MobGISFrame - Java Software framework for mobile GIS applications

Markus Laakso, Robin Berglund, Renne Tergujeff, Jyrki Haajanen

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientificpeer-review


    Due to the rapid development in mobile lightweight devices and communications technology in recent years, the underlying technological infrastructure is becoming virtually invisible. The processing power and memory resources of the mobile devices will still increase significantly hand in hand with the communications capacity available for mobile users. Thus some of the present day laptop GIS applications will be ported to mobile platforms. Furthermore, a new generation of GIS applications directed for mobile customers will arise. The designers of applications targeted for mobile users will also have to take into account the special conditions of the environment and the diversity of mobile devices. All this will be a major software development task. To answer this challenge, keeping in mind the global lack of skilled professionals in the IT sector, some tools for reducing the effort are needed.

    In this paper we describe our experiences in implementing one possible solution, a software framework called MobGISFrame. The paper also presents a vision of the effects of GIS applications becoming widely available on light mobile devices. The framework is implemented with the 'Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition' (J2ME) environment, and targeted for multiple mobile platforms with Java features. Such platforms currently include Palm OS, EPOC, and the devices supporting the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP), released by several major mobile phone vendors. Java contains support for platform independent software development, so it is a natural choice for implementing a multiplatform framework. Java in mobile environment is still a new area, and while it is progressing, the developers are using the prerelease versions that are released at a rapid pace.

    At VTT Information Technology we have been working with GIS applications since the early 90's. Recently we have applied an inhouse software framework called JGISFrame to our GIS projects. This has been a very fruitful approach both in terms of productivity and software quality. In MobGISFrame we have ported this concept to the mobile platforms. Currently our development project for the framework is in final stages. By the end of the year 2000 the Palm and EPOC features will be added to the framework. The main challenge to overcome is the limited memory capacity in the mobile devices, but the rapid development in the field will improve the situation all the time.

    MobGISFrame website:
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    EventDigital Earth 2001: Beyond Information Infrastructure - Fredericton, Canada
    Duration: 24 Jun 200128 Jun 2001


    ConferenceDigital Earth 2001


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