GIS is part of the workflow for 45 percent of respondents to POB’s annual GIS Surveying Trends study. That includes those companies using it only in their workflow and those offering it as a client service. Add the small group of companies offering GIS only as a service to clients (7 percent) and the number of companies using GIS tops 50 percent. Another 7 percent of companies said they planned to add GIS to their workflow in the next 12 months.
GIS Use is Best Combined with Additional Tools
GIS works best for land surveyors and geospatial professionals when it works with other tools such as LiDAR and other imaging.
The importance of integrating with other hardware and software also suggests users don’t want to remain tied to one system or one supplier, though the clear preference is still for proprietary GIS tools over open-source.
Recent Adoption of GIS Software
Within the last two years, 63 percent of respondents started using desktop GIS software. And, 25 percent began using cloud-based GIS applications and Web portals.
GIS is Driving Improvements
Cloud-based and Web portal GIS applications appear to be best suited to client services, according to respondents. Half said cloud-based tools would improve client services, while just over a quarter said they would improve workflow.
Mobile GIS applications, at 25 percent for workflow improvements, trended the opposite way.
Proprietary vs. Open-Source GIS Tools
Proprietary GIS software tools dominate current and planned use. Availability may be a factor affecting use of open-source GIS software. Just eight percent of respondents said the reason they use open-source GIS tools is that they are already in place while 76 percent said the same for proprietary software.
Most Important Capabilities for GIS
Users clearly value the ability to use multiple tools together, and they express this in their responses that the ability to add imagery and LiDAR data and the capability of integrating GIS with other hardware and software are most important.