Mobile GIS is a concept for how many kinds of users connect to and work with ArcGIS from various lightweight devices. Mobile apps tend to be focused and task-based. Users typically have a specific job or mission and use targeted apps to connect to and work with ArcGIS. In many situations, users work offline disconnected from any communications link. They stage their mobile devices with the necessary content that they take to the field. They often synchronize their work when they come back online, and frequently, while still in the field.
You can work with ArcGIS using mobile apps via a range of client options:
Mobile applications share a few common traits:
ArcGIS includes a series of ready-to-use, configurable mobile apps. These can be configured through the use of web maps. GIS users author and share web maps that can be opened and used in any ArcGIS client.
In addition, Developer SDKs are available for each type of client so that users can implement their own custom apps and workflows. This is especially important for embedded maps and apps. A number of developer options are described below.
These devices are characterized by their touch-screen interfaces, high resolution, color graphics, one-handed use and location awareness that work well while connected. They support assisted GPSs and support many workflows for inspection and field data collection—things like point collection, status reports, completing intelligent field forms, and validation and inspection.
This includes SDKs for iOS (for iPhone and iPad), for Android, and for Windows Phone. Developers can use these SDKs to build focused apps for each smartphone environment. For more information, see:
These apps often run on specialized, rugged devices designed for use under harsh conditions. The apps are often equipped with a professional-grade GPS and are used for more robust feature collection in the field. They are often used in vehicle-mounted systems and are used in occasionally connected workflows.
This includes the use of ArcGIS Runtime for Windows and ArcGIS Runtime for Windows Mobile. These runtime SDKs are used to create embedded apps for Windows Tablet and Windows Mobile devices. For more information, see:
Developers use APIs for WPF, Qt, and Java on Windows, and they use Qt and Java on Linux. These apps are easy to install and deploy. They have very small memory use and footprint. For example, you can put them on a thumb drive and plug into your computer to run the app. Many of these apps run in both connected and disconnected environments for wireless access.
For more information, see: