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Home arrow Articles arrow Mobile GIS, GPS and Location Services (LBS) arrow 10 Awesome GIS and Mapping apps for the iPhone     

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10 Awesome GIS and Mapping apps for the iPhone PDF Print E-mail
GISuser Feature Articles - Mobile GIS, GPS and Location Services (LBS)
Written by @gletham   
27 January 2010

 I recall last year at the ESRI UC when an iPhone was on stage showing a prototype app (think ArcPad on iPhone). It was then that I realized the iPhone platform is going to be BIG in mapping and there's a ton of opportunity for developers.

Since that time there's been a trickle of iPhone supported GIS apps (I'm not talking simple mobile maps or Google map calls), however, the recent earthquake in Haiti and the heavy demand for mobile response teams has really spurred innovation and a number of apps have since been approved and shown up in the app shop. The following are some of the iPhone GIS apps available to users.

iPhone GIS from Integrity Logic
Integrity Logic has released a number of apps over the past several months, their business model being to release an app for each State (e.g. Geology TX, their Texas version of the GIS for the iPhone platform). Their apps are focused on Geological mapping and contain pre-defined data layers and functionality specific to each region's geology. Some of the functionality that users get include:
geological map from the U.S. Geological Service
- states outline of interest and adjacent states
- land elevation from NASA
- ocean bathymetry from the U.S. Geological Service
- earthquakes in recorded history with a magnitude of
 3.0 or greater
- recent and ancient faults
- county lines, USGS quadrangles, UTM zones, state plane zones
- urban areas, hydrological features
- cities, roads and railroad tracks
- main aquifers and more
The app is mainly for accessing useful data layers, however, other functionality included is panning and zooming options, grid display, measurement, define area, snapshot, and bookmarking.
See http://www.integrity-logic.com/features/

AND (AND Automotive Navigation Data) has recently released a Shape dataset of Haiti, available to users free of charge.  The company informs us they will make this map available to everyone in order to geo-enable everybody in the aid efforts in the earthquake-devastated nation.

Besides the shape file, the company has also developed an iPhone app (available soon as of Jan 20) - iMaps Haiti - iMaps Haiti for the iPhone was developed order to assist the workers on the ground. With iMaps Haiti users can:
- Find your location via GPS
- Plan your route
- Find a location via search
iMaps Haiti is free and will be available in iTunes soon
More - http://blog.gisuser.com/?p=6041


ESRI ArcGIS on iPhone
Recall during the ESRI UC Plenary, Chris Cappelli, ESRI director of sales, announced that ESRI will support the iPhone as a mobile platform to get maps from ArcGIS Server.  This means that you can use your iPhone to
- Access geographic content from ArcGIS Resource Centers.
- Display maps from your own server or from someone else's server.
- Build your own solution for iPhone using the REST APIs available from ArcGIS Server.
- Configure an application that accesses data directly from the geodatabase on your server.
- Record and share observations from your phone.
The ESRI Apple iPhone application will be available for download with the ArcGIS 9.4 release. Stay tuned as this one should be really good!
Source: ESRI Blogs

This is a relatively new one to me via Quebec-based Fasterre. Terrapad is a small-scale GIS product, available for free on the AppStore. Download it. Using Terrapad, you may browse the 'extension store' and download such customized extensions that are relevant to your field of work. Right now, we are selling some for fishermen, travelers, property buyers. They also have free extensions (metro maps of the world, geotags, Chicago transportation maps). The app is currently in Beta and can be found in the iTunes store by searching Terrapad
See http://www.gisuser.com/content/view/19412/2/ for more or http://www.fasterre.com/en/products/terrapad/terrapad.html

Intermap Accuterra
Recently released at R 3.1, The AccuTerra application now provides quick, one-touch access to all the major mapping functions within the application, such as recording treks, creating waypoints, accessing options, and toggling between different map views.
In addition, the AccuTerra application fully leverages the In-App purchase functionality of iPhone OS 3.1 to allow users to purchase additional map content on the fly.
New features in version 3.1:
- Improved "In-App" shopping allowing users to easily purchase 247 high-definition maps, including 167 recreation areas, 23 state parks, and 57 national parks that are also downloadable onto the iPhone
- Access to purchase 77 detailed state maps that are easily downloadable onto the iPhone
- Google Maps access for urban on-road data
- Simple toggle button to switch between Google content and AccuTerra off-road maps
See more info at http://www.gisuser.com/content/view/19285/2/ or jump to www.AccuTerra.com

Field Assets from LBS Wireless
A clever, and innovative app from Down-under is likely the most feature-rich mobile GIS app yet... Field Assets makes it easy for mobile workers with Apple iPhones or iPods to collect data on assets and their attributes in the field and wirelessly export the information in real time.  The application utilizes GPS, maps, camera, voice recording and free form text. You don't need to be a GIS professional to use the application. With the application users can:
- Customize their own set of assets and attributes.
- Verify their location and the location of an asset using the map screen.
- Enter information, record voice notes and take photos of assets and their attributes.
- Share asset data between devices using peer to peer Bluetooth connectivity.
- Export the asset data via email, Twitter and the inbuilt wifi server.
- Email Google Earth KMZ files and CSV files to co-workers and clients.
- Download asset data posted on Twitter using Google earth, Google maps and Tweetphoto.
- Display asset data over wifi using the inbuilt HTML webpage.
- Download asset data as XML, SQL and CSV files via the inbuilt wifi server.
Data collection, mapping, voice recording and photography can all be done using the one device.


See www.fieldassetsapp.com or @field_assets on Twitter

GeoCritical - Real Time Mobile Tracking of Haiti workers
The company responded to demand and requests from Haiti for real-time tracking software for personnel entering Haiti. They responded by providing a 20 second over the air download to Blackberry and iPhones, Windows based Smartphones. Using the app,  Organizations will have their own secured portal to monitor their responder’s activity.  Users have been tracking in real-time with the application. A United Nations Security consultant stated the use of the software prior to the earthquake would have provide the last location of their missing personnel and aided in their recovery. Post the earthquake tracking can be used to identify the following:
- Accounting and Logistics of Personnel
- Protection for further risk in areas due to safety and security issues and additional earthquake activity
See http://www.geocritical.com/gc/

MapZen PoI Collector for OSM data collection using iPhone
A mobile app enabling rapid and simple contribution and data editing of OpenStreetMap (OSM) data.
Download directly HERE

lLOE - iPhone Little OSM Editor
"iLOE" (iPhone Little OpenStreetMap Editor) was built to use the "iPhone" and the "iPod Touch" to update and insert nodes in OpenStreetMap. More information at OpenGeo or
Download directly HERE

Topo 3D - Three dimensional topographic maps of the entire United States. Topo 3D displays three dimensional topographic maps of the entire United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Topo 3D displays three dimensional topographic maps of the entire United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Features:
-High resolution 3D topographic maps for hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing, camping, RV travel, canoeing, or any other outdoor activity.
-Once a map is downloaded it works WITHOUT cellular or internet connection!
-GPS tracking shows your location on the map (iPhone 3G and 3GS only)
-Easily find maps by browsing a Google Maps view

Many of the existing iPhone "GIS" apps are data or application specific, bundling a specific dataset and/or functionality specific to a target industry/user. The demand for such mobile apps is huge and yet largely untapped. Killer iPhone GIS apps will deliver specialty data layers and target hot areas (local government, real estate, recreation) and offer a wealth of opportunity for developers. What's interesting about this space is that there are numerous potential business models (sell by region, sell data updates, verticals) and then there's the added attractiveness of porting to other operating systems, notably Blackberry and Android... the opportunities are huge!

For more iPhone GIS and Mapping apps See:


Last Updated ( 28 December 2010 )
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