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Platforms and viability of mobile GIS in real‐time hydrological models: A review and proposed model

Waleed Alsabhan (School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)
Steve Love (School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Article publication date: 15 November 2011



The purpose of this paper is to examine the practicality of an application called the mobile geographic information system (GIS). The authors' purpose was to focus specifically on the mobile GIS application in a prototype, mobile‐based model that is utilized for detecting flood warnings and issuing forecasts. At the end of this research project, a usability study was carried out in a test‐lab environment.


In this paper, research is presented regarding the architecture of a structure that has been built on practicality. Readers will learn about a system that is applicable within a vast array of turning‐point situations where rainfall data are communicated to the system in real time.


It has been revealed that traditional GIS and remote sensing software packages are not as cost‐effective as GIS services that are mobile. Mobile GIS systems have the capability to combine GIS, global positioning system, and remote sensing abilities for retrieving geospatial data sets at costs that are not as pricey as the traditional systems. As time moves on, the need for reliable real‐time data sets is increasing. Additionally, flood management examination provides a valid debate for the combining of mobile GISs within the realm of hydrology. Empirical evidence insinuates and illustrates reliability of GIS and the enhancement in the utilization and creation of devices that are offer mobile capabilities. The usability study revealed that the slope, aspect, watershed, and flow direction functions were not easy to comprehend. It was also discovered during the usability study that the word arrangement, radio button arrangement, and dropdown list caused confusion amongst users. The issue that was deemed as most severe, that was discovered during the usability study, was the blurred comprehension that users experienced regarding the digital elevation model.

Research limitations/implications

Before the wisest solution can be pinpointed, all of the associated constraints of mobile GIS mapping application need to be identified; however, enough constraints have already been identified to bring to a close that a basic mobile GIS mapping application could created and triumphantly used. There are many platforms to choose from in regards to providing a solution to a feasible incorporation of the mobile GISs into the playing field. It should be decided which browser‐based strategy would serve as the highest of benefit based on characteristics that are important to consumers, such as affordability, ease‐of‐use, user‐friendly coding, and acceptability by users.


This research is highly indicative that mobile GIS would be of great benefit for future studies within the realm of disaster monitoring management. The research presented in this paper can be deemed as original due to the fact that it is a study about the utilization of mobile technologically‐advanced gadgets that provide data analysis for flooding in real time. Moreover, these highly technologically‐advanced devices are cost‐effective compared to those in the past.



Alsabhan, W. and Love, S. (2011), "Platforms and viability of mobile GIS in real‐time hydrological models: A review and proposed model", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 425-444.



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