Speaking at conferences is a great way to think about what you know in your industry and how you can share that information. A couple weeks ago, I was invited to speak at O’Reilly Fluent Conference in San Francisco, where I talked about web map libraries and emerging GIS technologies. Here are some few discoveries and thoughts I had about the experience.
The Hot Topic: React.js
- Virtual DOM: Updating the DOM expensive– meaning it takes time and money (all those servers) to refresh content when it gets changed. React takes a different approach and uses diff-like actions for refreshing the DOM. Instead of reloading a whole table on a page, React compares the current table with the new table and adds the difference. Comparing the current state with new state, updates the DOM more efficiently and delivers exceptional performance increases.
- Unidirectional Data Flow: This gets to the direction of actions and triggers. Unlike most Model-View-Controller (MVC) frameworks, data flows throughout your app in a single direction and you have better control over it.
React and Maps (and Data Filtering)?
Why should you care about this? Well, React is a great option for making custom data dashboards with Fulcrum data. With our new SQL API that we have in the works, the barrier for filtering, managing and querying data will be simpler.
If you think that this framework is something you would like to dive into, here is a great list of resources and here is a repo to get started on some react-leaflet integration. Have fun!
There are increasingly more parallels between the geospatial and web technology industry. Browsers and data collection are pushing towards offline, integrated, client-side and automated. Mapping tools and platforms are no longer isolated desktop software, but are in the cloud, subscription-based, integrated (through APIs) Software as a Service (SaaS). Web maps merge with the gaming industry (WebGL) and vector tiles.
In modern business, we are entering an artificially intelligent world led by data-driven decisions. Companies need to be taking steps to digitize their workflows or they will be left behind rapidly. Using iPads and iPhones for basic field data collection is a great start to get the industries behind up to speed.