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Strategies for migrating working online web app using REST to offline phone/tablet app

Question asked by kawaisunn on Aug 6, 2016

I'm thinking to turn a web map REST service into a mobile app. There are over 8800 point-type location data instances; no polylines or polygons. Most exist in remote areas with no wireless services, and the web app does not function well on mobile devices. While preparing for upcoming field work, plotting points on 1:24,000-scale basemaps, printing out tables of attributes I need, charging my GPS and camera, it occurred to me there must be a better way. Ultimately I would like it to develop into a state-wide product for the public that could be used offline.


I wonder if breaking the state into small regions that can be downloaded would be a good approach? The basemap will have to be tiled regardless since zoom is critical for locating these points in the field and documenting and comparing current conditions with existing data. A good deal of the attribute data does not necessarily need to be taken into the field. A state-wide approach would be preferable, possibly by eliminating some intermediary tiles? Or is there a good offline approach that tiling wouldn't be needed? The biggest failures of using the current web app on a mobile is that the Google Maps basemap will not zoom in far enough, and that specific points cannot be selected by tapping them at any zoom. The query functions work fine from the mobile, though. I welcome any thought about improving both platforms, and both connectivity conditions.