Thursday, April 23, 2015

Problems with iOS 8.3

Just a quick note, GeoJot+ users, please DO NOT upgrade to iOS 8.3. We are experiencing a couple of issues with the camera roll because of an Apple bug in the new operating system. We are working with them now to get it resolved. In addition, we know that Bad Elf is has reported a GPS bug with iOS 8.3 and has also asked their customers not to upgrade as they work with Apple to get that bug resolved. Bottom line, don't upgrade your iOS operating system yet. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Site Inspections – photographic evidence

Most recently we have had conversations with users about their site inspection workflows. As a software development company, we spend much of our time sitting in an office working at a computer. Even if I can’t go out in the field with a customer, it is enlightening to hear about their realities – what forms they are carrying into the field, what is a part of the daily process and what kind of surprises do they regularly handle on-site.

Before this customer started using GeoJot+ Core (GPS-Photo Link+), their organization’s process was tedious. Every time they conducted an inspection, they had to create a report. They require geotagged photos for many aspects of the reports and before they found our products, they had to manually grab and manipulate each photo captured in the field to include it in the site inspection reports. Some site inspections required 10 photos, some required 100 or more. The customer estimated that his time savings is exponential on a log scale dependent on the number of photos he has. When you get the settings getting photos ready for reports using GeoJot+ Core it takes a minutes instead of hours for each report. They have thousands of inspectors across the country.

Then we talked about the parts of the process where they still use pen and paper, and why that is the case. Sometimes it is because of fears that technology will fail, although there are also times when field books are lost or ruined. With a willing partner, we can investigate ways to streamline the process with safeguards against losing data. We were excited to hear that our desktop product was providing him exponential time savings, now we are trying to see if there is lesser known functionality of our product that could offer some additional savings. We are also looking to see how much more of the field data can be collected digitally using GeoJot+ app instead of being written in field books or field forms and then transcribed. We will let you know that goes …….

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The importance of workflow analysis

So often in business, we put our heads down and just plow through our tasks. While it is always good to work hard, sometimes we need to remember to allot time to find ways to work smarter. For those of us who have been at our current jobs for a longer period of time, this can become even more evident. 

We all need to budget time at least once a year to analyze our current workflows. People involved change, requirements subtly change, and technology certainly changes over time. Even if our long lists of daily responsibilities seem daunting, we need to take a step back from how we are doing things, get a little perspective and fresh eyes to see if there is a better way.

Lately at GeoSpatial Experts we have been talking to some of our larger customers about their workflows so that we can better understand their realities. We are learning more about field protocol, back office work and how the data is finally used in the boardroom or with their customer. We are acting as their fresh set of eyes to see if there are more efficient ways to use GeoJot+ for field data collection and reporting. Perhaps we have functionality they haven't discovered yet, maybe there are complementary products we know about that might make their expanded workflow easier or hardware that might be more effective. There might even be functionality we can add to our products that would make life easier for many of our customers.

Breaking away from our daily grind to help our customers break out of theirs has been a great experience for everyone – I highly recommend it. 

Best smartphones cameras 2015

GeoJot+ is photo-based field data collection, so camera quality is a concern for many of our customers. Below are links to 2 different articles about the best smartphone cameras this year.

Both articles recognize the iPhone6 plus and Samsung Galaxy. These (or their recent predecessors) are the most common cameras we see among our customers. One of the articles also talks about the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1.

I like the idea of this because some of our customers have more detailed requirements for their photos, however, I am not sure this meets those requirements. I initially assumed that the Lumix would have optical zoom but it doesn’t. If our customers have specific camera requirements it is usually around zoom so this may not be a better fit. These camera phones seem pretty rare, has anyone out there used one? If so, what did you think?

Is Android for Work a viable answer for BYOD?

Both Android and iOS primarily target consumers not businesses. But ubiquitous in the workplace, the battle for dominance may be swayed by employers and employees concerns about the use of personal smartphones and tablets at work.

Google first introduced the Android for Work initiative in the summer of 2014 and last month began formally launching the program, releasing details about how the Android program will make smartphones and tablets more secure in the workplace.  Take a look at this article for more information about last month’s release.

This is a big deal for field data collection. At GeoSpatial Experts we are seeing a mix, many of our small to mid-sized companies allow employees to bring their own devices but our government and larger companies tend to lean towards providing smartphones and tablets for their employees. Either way, everyone is moving is towards mobile devices in the workplace and how to best manage these devices is the burning question these day.

Monday, April 8, 2013

How to use a laser rangefinder with your smartphone or tablet for field data collection

Learn how you can use a laser rangefinder with your smartphone or tablet for field data collection.  Register for a free webinar presented by Laser Technology and GeoSpatial Experts next Wednesday April 10 at 1pm MDT..

Use TruPulse lasers with your smartphones & tablets running GeoJot+ to wirelessly capture field data along with geotagged photos, automatically upload them to the cloud, then process them back in the office creating reports, maps and database input.

The days of measuring wheels, height sticks, pencils and a clipboard for recording field data are over. Attend this webinar and learn how to combine the power of an LTI’s TruPulse® mapping laser with your smartphone or tablet using the GeoJot+ app.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

First Mobile Phone Call Placed 40 Years Ago

Motorola employee Marty Cooper made the first mobile phone call exactly 40 years ago today —  on April 3, 1973.  It was the beginning of a revolution.  It took a while for the revolution to pick up steam but now the technology is moving at a breakneck pace with major innovations coming out every year.  I remember seeing a few people with the big bricks in the 90s.  And now I hardly know a person without a smartphone.  Changing our lives and they way we do business ....