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Advantages of a Web Mapping GIS

The internet provides organisations with an alternative solution to a Desktop GIS, offering the flexibility to work remotely, collaboratively and most importantly plan and be reactive to macro influences.

Why should organisations consider a Web GIS?

Simple a Desktop GIS is installed and operates on a personal computer. Users, can only display, update, query and analyse geographic data locally. A Desktop GIS is not accessible on a server or externally, therefore limiting access to how and where it can be managed. Compare this to a Web GIS and an organisation can -

  • Reduce lead times

A Web GIS offers organisations with the tools to quickly import geo data and present it on a map in multiple formats. Thus allowing data analysts to identify trends, patterns and associations based on data sets efficiently

Yes the visualisation of the data can be carried out on desktop application but the process via a Web GIS is a streamlined and intuitive process, which is completed within a few clicks. Therefore reducing the lead time from data import to data visualisation.

  • Improve cross-collaboration

A Web GIS is one of the easiest ways to improve internal and external communications, as teams can work collaboratively to create, edit, publish and share maps with key project shareholders internally or externally within an organisation.

Due to the desktop application being hosted locally GIS consultants and experts, work independently with little cross collaboration with other team members or departments. As a result data presentation quality, work transparency, deliverables and most important team moral can be affected as team members fail to communicate effectively within the organisation or departments.

  • Low cost barrier to entry

A Desktop GIS requires significant financial investment and reoccurring yearly costs. In addition, a Desktop GIS is rigid and inflexible to change to support changes to processes or demands. As a result it can require significant additional development fees and custom development, which results in the client feeling tied to their Desktop GIS application.

In comparison a Web GIS is developed on opensource principles. If a change to a business process occurs a Web GIS can evolve with the business with minimal development costs and quick deliverables. In addition, the organisation can change suppliers quickly and easily due to their data being hosted in the cloud.

  • Connect multiple structured data source

A Web GIS provides businesses with the tools to create insights and predictive modelling to support policy making by connecting to data from third party web map services (WMS), which can then be revoked in a few simple clicks from within the account settings dashboard. Connecting to third party WMS requires no custom development and the administrator can create this connection with no technical expertise required.

  • Support real-time spatial analysis

Structured data can be supplemented with unstructured sources from resources such as Four Square, Facebook, twitter etc. Unstructured data can be called via the API which is has been developed on REST / SOAP methodologies.

  • Access webmaps from any device remotely

A Web GIS allows GIS consultants, specialists and teams to become mobile as webmaps are accessible on desktop, tablet and mobile as long mobile data is enabled. This allowing administrators to interact, manipulate and edit data from multiple locations making them more efficient with their time and reducing lead times of tasks.

  • Publish and share multi-layer features and points on a single webmap

Visualising geo data on a webmap provides data analysts with the tools to import huge amounts of data from multiple sources to provide context to their data. Maps can be published publicly or privately depending on the account type or business need. If a map is published publicly it will be published without delay. Webmaps can also be shared socially or embedded onto 3rd party websites depending on requirements.

To conclude the highlighted features reveals the advantages of a Web GIS when compared to that of the traditional Desktop GIS.

The easy-to-use nature of a Web GIS, low cost barrier of entry, flexibility, promotion of cross team collaboration and effort required to publish and share maps empowers organisations to become more efficient, productive and reactive to their spatial data.

Get started with your free trial of Azimap Professional today or contact us to request your personalised demonstration.

Nicola Hyndman

Nicola Hyndman - Marketing Manager

As Marketing Manager, Nicola is passionate about customer service, communication, digital marketing and market research. She strives to keep our community engaged and informed of all developments within our team and application.