The Bellman

TheBellman.2017.Issue.4.December 2017

Integrating Building Information in FetchGIS
Enhancing Offline Workflows

Researching advances in technology that may benefit FetchGIS services is something the dev team does on a continual basis. Many of these technologies need time to mature and offer better integration paths, but there are others that offer promise in the near future. One particular area the dev team has invested time into is improving the ‘offline mode’ for clients using FetchGIS services (FetchEH and FetchRC applications) in their field workflows. While these FetchGIS services currently support working in an ‘offline’ environment, including mapping features and data entry, the workflow requires users to have the application open before working in an offline area.

The process works well, but let’s say you forget to open the FetchEH or FetchRC application before you visit an area with limited or no data connection, this creates a problem because the application needs that data connection to open and initialize. Currently, the only solution to this problem is to travel back to an area where a data connection is available to open the application, and then return to the worksite. A better solution to this problem is offered in new advances to browser technologies that will enable web applications to behave more like native applications, without the overhead of maintaining a native application.

One of these behaviors includes the ability to ‘cold start’ a web application when there is no data connection available. From a field staff perspective, this means they would be able to open FetchEH and FetchRC where a data connection is not available. The ‘cold start’ behavior works by storing more application files locally, including storing areas on the map that have been visited, and making them available for use in an ‘offline’ environment. The result would be an improved user experience in the ‘offline’ environment, removing the need to have the application open prior to working in an offline area.

The dev team is in the early development and testing phase at this time, but feel free to contact us to learn more.

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