GIS Day goes mobile

Leica Geosystems celebrates GIS Day today. We will also have a Twitter Chat with Alex Fischer, Leica Geosystems Product Manager GIS Asset Collection, today at 3 p.m. CET.

GIS Day  provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. This international event was first founded by Jack Dangermond, president and co-founder Esri, in 1999 and marks a major event in the GIS calendar.

International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts expect that by 2020, nearly 350 million field operatives will be employed worldwide. Currently more than 32 per cent of the applications used on mobile devices access the GNSS sensors at various degrees of location accuracy.  It is perhaps timely to take this opportunity to demonstrate how mobile GIS is shaping smart change for non-survey field  professionals. Change that  improves productivity and efficiency by enabling users to access easy to use applications and GIS cloud services, using professional grade survey devices such as the Leica Zeno 20.

Organisations are constantly looking at innovation that will simplify tasks into routines to drive flexibility, efficiency and productivity.  Professionals across the spectrum are constantly having to reinvent themselves and the GIS asset data capture market is no exception.

As mobile use has eclipsed desktop software, and the growth of apps and the GIS cloud means that we are all finding it easier to engage with a world that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. This has the potential to create a more empowered, more engaged multi-skilled and amplified field workforce.

Amplified field operatives, connected and mobile with digital support

gisdataflowAs organisations look for productivity and efficiency improvements, the emergence of simple solutions using multiple apps to support multiple field operational tasks such as job validation, inspections and asset data capture are on the increase.

I recently visited a rail infrastructure and network operator looking for a simple data capture tool for rail assets at survey grade accuracy, a tool that would be used by train drivers during the normal course of their work. Data is currently captured via third party surveyors. This data can:

  • Lack the attribute domains required to support the data model
  • Take weeks to migrate before it’s available as a data service
  • Lack provenance relating to how, when and to what accuracy
  • Cost significant time and money.

We’re in the information business

So it’s not surprising  when an organisation sees that simple applications and cloud based GIS technology platform has the potential to reshape workflows. Workflows that reduce the cost and time to capture critical rail asset information. With this new information, professionals can:

  • Easily capture information
  • Immediately make it available to all stakeholders
  • Efficiently provide  information users can rely on to make every day operational or strategic decisions with confidence.

gisdataflowiiAs Esri moves it’s GIS platform towards a simpler and more configurable set of options for mobile workflows, Leica Geosystems has also responded to increased demand for simple and reliable survey grade data capture technology running apps on an Android OS. ZenoCollector comes with all the benefits of a smart phone or tablet on a Swiss designed and engineered professional handheld device that will stand up to the rigours of the most demanding environments to capture data at survey grade cm accuracy.

The simplicity of EsriCollector and other Esri or Esri partner applications in combination with the Zeno 20 from Leica Geosystems means that it takes less than 15 minutes to train users.  This makes it quick and easy for field workers of all abilities to capture accurate, reliable and authoritative data as part of their everyday tasks; data capture, inspection or validation requirements that can be completed while you’re there…

Sustaining an airport’s health

runway-trehsholdLet’s take the case at Atlanta International Airport where ZenoCollector is being deployed for use by airport field engineers over an area covering more than 1,900 hectares.

The Leica Geosystems Zeno 20 device running Collector for ArcGIS allows users to deploy high precision data collection workflows into the ArcGIS environment. Esri’s ArcGIS Online becomes the hub around which all field data collection activities revolve and this eliminates the need for separate third-party solutions or expensive desktop applications.

Brian Haren, senior GIS program coordinator at Hartsfield-Jackson, commentated that  “ZenoCollector enables our field crews to accurately capture numerous assets efficiently and communicate in real-time with all involved, documenting the health of this complex infrastructure with survey-grade accuracy. Over the course of time, decreased labour costs and proactive planning will be possible, resulting in a vastly improved life-cycle of utilities and assets at the airport.”

Read the full story here.

Fabel’s sensitive nose will provide answers at Sandby borg Öland, Sweden  

imgp6647_nicholas-nilssonOr more recently in Sweden the world’s first licensed archaeology dog; Fable the German Shepherd.  Fables sensitive nose is capable of locating human skeletons under the ground and at Sandby borg  Öland coupled with ZenoCollector Fables revealed a massacre that happened more than 1500 years ago.

Read the full story here.

Simplicity without limitations

With ZenoCollector, Leica Geosystems and Esri are bringing new workflows to millions of field workers, simple solutions that have the power to reshape mobile operations to support a new generation of more empowered, more engaged multi-skilled and amplified field based professionals.

That’s what GIS day is about – demonstrating how real world GIS applications are making a difference to millions of field workers, professionals who now have access to easy data capture solutions working with accurate and authoritative data integrated with easy to use GIS applications on the cloud.



With more than 38 years’ experience within the geographic industry, Mike Cooper has held senior business and technical roles in both the public and private sector with the world’s leading GIS data, software, hardware vendors. He now has responsibility for the GIS partner channel across the EMEA region with Leica Geosystems with a focus on the Esri partnership with Leica Geosystems.

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