Friday, November 18, 2011

Sydney to Hobart Sponsorship

RIA Mobile GIS is sponsoring Hobart boat Whistler in this years Sydney to Hobart.
As part of the crew I have been training for the race and updating the navigation equipment onboard that combines lots of NMEA strings into a Toughbook for optimal routing and navigation purposes. Of course there's also an ArcPad system onboard running on a handheld for backup purposes, Man Overboard and should we need to take something waterproof into a life raft!
Tonight is the qualifying race for the Sydney to Hobart race - The Maria Island Race.
180 nm, starting 7pm Friday night, finishing sometime Saturday night/Sunday morning.
This will be a good test of the new navigation equipment, new sails and wet weather gear.
You can follow our progress here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mobile GIS Hardware Review 2.0

In light of some changes to the hardware market for mobile GIS, a new and improved overview document has been prepared! This document is aimed at providing a concise and informative overview of the devices we recommend and sell, and look at their suitability for field and GIS data capture applications. Specifications and approximate pricing are included.

The document has changed substantially from its earlier incarnation, with some devices removed (such as the now discontinued HP iPaq) and others added. The new Motorola model, the MC65 is a popular new addition to the range. The document is available in PDF format here.

If you require clarification or further advice on the hardware or accessories, please let us know. You can email me at

ArcGIS for Home Use

ESRI Inc have just announced the new ArcGIS For Home Use Program, making it possible for you to take ArcGIS home with you to work all weekend - yay! All jokes aside, if you part of a community group of some description, then this could be just for you. What you get is:
  • A single use ArcView license
  • ArcGIS 3D Analyst
  • ArcGIS Geostatistical Analyst
  • ArcGIS Network Analyst
  • ArcGIS Publisher
  • ArcGIS Schematics
  • ArcGIS Spatial Analyst
  • ArcGIS Tracking Analyst
All for the very reasonable price of $100 (US) per year. Based off the current exchange rate, this means it should cost us around $92.85 is Australia, what a bargain! I wonder how much maintenance will cost?

Anyone who is interested should get in touch with their local distributor.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Where are we Heading?

The pace of technological change, and hence Spatial and GIS, appears to be ever increasing. At times it's getting harder and harder to get a clear picture of where we are heading .....
At least thanks to Jack, and his Conference Q&A Session, we can get a few answers and an indication of where things are heading for the ESRI and ArcGIS environment.

(A year is a long time in the technology space, so 2012 may look completely different!!)

100 Posts!!!

Ok so it's not exactly 'Mobile GIS' related, and definitely not as quick as 'Speedy Gonzales', but we've almost made it to 100 Blog Posts!!

We are now mobile & spatially enabled!

What are two things that you think of when someone says mobile GIS? To me, it is pretty obvious... mobile, and spatial. Well guess what, our Mobile GIS blog is now both mobile and spatial. Hooray!

Take a look at out blog from your mobile device. Very pretty!

I have also started defining the location of the blogs. What this means, I don't really know, but I have done it anyway :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mobile GIS Hardware Review

After several inquiries, a document was prepared in order to provide a clear and concise overview of the most popular units used in the field for mobile GIS applications. It covers a wide range of units, from standard PDAs through to ruggedised laptops, and different brands such as Nomad, GeTac, Panasonic and Xplore. Units have been arranged into classes according to the kind of detailed data they are able to capture. The document also includes approximate prices.
Hopefully this will be a good starting point for people trying to research the best mobile GIS solution for them!
If you would like the PDF, please email me at

Friday, January 28, 2011


Those organisations out there that are Monitoring and Reporting on their Corporate GeoDatabase, may be interested to know that the GeoDatabase Toolset (GDBT) has just been released for ArcGIS 10.
Head to the ESRI GDBT Site to access further information.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

ArcPad 10 Performance Tips

You might have seen a post that I did back in July (ArcPad Drawing Speed), which compared the drawing times of different datasets using ArcPad versions 7.1, 8.0 and 10.0. This research backed up the claims made by ESRI that version 10 has significantly improved performance over previous releases.

There are a few reasons for this. One of which is a new spatial index that is built in AXF files generated using the ArcPad Data Manager Tools for ArcGIS 10. Unfortunately, if you are still using ArcGIS 9.3, the Data Manager Tools have not been updated, and therefore, you will not receive the new indexing.

There is however a way around this:

  1. Generate your AXF file using either the ArcPad Data Manager tools for ArcMap, or ArcToolbox tools
  2. Open up the AXF file in ArcPad 10
  3. Open the Table of Contents, and open the layer properties of the layer you want to index
  4. Switch across to the Attributes page
  5. You will notice that the check box next to the Geometry field will be unchecked. Click it to build the index.
  6. Click OK on the Layer Properties, and OK on the Table of Contents dialog

The indexing will be applied to that layer, in that AXF from that point on (i.e. you do not need to repeat that process each time you start up ArcPad, unless you generate a new AXF file).

Some points to note are:
  • The above is only applicable to line and polygon layers
  • The indexing can only be read by ArcPad 10. It will not be used in 7.1 or 8.0