A Look at ArcGIS for Smartphones

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ArcGIS for smartphones and tablets is an app from Esri available for free from the Apple App Store, Android App Marketplace (ArcGIS for Android was just released in October), and Windows App Store that makes it easy to extend the GIS capabilities of your phone.

ArcGIS is a a way to use and discover maps from around the world. Maps just spring to life in ArcGIS. You can tap on the map and use your current location and information about where you are to discover new things to see. You can search the map, find interesting things, measure distances between things, find areas of interest to share with others, and more.

You can also find community-hosted maps online. ArcGIS Online. ESRI has an online GIS. You can also use ESRI’s authoring tools to create your own maps. If you are already an ESRI customer, then this application is already part of your ArcGIS system. You can extend the benefit of your corporate maps with this app.

Esri's ArcGIS for Android.
Esri’s ArcGIS for Android.

Advances in Smartphones have allowed for the development of more powerful mapping apps that can be used on them. Some of the features include the following, and they’re quite extraordinary, and not many GIS apps have them:

  • Navigate maps with just a few clicks of the screen
  • Use maps that are authored online with ArcGIS.com
  • Access your personal GIS data from wherever you are
  • Display and zoom to the current location
  • You can use the built-in GPS or the map to find and update GIS data
  • Attach photos and videos to what map information you collect
  • There is form-based data entry
  • There is a set of sample maps so you can test out the capabilities. You can look at them inside the gallery on the maps tab.
  • You can also magnify and identify your editing experience
  • When interacting with the map, tap and hold down to pinpoint the exact position on the map using the Magnifier feature
  • You can also perform measurements on the map, whether they be linear or area
  • You can retrieve detailed metadata about the map that might come in useful for use at a later date
  • You can view attributes of feature information
  • You can perform keyword searches and get access to pertinent information
  • You can execute pre-defined searches
  • Change the visibility of layers on the map
  • Access popular maps faster by adding them to a favorites list
  • Share maps with other iOS users

This is just a small list of the features available on the ArcGIS app for smartphones. ArcGIS is one of the top apps in the world for GIS and has expanded the ability of geographic analysis, mapping and data creation for smartphones.

Some of its key application highlights include the following:

  • Discover and send maps with ArcGIS online
  • Use the Internet tools to find, search for, identify, and create maps
  • Hoard, edit, and use attributes and features

The ArcGIS app from ESRI can be summed up nicely in the following:

The ArcGIS app is an app for smartphones and tablets that helps you travel the muddy waters of maps on the devices, collect and report data, and perform GIS analysis that is very detailed, analytical, and complex. You can discover new content by browsing through map galleries from ArcGIS Online or leverage services from an existing enterprise GIS you already have. Your GIS data can be shared with a wider audience with this app. It’s the ideal app for making more of your GIS data if you live in an enterprise or have customers that need that data.

About the Author

Ruben Corbo is a writer for the website Cell Phone Expert where you can compare cell phone plans and find reviews for Android, iPhone and other smartphones. When Ruben is not writing he’s producing or composing music for short films or other visual arts.


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