them in executing this first phase of the project. Data was uploaded directly on the cloud and therefore stored in a way to be easily accessible.

This made the second phase of the project execution even easier: with Map Viewer, information on the map was easily shared with particular users coming from different departments.

Finally, when data was prepared and ready for public access, the GIS Cloud’s Map Portal was a perfect publishing solution, fully customized for the department’s needs.

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The final result

Marcelo Alejandro Portela, a consulting specialist, sums up the main benefits of the successful integration of the GIS Cloud solution in three points:

  • the excellent performance gained by html5
  • easy navigation through various map layers using the ‘search’ feature
  • the simplicity of use.

The main advantages of using the GIS Cloud applications for the governmental purposes, attested by Mr. Alejandro Portela are:

the fact that the user interface is easy to use even for the non-GIS experts (commonly represented in the governmental staff), at the same time offering the fast and high quality data visualization solution, easily accessible anytime, from any device.

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University in the Clouds: GIS For Academic and Educational Purposes (Part I.) http://www.giscloud.com/blog/university-in-the-clouds-gis-for-academic-and-educational-purposes-part-i/ http://www.giscloud.com/blog/university-in-the-clouds-gis-for-academic-and-educational-purposes-part-i/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 16:28:08 +0000 http://www.giscloud.com/?p=9656 How to research, collaborate, educate and optimize institutional workflows with the help of mapping technology?
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Interdisciplinarity is a common word in the world of contemporary education. At the institutional level, it highlights one of the most important facets of increased flow of information and ideas – collaboration. Literally, interdisciplinarity signifies working between diverse academic disciplines, while the main goal is to combine subjects together in new ways to achieve a specific purpose. That kind of prospect asks for intensification of networking and features collaboration between people with different academic and practical background.

Most of all, a need for an interdisciplinary approach is visibly present in sciences such as geography, definition of which strongly implies the notion of interdisciplinarity. GIS, Geographic Information System merges cartography, statistical analysis, and database technology, with the purpose of storing, analyzing, and displaying geographical information. This data can be used later on for the purposes of projects, decision-making, lectures and for other purposes.
Using GIS software for academic needs magnificently serves the notion of interdisciplinarity in academic terms. The spatial dimension of research is important for disciplines in the range from environmental research, to archaeology or population genetics. All of these fields of study often require a help from mapping technology to display, interpret and analyze the data.

An example from Patho Map project : Displaying the pathogen map or “PathoMap” of New York City and surrounding areas

An example from Patho Map project : Displaying the pathogen map or “PathoMap” of New York City and surrounding areas

So, the first, most obvious use of GIS for academic projects in a wider sense is for the uses of collaboration on various projects between different disciplines.

In a more direct and narrower sense, GIS is widely used in educating the generations of geographers and GIS experts. But, we shouldn’t stop at educating only in the area of geographical research and theory. GIS software can also be used in teaching various subjects such as environmental studies, earth science, history, mathematics, chemistry, biology, languages, arts, etc. We can say that GIS technology is present on all levels of education, from elementary schools to higher education, where the most of its academic usage is concentrated, unifying its purpose as a research tool together with instructive quality. For example, it is a very commonly used tool for undergraduate and graduate research projects.
Observing widely, we can see GIS software used in schools, at technical colleges, universities, libraries, museums and other educational institutions.

So, what would be the basic reason for such a wide application of mapping software?

As an instructional tool, GIS serves its purpose as a great way of encouraging students to employ critical thinking, engage in projects and surveys and boost their problem-solving skills. This technology gives the students a good perspective in visualization of spatial patterns, linkages, and relationships. It enhances their numerical and information processing skills and also helps develop the general linguistic intelligence needed for reading and interpreting visible symbols and word information.
Taking into account a strong orientation on visual images present in the contemporary culture, there is no reason why educators wouldn’t encourage the rise of spatial and map literacy.

Namely, the importance of visual preview in education is supported by the fact that humans process images 60, 000 times faster than text.
Also, people remember only around 20% of what they read alone, compared to 80% of what they see.

A history class is a good example in this case. Maps are used to communicate not only spatial, but also historical data. Therefore, interactive maps can be great teaching tools for history classes. They proved to be a good way for remembering a big amount of historical data.

Except for the great value of GIS software for instructional purposes, there is one more aspect of its usage in the education.

Mapping applications, as an essential part of GIS software, can also be used in educational administration and forming education policies.

Photo: Marta Klarić Ravnić

Photo: Marta Klarić Ravnić

 

Some of the examples of GIS software application in infrastructure management and administration are:

  • university infrastructure overview and planning
  • campus planning and safety
  • curriculum planning encompassing room capacities
  • technology infrastructure
  • emergency preparedness
  • managing alumni network
  • recruiting students

One of the ideas of how mapping software can be used is, for example, in university self-assessment, using the data for displaying the information such as teacher-student ratios, basic demographic data and various statistical parameters, including the state of infrastructure.

Last but not least: if we shift the focus from the academy to a wider system of educational policies, we should know that the geographic tools are very useful for policy makers, influencing various strategic decisions.

GIS helps visualizing important data about educational facilities and general statistics on local and national levels. It can display expenditures, performance, and compliance with educational regulations. It can show the data in a range from literacy level of the students to the distribution of federal funds. Therefore, GIS is very important as an overview which informs the decisions connected with resources, and program implementation, and distribution.Some types of data that can be visualized for educational policy strategies:

  • amount of money spent per pupil
  • teacher-student ratios
  • geographical distribution of literacy levels
  • demographical information in relation to educational data
  • student, school, and district performance
  • distribution of funds
  • comparisons between states, districts, and school

An example of New York City education survey – red parcels: districts with highest density of students below 9th grade; green parcels: districts with lower density of 9th grade students

All of these GIS possibilities, attached to an academical context often are limited with restricted allocation of resources, primarily funds and technological infrastructure. For that reason, educators and academic staff are often inclined to use cost-effective and non-demanding solutions. One of the ways out of the situation of restricted funds and infrastructure is turning to Cloud GIS solutions.

In Part 2, you can read about reasons to use GIS in Cloud environment for educational and academic purposes.

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Land Administration and Parcel Management Case Study: New York State http://www.giscloud.com/blog/land-administration-and-parcel-management-case-study-new-york-state/ http://www.giscloud.com/blog/land-administration-and-parcel-management-case-study-new-york-state/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 15:23:09 +0000 http://www.giscloud.com/?p=9637

Data visualization makes our lives easy and simple. It is not a new thing, but the way we do it improves and upgrades daily. Just recently we were still drawing maps, filling forms manually and collecting GPS locations as a single point, with no media associated.

With the boom of free data that is now available to a large audience for free or at a low cost, the ways of visualization had to keep up. The list of data formats prolonged, data volume exploded, and new ways of visualization emerged.

We are no longer locked to our desktop computer, to a single location or to a single person. Our appetites got bigger for the speed and performance of our maps. We now depend on it, but also enjoy the ways of visualization at all scales that increase the precision of our decision making and collaboration.

This is an example of a data visualization solution that Systems Development Group, Inc. needed for their client, New York State land administration and parcel management.

Background

Systems Development Group Inc. creates software for working with New York State real property and county clerk information. Many municipalities throughout New York have chosen to use their software to organize and distribute their data.

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Challenges

SDG needed an application that can show different data like aerial photos, parcel and soil data in large volume and that is accessible to their clients in a form of web maps. Not having to worry about servers and internet speed greatly reduced their worry for creating many online maps for clients to utilize. Without the cloud component, that wouldn’t have been possible.

The most challenging thing for them was to find a solution that wouldn’t require the IT staff and that they can run a cloud solution in a user friendly way on their own. The cost was another bonus as it was dramatically less than if they had attempted to do it on their own. Adding URL-s to their data, specifically parcel was another requirement

Solution

The combination of GIS Cloud apps proved to be a perfect solution for their needs. Map Editor enabled them to make ‘big data’ maps in various formats. It has the media integration option, so the URL links were very easily added to their data. Once the maps were ready, they published them in a form of a white labeled Map Portal. This app is a great solution for data visualization as it has search, interactive, export, switch map options and many more.

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For instance when you click on a parcel you are shown a clickable link that opens a popup window showing all the parcel information from the municipalities SDG ImageMate Online (IMO) website. If you were to click on the “Pin Property on GIS Map”, then you are taken back to the GIS Cloud map. There is a link for it on every parcel on the IMO website. Click on it and it zooms you into the parcel and highlights it.

Results

With GIS Cloud, SDG was able to get a cost effective solution without installing any software. In their own words: ‘They helped us to shed the behemoth that is ESRI. Their costs were getting astronomical. GIS Cloud has allowed for an online viewer presence without the previously needed IT expertise’

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Benchmark (Surveying) Case Study: Monument Inventory in Orange County, CA http://www.giscloud.com/blog/benchmark-surveying-case-study-monument-inventory-in-orange-county-ca/ http://www.giscloud.com/blog/benchmark-surveying-case-study-monument-inventory-in-orange-county-ca/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:04:39 +0000 http://www.giscloud.com/?p=9618

We did an interview with the Orange County Public Works about their Monument Inventory project. Their Geodetic Unit is responsible for maintenance of the Horizontal and Vertical control networks. Responsibilities include updating, revising and distributing the most accurate and current data available.

Background

GC: Can you tell us some basic information about the project you are doing and why was there a need for a cloud GIS based solution?

OC: We are capturing photos of control survey monuments that our field crews use for their surveys. Having access to these photos in the cloud greatly benefits our surveyors in identifying the correct monument as well as its location.

Benchmarking

Challenges

GC: What were some of the challenges that your project had and that you overcame with GIS Cloud apps?

OC: Verifying whether a monument exist or not has always been a challenge. These monuments can be very unique and require proper character descriptions. A detailed photo is worth a thousand words. What you see is what you get.

Solution

GC: Is your project workflow more efficient with GIS Cloud apps and how?

OC: GIS Cloud adds another layer of verification data that is essential to our work. For instance having the editing option of the data from the field, as well as collecting the data in remote areas makes a great difference.

GC: How has GIS Cloud specifically helped you given your industry and area of expertise?

OC: It has given us a better way to collect and manage data. Mobile Data Collection and its Forms Manager make our collection projects really easy. App is very user friendly so there is no tame waste in terms of long and expensive team training.

OC Monument Inventory1

Recommendation

GC: What would be 3 key features in your opinion that you would recommend GIS Cloud for coming from Agriculture/Precision farming perspective?

OC:

  • Real time posting of photos to website
  • Ease of MDC smartphone application
  • Public access to view photos

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Agriculture Case Study: Using drones and GIS Cloud for precision farming in Greece http://www.giscloud.com/blog/agriculture-case-study-using-drones-and-gis-cloud-for-precision-farming-in-greece/ http://www.giscloud.com/blog/agriculture-case-study-using-drones-and-gis-cloud-for-precision-farming-in-greece/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:59:13 +0000 http://www.giscloud.com/?p=9600

We did an interview with NubiGroup, company that creates a new generation of services and products, exploiting the geospatial information and cloud computing. The focus is on collaboration between different actors and their customers.

Background

GC: Can you tell us some basic information about the project you are doing and why was there a need for a cloud GIS based solution?

NG: This project is a “pilot” project dealing with precision farming. More specifically, we are using NIR (Near Infrared) images acquired by a drone (eBee, Geosense company Greece) in order to monitor corn fields and to correlate different spectral transformations with crop growth and crop yield and also to investigate the performance of different cultivars under different fertilization treatments.

We used the GIS Cloud apps, since the project is a small scale project and the spatial data have to be shared, in a short period of time, to different groups of interest. In that way, we exploited the ready to go apps which are provided at affordable cost and have great performance.

Kostas NIR

NIR drone image (6cm pixel size), false color composite (RGB: NIR/R/G). Light blue pixels denote low crop growth

Challenges

GC: What were some of the challenges that your project had and that you overcame with GIS Cloud apps?

NG: In the project framework there is a need for field data collection as well as for cooperation and exchange of spatial and attribute data among different groups of people involved in the project such as agronomists and farmers as well. For these reasons, we considered to use the GIS Cloud’s apps in order to overcome the “challenge” of “collaboration”.

Kostas NDVI

NDVI image – Quick assessment of the crop condition. Light blue pixels denote bare soil and light green pixels depicts low crop growth, in contrast with yellow and red pixels

Solution

GC: Can you describe us your project workflow once you deployed GIS Cloud apps?

NG: With the use of GIS Cloud apps such as Map Editor and Mobile Data Collection we established a “direct” collaboration between the people who are involved in this project and are not located in the same region. So, we overcame the difficulty of the regular meetings and the hardcopy job (printing maps, photos etc).

Moreover, the GC apps provide an easy to use interface that can be used even from non -“GIS experts”. For example, the MDC with predefined forms can be used easily from the farmers in order to provide us with field data.

GC: How has GIS Cloud specifically helped you given your industry and area of expertise?

NG: Generally, that kind of projects require the involvement of people with different expertise and also spatial data exchange between them is absolutely critical. In that way, we managed to collaborate from a distance, with an affordable cost, without any need of investment in hardware /software and maintenance.

Kostas field photo

Field survey crop filed photo – Corn plantation

Recommendation

GC: What would be 3 key features in your opinion that you would recommend GIS Cloud for coming from Agriculture/Precision farming perspective?

NG:

  • Great performance
  • Affordable cost
  • Ease of use

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Cloud Solutions for your Local Government GIS http://www.giscloud.com/blog/cloud-solutions-for-your-local-government-gis/ http://www.giscloud.com/blog/cloud-solutions-for-your-local-government-gis/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:16:15 +0000 http://www.giscloud.com/?p=9539

Using GIS in Governments, whether it is Local, State or Federal has become a necessity. It helps departments work together much faster, it improves decision making process, it engages community and improves day to day operations and long term planning.

Local Government incorporates a lot of different departments, that all use GIS in a different but also similar way at the same time. From Public Works, Land Administration, Planning and Development, Fire Risk and Management, Emergency Management and Response to Water Management all have following geospatial needs:

  • Data Uploading
  • Creating and collecting
  • Sharing projects
  • Collaborating inside and out of organization
  • Analyzing
  • Achieving effective and accurate results

Yet, each and every department has their own custom way of applying these needs to an actual workflow. GIS Cloud has been used for that exact purpose, by many different government agencies, organizations and companies.

Focus of GIS Cloud solutions is to bring in the Cloud component to your workflow. Cloud enables the freedom to tailor your workflow to your exact preferences as you are no longer locked to your workplace. Collaborate with your team on smartphones, tablets and iPads while being on different locations, simultaneously in real time.

Collaborative approach that GIS Cloud solutions are based on, makes an irreplaceable addition to your GIS needs. It enables all the departments to work together in a cloud environment by sharing, creating and analyzing new and existing projects. It doesn’t replace your current solution but extends it to the next level.

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Land Administration
Manage your land data in an accurate and interactive way. Engage communities in exploring the parcel data from a web environment accessible on multiple devices, from taxes, location to parcel value.

Public Works
Get the most accurate data on parks, traffic and road infrastructure. Maintain your assets in the most collaborative way possible by working together with teammates in real time no matter the location, time zone and device.

Planning and Development
Create, develop and plan new web based and field projects by involving the community in inventories, cleanup events and surveying. Make your decision making accurate and effective as possible.

Fire Risk and Management
Put your fire departments in the office and in the field in sync and improve firefighter safety. Perform fire hazard, danger and risk mapping, plan and implement the fire control and fire use activities.

Watershed and Water Management
Maintain water utility assets by improving their infrastructure and optimizing field operations. Enhance and create the sustainable water management that benefit you, residents and environment.

Emergency Management and Response
Organize, coordinate and direct your resources by sharing your response plans in order to bring the emergency under control. Map hot spots of the locations of the emergency events and create public maps for the community.

Cloud-enable your entire Organization
Bring in the Cloud to your GIS workflow by using the tools you need to make your organization collaboration easy, fast and accurate.

Have a question? Send us an email.

Stay tuned for more industries and use cases.

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Connecting GIS Cloud with SFTP Clients http://www.giscloud.com/blog/connecting-gis-cloud-with-sftp-clients/ http://www.giscloud.com/blog/connecting-gis-cloud-with-sftp-clients/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 12:08:59 +0000 http://www.giscloud.com/?p=9558

In this video we show you how to upload and export your data by connecting to GIS Cloud with Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) clients.

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Google Street View in GIS Cloud Apps http://www.giscloud.com/blog/google-street-view-in-gis-cloud-apps/ http://www.giscloud.com/blog/google-street-view-in-gis-cloud-apps/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:14:50 +0000 http://www.giscloud.com/?p=9510

Imagine you are walking in the field and collecting data, let’s say about electric poles. You are sending your collected data to your manager’s account in the office. Manager gets the data in real time, and all the associated data to the asset. He can click point location and review the data you collected.

He can also click on the Google Street View and see the assets in an interactive environment directly from his account within the project you both are collaborating on.

Is this new? Yes it is. GIS Cloud implemented the Google Street View as an additional option so that your projects can be even more interactive.

Contact us to try it out in your own maps and projects!

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Hiring Frontend Engineers! http://www.giscloud.com/blog/hiring-senior-frontend-engineers/ http://www.giscloud.com/blog/hiring-senior-frontend-engineers/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 10:33:02 +0000 http://www.giscloud.com/?p=9476

Looking to add new outstanding developers to our existing team!

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GIS Cloud, a global leader in cloud-based geospatial technologies, is hiring frontend engineers. The company has a presence in more than 40 countries worldwide and has developed its own cloud platform, world’s fastest vector-based map engine, and a variety of platform modules and end-user products.

We invite engineers to join our team in Zagreb and partake in the development, architecture, and design of a modern platform for the new generation of geospatial applications.

You would be responsible for:

  • JavaScript API development
  • Implementation of application logic
  • Development of UI components (HTML/CSS)
  • Client-side module extensions of our unique HTML5 vector-based technology

We would expect:

  • Advanced knowledge of JavaScript

Additional skills (desired)

  • Design and architecture of JavaScript API-s
  • Experience with AngularJS
  • Knowledge of HTML5 Canvas technology
  • Experience with mapping technologies: Google Maps, MapBox, Bing Maps, Leaflet, Open Layers,…

We offer:

  • The excitement of working for an industry game-changer
  • Salary based on knowledge and experience
  • Interesting and challenging tasks
  • Pleasant and motivating company culture
  • Flexible working hours

More information about us:

http://www.giscloud.com
http://developers.giscloud.com

Contact us at job@giscloud.com

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Getting Started with Mobile Data Collection http://www.giscloud.com/blog/getting-started-with-mobile-data-collection/ http://www.giscloud.com/blog/getting-started-with-mobile-data-collection/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 15:24:04 +0000 http://www.giscloud.com/?p=9471

In this video we show you 3 basic steps on how to start using mobile data collection. From creating a custom form in MDC Portal, sharing your project with your coworkers and collecting data using your mobile device.

GIS Cloud solution for the field data collection makes your workflow in sync across all the devices in real time and among multiple users simoulatenously. Create projects specific to your needs, location and industry.

The data collection adventure continues…

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