South Africa: Mobile mapping solutions are all the rage in the consumer space, as tech-savvy urban youth geotag all their activities and check in to their favourite haunts but South African companies should not overlook the technology’s serious business uses, observed Mike Steyn of Aspire Solutions.
“Any organisation that has people moving around in physical space can benefit from mobile spatial systems,” he said. “Whether it is sales teams visiting clients, drivers making deliveries or technicians servicing vending machines, using mobile spatial technology to link them to central systems and to track their geographical location can deliver huge benefits.”
These mobile solutions can be run on mobile smart phones, but often benefit from more sophisticated mobile handheld devices built specifically for field work. “These units tend to be more rugged, have a long battery life and have better processors,” he says. “They need to be easily programmable and customisable to fit a larger system solution.”
The two primary uses for mobile mapping are data collection and data dissemination, according to Steyn. “On the data collection side, it is a boon to anyone doing surveys or meter reading. With maps enabled, you can pinpoint the exact point at which a particular piece of data was captured, without the need to type in addresses which may be misleading. You can even attach photographs to the location.”
“The critical thing is that whatever spatial solution you choose, it must be a logical extension of your core business solution, and integrated with it as much as possible,” Steyn concluded.