According to the news from a local newspaper El Tiempo: “https://www.eltiempo.com/vida/ciencia/2021-bate-todos-los-records-de-lanzamiento-de-satelites-619752” and the article “https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/visualizing-easrth-satellites-sapce-spacex/” There are countless satellites orbiting our planet, many of them for telecommunications (more than a half), and a major part for terrestrial observation, these are mainly used for some tasks such as security, surveillance, navigation (GPS), agriculture, risk prevention, etc.
But with these important amount of available resources, a regular person would wonder, How can I use all of that technology to succeed with my ideas, projects or applications? Is it only used by people from NASA? Do I have to study a PHD in spatial information to it? Well, there is a simple answer: “NO”.
This article is aiming to present some simple applications that allows any person to have an approach to the use of spatial information, In fact, it is very likely that you had already used spatial information and probably you may not be aware of it. Let`s start...
The exponential increasing in technologies, progress in electronics and information technology have generated an enormous growth in data collection and analysis; but when we talk about spatial information, it is still a distant topic to many people. Therefore, some simple tools will be listed below to generate an enough acquaintance of the topic.
Tools such as Google Maps and Waze became vital in our daily life, for instance, it is much easier to reach an unknown destination by using tools like these. it is no longer necessary to ask for directions to another person, the app makes everything for you.
Have you ever shared your location with a family member, friend or person who needs to get to where you are by using WhatsApp? , well, all this is possible thanks to knowing where you are located on the earth's surface.
These applications are being used all the time, but behind these their basic foundation is spatial information.
The available satellites in space and other technologies allow us to know our location with a very good precision, without having specialized or expensive professional devices with us. New technology in electronics have made all this possible for equipment that is being used daily and make our lives easier. This is the case of mobile devices (or smartphones), which include a small GPS antenna within their electronics, which allows to receive the signal from the satellites and the smartphones receive it to obtain location.
The issue is that when we use these tools they only allow specific uses for which they were developed, but what happens if I want to locate my house, locate the deviation of a route to a property that is not displayed on the maps, or locate a relevant event for me? Well, in these cases, other types of applications should be used, some more specialized, such as:
Oruxmaps: complete free tool for android (https://www.oruxmaps.com/cs/en/), where you capture your spatial information and share it in gpx or kml formats. This works on or offline.
Avenza Maps: complete free tool for android - IOS (https://www.oruxmaps.com/cs/en/), where you capture your spatial information and share it in gpx or kml formats. This works on or offline.
The information captured with the previous applications can be viewed in programs such as:
Google earth pro: free space viewer, which allows you to view data from mobile devices (gpx or kml formats), as well as view current and historical satellite images. (https://www.google.com/intl/es/earth/download/gep/agree.html). This software must be installed in a computer.
Google my maps: Free spatial viewer, which allows you to view data from mobile devices (gpx or kml formats) and share the generated maps over the Internet. To use this software it is only required to hold a gmail email account and link it when entering the following URL (https://www.google.com/intl/es-419/maps/about/mymaps/).
The advantage of using these type of applications is that allow the information to be scalable in the future; For example, if our information or project grows, or advanced or specialized tools are required, the information will not be lost or require additional processes, since global standards for the exchange of spatial information are being used, such as GPX files and KML, hence, no issues will be faced.
As it is observed, by using tools like the above, important spatial information can be captured and visualized through simple programs or applications at zero cost, which allow to learn more about this interesting world of spatial information.
Finally, if you have a special or particular need and the above does not meet your requirements, DEJ Software with a group of specialized and software developers professionals will customize your ideas and would be more than pleased to advise and accompany you and your company to achieve your goals.
If you want to know more mobile applications for capturing spatial or more specialized information, we invite you to visit:
AuthorEnrique Torres MoyaDirector of Geographic Information Systems- DEJ Software