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Design and development of a mobile GIS application for municipal field work

Endoff, Torkel LU and Ekstedt, Gustav (2012) In Thesis in geographical information technics EXTM05 20122
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Surveying
Abstract
Currently, Swedish municipalities generally use paper maps to conduct field work. A Mobile GIS (geographical information system) application could be a useful tool when conducting field work and field inventory work. In this master thesis, such an application has been developed. The application was developed for the municipality in Örebro and is called iSurvey. When developing a mobile application, GIS applications included, it is important to think about different interaction design aspects.
A few existing map applications were studied to investigate what features they offered and how they were designed. The topic of interaction design and interaction design for map applications was studied. The most important aspects were the usability... (More)
Currently, Swedish municipalities generally use paper maps to conduct field work. A Mobile GIS (geographical information system) application could be a useful tool when conducting field work and field inventory work. In this master thesis, such an application has been developed. The application was developed for the municipality in Örebro and is called iSurvey. When developing a mobile application, GIS applications included, it is important to think about different interaction design aspects.
A few existing map applications were studied to investigate what features they offered and how they were designed. The topic of interaction design and interaction design for map applications was studied. The most important aspects were the usability goals, such as effectiveness, efficiency, safety and learnability. There are principles and processes for application design and development that correspond to these goals. Among others are Shneiderman’s eight golden rules and product lifecycle management. When considering interaction design for map applications, the usability goals play a major role, but the general theories of interaction design can be applied.
A selection of application development and web mapping techniques were studied. This laid a foundation for the choice of techniques used in the development of iSurvey. A needs analysis was then conducted through interviews with end users, which later together with the review of existing map applications lead to a requirement specification. The needs analysis showed there was a need for an application like iSurvey, and which the most important needs were for making the application usable. These important needs were specified as main requirements, together with a collection of other desired functionality.
After completion
After the application was developed, chosen techniques and the completed application’s functionality and design could be presented. The most important functionality is to view map layers from Örebro municipality’s geodatabase, to be able to make geographically bound notes and query objects on the map.
The purpose of digitalizing and making the work more effective has currently, been partly fulfilled. Because it takes time to integrate new work procedures, this purpose is currently not totally fulfilled. The purpose of replacing paper maps has been partly fulfilled for some field work procedures, but not yet for all. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
I svenska kommuner används för tillfället ofta papperskartor som geografiskt hjälpmedel vid fältarbete. En mobil GIS (geografiskt informationssystem)applikation skulle kunna vara ett användbart hjälpmedel vid sådant fältarbete och speciellt för att genomföra fältinventering. I detta examensarbete har en sådan applikation utvecklas. Applikationen har utvecklats för Örebro kommun och kallas iSurvey. Vid utveckling av mobila applikationer, och även för applikationer med GIS-tillämpningar, är aspekter inom interaktionsdesign viktiga att ta hänsyn till.
Det generella syftet med denna applikation är att vidare digitalisera arbetsmiljöerna samt öka effektiviteten vid förberedelser inför fältarbete. Syftet är att designa och utveckla ett... (More)
I svenska kommuner används för tillfället ofta papperskartor som geografiskt hjälpmedel vid fältarbete. En mobil GIS (geografiskt informationssystem)applikation skulle kunna vara ett användbart hjälpmedel vid sådant fältarbete och speciellt för att genomföra fältinventering. I detta examensarbete har en sådan applikation utvecklas. Applikationen har utvecklats för Örebro kommun och kallas iSurvey. Vid utveckling av mobila applikationer, och även för applikationer med GIS-tillämpningar, är aspekter inom interaktionsdesign viktiga att ta hänsyn till.
Det generella syftet med denna applikation är att vidare digitalisera arbetsmiljöerna samt öka effektiviteten vid förberedelser inför fältarbete. Syftet är att designa och utveckla ett fältinventeringsredskap som ska ersätta papperskartan. Syftet är mer specifikt att studera ämnet interaktionsdesign, genomföra en behovsanalys som skall resultera i en kravspecifikation, studera ett urval huvudsakliga applikations- och karttekniker, samt slutligen att utveckla, designa och implementera en applikation.
En samling tillgängliga kartapplikationer studerades för att undersöka vilka funktioner och designupplägg som används. Ämnesområdet interaktionsdesign studerades samt interaktionsdesign för kartapplikationer. Det viktigaste inom området var användbarhetsmålen, t ex olika aspekter av effektivitet (effective, efficient) samt säkerhet och lärbarhet. I enlighet med dessa finns utformade principer och processer/metoder för applikationsutveckling och design, däribland Shneidermans gyllene regler samt produktlivscykeln. Inom interaktionsdesign för kartapplikationer spelade användbarhet en stor roll, och teorierna från generell interaktionsdesign kunde till viss del integreras även för denna tillämpning.
Ett urval av tekniker för applikationsutveckling samt skapande av kartor studerades. Detta kunde läggas till grund för ett val av teknik för utvecklingen av iSurvey. Sedan genomfördes en behovsanalys genom intervjuer med slutanvändare, som sedan, tillsammans med marknadsundersökningen av andra applikationer, kunde läggas till grund för en kravspecifikation. Behovsanalysen visade att det fanns ett behov över huvudtaget, samt vilka behov som var de absolut viktigaste för att applikationen skulle bli användbar. Dessa behov specificerades som huvudsakliga krav, tillsammans med en samling önskad funktionalitet som bildade krav av lägre prioritet.
Efter att applikationen utvecklats kunde valda tekniker presenteras samt den färdiga applikationens funktionalitet och design. De viktigaste funktionerna i applikationen var att kunna se kartlager från kommunens databas, att kunna göra lägesbundna anteckningar samt att kunna göra förfrågningar på objekten i kartan.
Syftet att effektivisera och digitalisera arbetet har till viss del uppfyllts. Eftersom det tar tid att integrera nya arbetsrutiner har detta syfte ännu inte uppfyllts helt. Att ersätta papperskartan i arbetet har uppfyllts till viss del, för vissa fältarbeten, men inte ännu för alla. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Endoff, Torkel LU and Ekstedt, Gustav
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Utveckling av en mobil kartapplikation för kommunalt fältarbete
course
EXTM05 20122
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
municipal field work, GIS, Geographical Information Systems, mobile application, open source, interaction design
publication/series
Thesis in geographical information technics
report number
6
language
English
additional info
Extern handledare: Daniel Nordström, Kart- och mätenheten, Stadsbyggnadskontoret, Örebro.
id
3920461
date added to LUP
2013-08-19 11:59:34
date last changed
2016-05-19 14:29:54
@misc{3920461,
  abstract     = {Currently, Swedish municipalities generally use paper maps to conduct field work. A Mobile GIS (geographical information system) application could be a useful tool when conducting field work and field inventory work. In this master thesis, such an application has been developed. The application was developed for the municipality in Örebro and is called iSurvey. When developing a mobile application, GIS applications included, it is important to think about different interaction design aspects. 
A few existing map applications were studied to investigate what features they offered and how they were designed. The topic of interaction design and interaction design for map applications was studied. The most important aspects were the usability goals, such as effectiveness, efficiency, safety and learnability. There are principles and processes for application design and development that correspond to these goals. Among others are Shneiderman’s eight golden rules and product lifecycle management. When considering interaction design for map applications, the usability goals play a major role, but the general theories of interaction design can be applied.
A selection of application development and web mapping techniques were studied. This laid a foundation for the choice of techniques used in the development of iSurvey. A needs analysis was then conducted through interviews with end users, which later together with the review of existing map applications lead to a requirement specification. The needs analysis showed there was a need for an application like iSurvey, and which the most important needs were for making the application usable. These important needs were specified as main requirements, together with a collection of other desired functionality.
After completion
After the application was developed, chosen techniques and the completed application’s functionality and design could be presented. The most important functionality is to view map layers from Örebro municipality’s geodatabase, to be able to make geographically bound notes and query objects on the map.
The purpose of digitalizing and making the work more effective has currently, been partly fulfilled. Because it takes time to integrate new work procedures, this purpose is currently not totally fulfilled. The purpose of replacing paper maps has been partly fulfilled for some field work procedures, but not yet for all.},
  author       = {Endoff, Torkel and Ekstedt, Gustav},
  keyword      = {municipal field work,GIS,Geographical Information Systems,mobile application,open source,interaction design},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Thesis in geographical information technics},
  title        = {Design and development of a mobile GIS application for municipal field work},
  year         = {2012},
}