As our pay-as-you-go GIS cloud, Map Mavin, nears completion, it is time for this regular monthly piece, once the Geospatial Frequently Asked Question (G-FAQ) and now the Geospatial Tip of the Month (GTM), to transition again. And while it is always our goal to keep our readers as up-to-date on happenings in the world of satellite imagery, we have plenty of articles each month focusing on this topic. What we do not have is a dedicated piece on Map Mavin which, as you can imagine, we are pretty proud of since the Apollo Mapping team dreamt it up and built it out. So now it is time to introduce our first dedicated piece on our GIS cloud, Map Mavin Methods (affectionately called MMM) – howdy readers!!
What is Map Mavin?
Map Mavin gives meaning to your mapping data. It’s easy-to-navigate web map interface allows you to upload and share your data with whomever you like. There is no need for expensive software with Map Mavin as users add data in a variety of geospatial formats and then explore it in web-based maps. And all this comes at a low monthly cost starting at $20. With Map Mavin, your whole team can collaborate and connect in real time.
To elaborate a bit, the core functionality of Map Mavin can be broken down as follows:
- A highly-secure cloud-based hard drive for your spatial data, including TIFFs, shapefiles and KMZs. Your cloud-based hard drive of data can be accessed anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
- A GIS-tool that can deploy web-based mashups of all the data in your cloud storage account. These web maps can be opened by your team anywhere in the world as long as they have internet access and a browser.
- A collaborative mapping experience where your team of users can look at the same map, add their own custom edits and discuss project developments through a live, shared map and chat functionality.
In the future, we will extend this core functionality to include many exciting features, such as cloud computing, a marketplace and offline mobile data collection.
Collaborate on Your Web Maps With Screen Share
In this first MMM, we will spend a bit of time exploring one of the features that makes Map Mavin stand out, i.e. screen share. With screen share, a team of map users can connect over the internet so that a pre-defined web map can be seen by the entire group. And in real-time, users can add annotations that other members of the group can see as they are being layered on top of the map. Once a user is done adding in their annotations, they can pass the map to the next user who can then add in their project knowledge. In this fashion, disparate users can interact with geospatial data as they might do with in an office surrounding a single computer screen that is running GIS. Map Mavin’s allows approved users to access their own GIS-lite at no cost to them; and they can be up and running, adding their own annotations with on-screen directions in minutes after logging into the system.
The possibilities of this interactive, real-time mapping experience known as screen share are endless. Imagine a team of researchers spread across the world at major academic institutions, some of them with access to ArcGIS and many not; but all of them with intimate geographic knowledge of key malaria vector origins in a remote African village. This team of researchers spent time in the same African village, but at different times of the year. With Map Mavin, the team of researchers can connect online with screen share, and then share their geographic knowledge in real-time so that a precise map of malaria vectors can be developed, critiqued and improved upon.
Once you watch the video that accompanies this MMM, we bet you will have your own use cases for Map Mavin’s screen share technology. If you do, please take a few moments and share it with the rest of our readers in the comments section below.
Until next month, happy GIS-ing!
Brock Adam McCarty