Continuing from last week, here’s items 5 to 1 on our Top Ten list of the notable developments at Latitude Geographics in 2015 that will have a big influence on the work we all do with Geocortex in 2016:
5. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA Compliance
In 2015 we raised the bar in web GIS by providing support for end-users with disabilities. Released in March, Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 2.4 introduced out-of-the-box compliance with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) industry standard guidelines, including features that are – at minimum – Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) 2.0 AA compliant. We did unprecedented development in the industry, which included focus group testing (special thanks to our colleagues at York Region in Southern Ontario who led this!) to help serve as an industry leader in accessibility within web mapping applications and provide users of all abilities with the best possible user experiences.
In 2016 we will be sharing the stories of end-users who are making the most of Geocortex Viewer for HTML5, and will be urging our government customers, in particular, to make their public-facing maps more accessible to everyone in their communities. Even if it’s not yet legislated in your jurisdiction, take a look… it’s just the right thing to do.
4. Mobile Offline: Geocortex Mobile App Framework
Many organizations require end-users to work with maps on mobile devices, even when operating in an environment with limited to no Internet connectivity, and Collector for ArcGIS is an ideal solution for this scenario. In some cases, there is a need to deliver a customized mobile offline application; to serve this need, we offer Geocortex Mobile App Framework (GMAF), which is included as part of Geocortex Essentials and follows an HTML5-centric approach that can be deployed to – and make the most of – specific mobile device hardware.
In 2015 we simplified GMAF’s architecture to enable a streamlined user experience for downloading and saving viewers that need to work offline onto a device, and added an Android application that is functionally identical to our existing iOS and Windows apps. 2016 will continue to see us improve GMAF, with version 2.0 shipping alongside Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 2.6 and Geocortex Essentials 4.5 in the coming months.
3. Application Performance Monitoring: Geocortex Insight
In October 2015 we released Geocortex Insight, our latest-generation product that helps customers understand use patterns, quantify and report on their GIS infrastructure’s return-on-investment, and build better applications based on near-real time data analysis. It is the successor to Geocortex Optimizer, which we released eight years ago, and has been built from the ground up to reflect the modern ArcGIS platform era.
Geocortex Insight will be front and center for us in 2016. When it was launched last year, we spent the first few months working with our current Geocortex Optimizer customers to help them transition to the new product, and took the time to ask them questions and gather their feedback. We’re very happy with how Geocortex Insight is already helping customers get even clearer pictures of their GIS infrastructures, while continuing aggressive development. And judging by nearly 500 participants in our recent Introduction to Geocortex Insight webinar, there’s lots of interest in the benefits a technology like it provides!
2. Solutions for Public Safety: Geocortex Active Operating Picture
Geocortex Active Operating Picture (AOP) is a product built on the foundation of Geocortex Essentials that helps incident commanders respond to emergency situations with a reliable, direct link to the field. AOP’s design enables clear, multi-way communication with mobile accessibility, a common/clean map interface, and tools to plan routes, share information and manage conversations. It complements the suite of public safety solutions we have built with our customers over the years, and represents one of our first complete, industry-specific offerings.
AOP’s demonstration was a hit at the Esri User Conference in July 2015. We hosted a webinar a month later and started to have more conversations about how AOP could help our customers solve their business problems. What we quickly learned is that Geocortex Active Operating Picture has a broad applicability outside of single-event emergencies. We’re reorienting it from being an industry-specific offering in the sense that Geocortex Essentials and Geocortex Insight are “products”, given its much wider applicability.
2016 will continue this trend, and we can’t wait to see how AOP will evolve to help our customers protect people and property, and respond as quickly and efficiently as possible in emergency situations.
1. Esri’s Portal for ArcGIS/ArcGIS Online and Geocortex
Throughout 2015, our work to embrace Esri’s vision for the modern ArcGIS platform era continued. From core engineering to enable deep, long-term orientation around web maps, identities, portal-centric deployment and web GIS information models – to implementing these new patterns on projects with clients working to unify their web GIS – we are helping position them to take their spatial endeavors to new levels as the future continues to unfold.
This work continues in earnest in 2016, and we’re excited about what’s coming from Esri this year; it’s an exciting time to be in this field!