Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Pendulum Swings Again on BYOD

Provide devices for your employees or let them bring their own .... that is the question. It seems that pendulum continues to swing. The upside to BYOD, save on hardware costs and don't ask employees to carry multiple devices. The downside is generally focused on security issues and costs associated with managing that risk. It seems that company-provided devices are winning out right now. Check out the latest article from Computer World.

What are we seeing with our GeoJot+ field data collection app? Government agencies and large companies are leaning towards company- provided devices. However, with some smaller companies and larger companies that outsource to contracting companies, they will let or may even require that contractors provide their own devices. These employees are pushing data back into the company but generally are not pulling any data from the company which lessens the security risks.

What are you seeing?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Google's latest venture into location-based data

Esri is the company that first brought GIS into business and government organizations for better decision making through spatially enabled data. Google is the company that brought location-based data down the masses, most individuals now being direct or 3rd party consumers of their mapping products.

Now Google is looking to use their infrastructure, both their streetview cars and their mapping capabilities, to provide information that could be used to improve air quality. This idea represents the true beauty of technology, not just more data but useful data. Field data collection is only as useful as the decisions that are made with it.

Check out a promising vision as Google straps Aclima sensors to its street view cars to map air pollution.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Free Windows 10 upgrade – We did it!

So we did it. We waited one whole day after its launch to upgrade the computer in our conference room to Windows 10. Being at a technology company, it is in our nature to push the limits, roll the dice. It’s kind of geeky and fun to be the first people to see what new technology has to offer during the first 24 hours after release. We also need to test our software to make sure everything is still working. I thought we should share our experience as many people will probably have more of a wait and see attitude before pulling the trigger; Microsoft did after all give us all 1 year to get the upgrade installed for free.

So far so good. All of our basic MS products are running fine. We do a lot of business over gotomeeting so we did a gotomeeting test run and that was flawless. We tested our desktop software, GeoJot+ Core and everything is running smoothly. We are about to check out ArcGIS. If we have any problems, I will post an update.

We are already seeing some basic user interface benefits. At its most basic level, it is just easier to use. They got rid of the silly charms on the right side of the screen. Windows 10 seems to be a much better combination of their mobile and desktop platform than Windows 8. It seems that they did a good job of listening to users and bringing necessary items back to the forefront where they are readily accessible.

The operating system is supposed to handle resources better like memory and the operating system is supposed to run better. The jury is out on that, we haven’t used it enough to come to any conclusions in that regard. But we do like Cortana who is neither a man nor woman but instead “a cloud of infinitesimal data computation”, just ask it.  Click here for more information on the upgrade.

Monday, July 6, 2015

LightSquared and GPS – Chapter 2

Many of you probably remember the hubbub about LightSquare and their technology’s interference with GPS receivers. LightSquared initially launched in 2010 to build a nationwide wireless LTE network other companies could use to offer their own services to customers. 

LightSquared entered bankruptcy protection in May 2012 after the FCC revoked its conditional license to operate due to concerns that LightSquared's planned LTE-based network in the L-band would interfere with GPS receivers. The company is now emerging from bankruptcy and taking another run at it

And it seems there has already been a first shot across the bow from LightSquared aimed the GPS Innovation Alliance.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Apple's GPS bug resolved

We just received word from Bad Elf that the new Apple iOS 8.4 release has fixed the bug that prevented most external GPS accessories from providing location data. The bug was introduced about 2 months ago in iOS 8.3.While that is a relief to many of our partners and customers that this bug from Apple was fixed, unfortunately they did not fix the bug we are experiencing with iOS not allowing our GeoJot+ app to edit data in the field. The latest beta of iOS 9 doesn’t either.

But there is always silver lining. While creating a workaround for Apple’s bugs, we are changing where we store photos on Apple devices, this will have the fringe benefit of simplifying some of data management on iPhones and iPads, particularly for people who take hundreds of photos per day. We are working on testing the new version of GeoJot+ now and we will let you know as soon as it is released! If you are interested in testing out the beta version, please let us know.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pole data collection using laser rangefinders with smartphones and tablets

Height sticks and measuring wheels are antiquated tools for pole data collection. Advances in measurement technology now exist that allow for improved productivity in both the field and the office. Part of the equation is the smartphone in every inspector's pocket. It is always ideal when you can utilize hardware that everyone already owns and knows how to use.

When you link a smartphone or tablet with a laser rangefinder for pole inspections and joint-use pole audits, companies can save time, reduce costs and increase the accuracy of the data collected.

Learn more about how you can use the GeoJot+ app running on your mobile device with an LTI laser rangefinder for pole inspections and joint use pole audits.



Android for Work - Updated

We see that smaller companies like small contractors are comfortable having their employees use their personal phones to collect work data using GeoJot+. However, mid to large size companies and many government agencies seem to be more reluctant and have more security concerns about BYOD.

Android for Work creates a secure Work Profile isolating and protecting data and managing the flow of sensitive work information. Employees can use approved work apps right alongside their personal apps while IT can manage business data on all the Android devices.

It falls out nicely that it is mid to large size companies who would feel it is necessary to have functionality that separates a work profile from a personal profile on a phone or tablet, because it looks like you will need an IT person to get everything set up but it is good to see the mobile OS providers realizing that this issue needs to be addressed. Check out this whitepaper on additional security in Android for Work.