As work environments for organizations that rely heavily on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications become more collaborative, the need to share, view and print large format documents in the field is growing. An increasingly mobile workforce must be armed with the ability to access, share and print GIS documents using a broad range of mobile devices.
Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A, explains how GIS users can leverage advanced large format print systems, mobile printing capabilities and the cloud to adapt to the changing work environment.
A Collaborative Approach: Leverage the Cloud
Cloud computing is an ideal approach for the mobile and highly collaborative work environments of GIS professionals, which frequently entail the communication and analysis of detailed information – often in the field. High volumes of documents including GIS maps, satellite photos, spreadsheets and PDFs can be stored online or “in the cloud”, where they can be easily downloaded, edited and uploaded. This allows project teams to share critical information over the duration of a project.
Data can be easily shared in this collaborative work environment through two methods: scan to FTP or desktop publish to the cloud via an online storage service. The scan via FTP method enables a more flexible onramp to the cloud, as documents can be shared and accessed across multiple stakeholders and users are not locked into a single storage service provider. Once documents are stored in the cloud, they can be accessed by project team members using a variety of mobile devices for collaborative viewing and printing purposes.
A New Workflow: Mobile and Flexible
Using the Wi-Fi configuration on their mobile device, project members can retrieve large format GIS maps and satellite imagery from the cloud and send a print requested to a supported large format printing device. Combining advanced large format print systems with mobile print capabilities gives GIS professionals the flexibility to print high-quality GIS documents in the field, without disrupting their workflow.
Employees no longer have to worry about having all the GIS documents they may need stored on a jump drive or printed as hard copies before they go into the field. They can trust that all the critical documents they need are stored securely in the cloud and can be accessed and sent to any large format printing system within their existing network environment enabled with the mobile printing software. Mobile access and printing of documents can lead to reduced downtime and costs as employees need not put a job on hold while they leave the site to retrieve critical maps or data.
Fast, easy access to GIS documents in the field can help geospatial professionals further leverage the improve communication and decision making, reduce mistakes and speed up project completion.