Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mobile GIS Apps

A number of GIS and related apps are worth checking out in the Apple App Store/iTunes or Google Play (formerly, Android Market). Many are free or low cost. 
  • ESRI has a free ArcGIS mobile app for iOS and Android that allows you to access maps created on  This app continues to have increased functionality and its future looks bright.  ESRI has a few other apps geared towards specific topics, i.e. business and health.
  • iGIS is an interesting app that I hope to use more.  Right now, it is free to download.
  • Geograph apps provides a relatively low cost way to view to geologic information for various states.
  • A Google Earth app with related imagery also exists
Presumably, when Windows 8 is released later this year, we should see GIS apps on that new platform. As some Windows tablets will be able to run regular Windows programs, running a full GIS like GRASS or QGIS off an inexpensive consumer tablet should be a certainty. 

Many other GIS-related apps, even if just data viewers, are popping up: from flood plain apps to earthquake information. There are also many GPS and navigation apps ranging from a few dollars to some of the most expensive apps you will find anywhere.

Lastly, both iOS and Android Development kits are free or low cost. ESRI and Google also offer ways to tap into their maps and map services (for free and fee-based) to bring geospatial information into an app that you create!