ArcGIS Field Maps + iPhones heralds the emergence of the digital enterprise
IPhones and iPads continue to replace the devices once used by field service teams, but the implications are greater as the type of information gathered using Esri’s industry standard ArcGIS terrain maps app finds new deployments in smart city management and digital twins.
With tens of thousands of customers worldwide, Esri is a leader in geospatial information systems (GIS). Its main product, ArcGIS Pro, is very complex software with a wide range of features and many extensions that can be used to handle difficult tasks.
It is supported by ArcGIS Field Maps on iPhone and iPad, a larger product component designed to link precise mapping technologies with geotagged data to help track, place, and monitor resources in the field.
ArcGIS Field Maps is much more efficient than tracking paper assets because it allows agents to collect and edit data and report it in real time. The process is less error-prone and also makes it easy to check who entered what data and when, and to share data across the enterprise in real time.
The fact that the app works on iPhones once again reflects how much space Apple has taken up in business ecosystems.
How do you use it?
You can use the Field Maps app to track power pylons, mobile masts, or utilities as a way to support public safety or for government use in, for example, traffic management systems.
Some examples of its use:
- the Charlottesville, Virginia, fire department uses ArcGIS Field Maps to maintain 1,500 hydrants across the city, replacing a cumbersome paper process.
- Globally, grocery retailers use ArcGIS to identify optimal locations in which to open new stores.
- The application is used to manage the water supply in Colorado. A spokesperson said the solution improved data quality and delivered measurable improvements in efficiency over the paper-based system it replaced.
The Field Maps app was also used to support recovery efforts after severe storms in Southeast Alaska in the fall of 2019. Mike Davis, Head of the Mobile Technology Practice Group at HDR Engineering, mentionned: “Thanks to the durability of the iOS devices, which we have been using in the field since 2014, we can support teams from the deserts of Dubai to the northern slope of Alaska. We’ve never mobilized a team as quickly and efficiently as with the ArcGIS Field Maps app on iPad.
More than cards
This fundamental technology has implications beyond simple maps. Esri has created deep learning systems to extract useful data from the information it collects, such as extracting precise geographic data from satellite images. The best way to look at these systems is that they can use technologies – such as iPhones, LiDAR sensors, or iPads – to collect precise, real-time data that can itself be combined with other sets of data. data to generate actionable insights.
In the field, the real-time reports provided by these products also help support emerging digital business use cases, such as digital twins – systems that emulate real-world assets to optimize user understanding, management and decision-making regarding those assets.
that of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has created its own twin which manages multiple sets of data, such as the number of passengers, the movements of planes and vehicles on the ground. This virtual digital airport works alongside reality, helping to provide information to manage the flow of airport traffic, track equipment and warn of problems.
We are also seeing the deployment of digital twins to help design and manage very complex issues, such as traffic management in large cities or the design and management of smart cities.
Inevitably, as IoT sensors proliferate, networks improve, and device / cloud machine learning models emerge, the transformation of everyday life into data accelerates.
This is surely part of what drives Apple’s interest in devices. machine learning, LiDAR, Apple Silicon’s Neural Engine, and Long-Term Investments in 5G and Next Generation 6G networks, as well as ultra wideband (UWB).
Designed for consumers, even with the addition of indoor mapping tools, Apple’s Maps app is absolutely not a full-fledged GIS product to rank against ArcGIS Field Maps, but both solutions fit well into the digital tapestry, as “any mobile” and “any processor” is changing the way we see and manage our worlds. Whether it’s augmented humans wearing Apple Watches or augmented city management systems wielded on iPhones, data is becoming an echo of our world.
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