Help Definition of mobile GIS


gO Newbie
Oct 4, 2019
Hello I have a question. I have investigated within my organization whether there is a demand for mobile GIS. Now a definition of mobile GIS that I have found on the internet is: With a mobile GIS, people in the field can capture, store, update, edit, analyze and display geospatial data and information.
In my organization it appears that people mainly want to consult (display) information.
Could I have the answer as to what the following components of mobile GIS are:

I would like an explanation of what these 6 components do in a mobile GIS. What is for example analysis for a mobile GIS app for a smartphone or tablet? I cannot find any concrete information on the internet about exactly what these 6 components have added value for in the field.
The people I have spoken to in my organization are, for example, Enforcer, Supervisors and Road Managers.

Could someone please answer this question.

Thank you in advance!


gO Member
gO Enthusiast
Feb 26, 2018
Raleigh, NC
A fair resource to look at with mobile solutions is Esri's Collector for ArcGIS and Survey123. I've always liked the old tried/true ArcPad, as I believe in the ability of non-network connected working environments (though you'll only be disconnected 2% of the time, you'll spend 98% of your time finding out how to capture that data).

Your 6 components are essentially those of any GIS. The traditional "what is a GIS?" should answer your question distinctly. The 5 parts of GIS are Hardware, Software, Data, People, Methods. Some other items may slip into this list (documentation, process, etc). Now to these 5 parts, push the action/function: Data in, analysis, and data out.

Now any one of the items mentioned above could have a thesis study performed. Just for the Data In - automated, LiDAR, ArcGIS Online, old shapefiles, created data via pick-a-method, GPS (survey/resource/recreational), heads-up digitizing, feature recognition, social media, ... the list goes on.

When looking at an organizations needs, its best to sit down and get their requirements. The requirements should gather user needs, storage needs, single/multi user editing, mobile device requirements (tough, waterproof or disposable cheap androids), data backup requirements, public/private... again, the list goes on. The more information you can gather, the more apparent/viable solution will arise.