Web maps are one of the most universally used type of digital reports. People everywhere are familiar with online maps and how to use them for things such as locating businesses, navigating and finding directions, and mashing up their own photos and data onto map views.
It’s not surprising that Web maps have become a standard feature in smartphones, tablets and cars.
Organizations are increasingly turning to Web mapping because it delivers many advantages:
Share data easily across your enterprise. Dexter Construction, the largest civil contractor in Atlantic Canada, bids on hundreds of projects per year. It has huge stores of data that’s only valuable if it can be easily disseminated in the field. To equip estimators with the information they need on site, Dexter created targeted data packages that include property boundaries, nearby water bodies and infrastructure for a given geographical area. Once packaged, the data is made available through a cloud Web mapping system and can be accessed as a Web service using a simple URL via many devices including tablets.
Improve communication. In 2012, a major wildfire swept through the small lakefront community of Peachland in BC. The fire moved quickly, destroying homes and causing nearly one-fifth of the population to evacuate. Instead of relying on traditional static pdf maps, the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre turned to Web maps hosted in the cloud to quickly and more effectively communicate life-saving evacuation orders and alerts to the public.
Deepen analysis and understanding. EDENS, a shopping centre company in the US, uses cloud mapping to find the best use for its retail sites and breathe new life to “zombie stores” – retail outlets with declining profits. They use Web maps to identify potential retailers for a site, as well as to communicate to the retailer why EDENS thinks the site would be good for them.
Provide customers with self-serve decision support. Wall Street Network, a technology solution provider in New York, used cloud mapping to create an insurance app that allows customers to easily view and understand their policies by location. This helps them to see how they are affected by risks such as hurricanes.
Reduce costs. With no software to install or maintain, cloud-based mapping reduces IT costs. In Dexter’s example, they were able to reduce hardware costs by replacing $3,000-ruggedized tablets, which they pre-loaded with data before going to the field, with $400 iPads that provided access to live Web maps.
Web mapping becomes even more efficient when it’s hosted in the cloud. Esri, the world’s leading provider of geographic information systems (GIS), offers ArcGIS Online, a cloud mapping platform that allows you to create, manage and share maps with specific groups or with the public.
How does ArcGIS Online make it easy for you to get started with Web mapping?
- No setup is required. There’s no need to purchase additional hardware or software; ArcGIS Online is available through an annual subscription.
- Your data is safe and secure. Your data is backed up to multiple locations and on separate virtual machines where authentication and authorization is tightly controlled.
- Access ready-to-use basemaps. Instead of compiling your own basemaps, which can be costly, choose from the wide selection of available basemaps and data compiled from authoritative sources worldwide.
- Easily add your own data. You can drag and drop Excel files and instantly see your data as points on the map.
- Retain ownership of your data. Unlike other mapping services solutions, you retain ownership of intellectual property rights for your published data in ArcGIS Online.
- Access your information anywhere, on any device. View and edit your Web maps on the go through your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
- Leverage location analytics for better decision-making. Use advanced analysis tools (e.g., overlay layers, conduct hot-spot analysis and examine correlations) to uncover hidden patterns and trends in your data. Free Esri apps in ArcGIS Online allow you to integrate maps and location analytics directly into your collaboration and productivity tools such as Microsoft Office and SharePoint.
Find out how to use ArcGIS Online for collaboration, transparency and cost-savings. Sign up for a free 30-day trial.
Esri Canada provides location intelligence solutions that add the essential dimension of “where” to your business data. Our solutions enable you to make complex decisions by harnessing data within your enterprise systems. Visualize your data on maps, identify hidden trends and gain unprecedented insight about your customers. For more information, visit esri.ca.
Posted by Sue Ansell at September 9, 2013 3:15 AM
Categories: Cloud computing Software as a Service (SaaS)