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Home arrow Articles arrow Mobile GIS, GPS and Location Services (LBS) arrow The Really Big List of Mapping, Geo location Mobile developer resources, APIs and Tools     

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The Really Big List of Mapping, Geo location Mobile developer resources, APIs and Tools PDF Print E-mail
GISuser Feature Articles - Mobile GIS, GPS and Location Services (LBS)
Written by @gletham   
16 December 2011

The Mobile Ecosystem... no question that mobile is huge and the opportunity for developers and those porting web apps and services to the mobile environment is massive (just look around at career opportunities posted for mobile developers).

To put in context, an overwhelming 95% of people around the world now own cell phones, according to a new nine-country study by SSI (http://www.lbszone.com/content/view/8155/2/). They also have found that among cell phone owners, 42% currently have smartphones and 58% are planning to make their next cell phone a smartphone. Of interest, iPad, Android and Windows Mobile 7 are now gaining market share in the U.S. and U.K. But mobile isn't simply about the smartphone either as Tablet usage is soaring. Tablet usage is up 84 percent since Q4 2010 and there's no signs of this slowing down. Sales of laptops are dropping off while Tablet use is picking up the slack.

As people continue to become increasingly mobile and strive for constant connectivity, mobile-device habits have shifted from larger devices like laptops to smaller, more portable devices like smartphones and tablets. Tablet usage has nearly doubled in the past year, growing by 84 percent since Q4 2010. Since last quarter, tablets and smartphones are showing relative growth in usage while other devices like netbooks and laptops have remained stable or declined. Tablet usage is up 20 percent, smartphone usage is up 24 percent and by comparison, laptop usage is down 10 percent. (Source: http://www.lbszone.com/content/view/8223/2/)

What this means for developers though is opportunity... lots of it and I have to add that with location being a ubiquitous feature of these mobile devices the demand on location-aware apps and services is huge. Developers need to decide, what kind of apps and services will they create (commercial or consumer centric), which platform(s) to design for, how to reach the customer (web service or application), to design for smartphone(s) and tablet, how to position in app stores, which social networks to integrate with the app, and so on... There's loads of developer resources on the web so to help the developer, here's a listing of just some of the fine dev resources, blogs, toolsets and more to consider when developing or porting your app to a smartphone or Tablet friendly environment.


Image credit www.visionmobile.com


Suggested Developer Resources for Mobile Application Development

ArcGIS resource center and tools for mobile development - Esri has provided a number of SDKs and tools for developers looking at most of the mobile platforms. Create apps for smartphone and Tablets using Esri tools. More specific topic areas are also provided by Esri, for example, this resource for developing for Android http://resources.arcgis.com/content/arcgis-android/about

- Looking for data to use in your mobile apps and mashups?

Developing for Android - A basic starting point for new developers to the Android ecosystem

Android Training - An online orientation to Android training. A number of how to tutorials, code samples, articles, tutorials and more.

Developing location services with Android - add location provisioning to your android apps using classes of the Android location package and Google maps.

Foursquare API and developer resources
- If you're mobile app integrates location you may want to add support for foursquare checkin. Here's a dev resource from foursquare

Nokia maps Ovi maps API - you may not think Nokia has huge marketshare in North America, however, on the rest of the planet Nokia is huge! Adding to that, Nokia Maps is a terrific map service and has some awesome opportunities for application developers... don't discount this at all!  And see also location APIs and tools from Nokia

Nokia Developer - The massive developer community resource from Nokia, was Forum Nokia with articles, community discussion, docs, tools, downloads and more for those interested in Symbian, S40, Qt and more.

NN4D - The fabulous developer resource provided by Nokia owned NAVTEQ, the global data provider . See http://www.nn4d.com and the NN4D blog http://nn4d.blogspot.com/

The Google Maps API family and developer resources - Find the Google maps Javascript, Flash APIs and Google earth tools

The Google Geo Developers Blog - a developer resource and official blog for Google map developers and those using google maps APIs and tools

The Yahoo! maps web services Geocoding API
- some resources from Yahoo! for working with location in Yahoo! mapping apps

Facebook developer APIs and tools - a comprehensive resource for developers from facebook - be sure to keep tabs on facebook Places and movement they make in location aware services, POI and related matters.

Twitter developer API https://dev.twitter.com/ and Twitter Geo developer guildelines - A useful resource for those lookig to include Twitter functionality into their mobile apps.

Application Platform Overview for Windows Phone and the Windows Phone developer blog
http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/ with tips and tricks for the developer and those interested in the Windows Phone OS

AppHub - a vast developer resource for those interested in creating apps for Windows Phone - a hint... nokia is really watching this space and there's huge opportunity for those creating apps for the new Nokia Windows Phone devices!

Bing Maps developer resources - Bing Maps gives you a rich set of tools to help you create amazing map experiences. Choose from our super fast AJAX Control 7.0,  REST Services API,  Bing Map App SDK for mash-ups

Mapquest developer network and tools - details of their flash maps API, geocoding tools, working with OSM and more - a complete resource for developing for Mapquest. See also OSM tools and guidelines from mapquest - http://developer.mapquest.com/web/products/open/tools

Mapnik is a Free Toolkit for developing mapping applications - perhaps not for mobile development, however, Mapnik is a fantastic, open resource for anyone looking to start mashing around with maps and map data!

Metaio mobile SDK AR toolset - The metaio Mobile SDK is the only package in the industry allowing developers to use content without prior encryption

HipGeo Developer API - HipGeo's apps use passive and active location collection schemes to record detailed information about a user's location.

Instagram API - With the Instagram API, the goal is to make it easier for developers to create interesting and innovative ways to browse the ever-growing volume of photos posted to Instagram

The HTML5 geolocation API - This article aims to show you what are the things you can do with this new API controlled by web browser client based on wireless geolocation and compare it with the server-side IP geolocation

Google Tools

Other Useful Map, WMS, and mapping Tools and developer resources

Useful Hack Related Articles

For more information and tips on mobile LBS app development see:

Last Updated ( 19 December 2011 )
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