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GIS Apps how we work

high quality, custom tailored solutions

You will find the City Explained, Inc. development philosophy, style, and expertise as refreshing as the solutions we create

Philosophy and Style

Custom tailored solutions City Explained, Inc. GIS Apps services provide custom solutions, tailored specifically to meet the needs of you and your project. While we will have a large set of ready-made components and years of past experience to draw from, we are not an apps assembly line. We carefully design our solutions with the users and the project needs highest in our mind, choosing the optimal technology for the job at hand.

Highly collaborative approach We pay careful attention to the spoken and unspoken needs of our tools' users, working hard to design applications that make sense and are easy to use. We communicate with you frequently. When working remotely, we make maximum use of e-mail, phone, and web communications. When possible, we prefer an iterative development approach in which you have many opportunities to review and improve the tool during the course of development.

Our standards are high, yet we work quickly and efficiently We keep overhead to a practical and responsible minimum. As a firm that also does commercial-class software development, we know how to manage time well and how to avoid the temptations of overcomplicating the project or straying from the core purpose. Yet we also enjoy innovating, and if there are opportunities to use new and better methods and technology, we will surely entertain them in discussion with you.


Project Lifecycle

City Explained, Inc. is committed to excellence at every stage of app development, from discovery to delivery and the project management along the way.

Project Management Our team has decades of combined experience managing software and app development projects of all kinds. Our preferred development approach emphasizes fast development cycles, plenty of communication inside and outside the technical team, and a strong user focus. As appropriate we call on our large collection of project support resources such as Basecamp, Bitbucket, GoToMeeting, instant messaging, and many options for data file transfer. From our base in Colorado we work all over the country and the world, so we are well experienced with maintaining a “virtual presence” in your location.

Discovery and Design We are very good listeners. At the start of each project we use both structured (use cases, personas) and unstructured techniques to develop the clearest possible sense of what the client and the app users need and want. We spend extra time on small but important details like appropriate terminology. And when we start creating functional design we think broadly about not just what the tool will do, but also who will use it, how they will use it, and why.

Technology and Architecture GIS apps rarely function alone: they work within a context of the cloud, other models, supporting systems, multiple data sources, varying expertise among users and administrators, and complex organizations. Our approach to technology selection and design takes this kind of context into account, thereby increasing efficiency and performance, reducing duplication of effort, and promoting longevity of all systems involved. Because of our decades of engineering experience across a huge array of technologies, we are able to make careful and sometimes subtle choices about the most appropriate technology for a given project. We know, for example, when to use the ArcGIS JavaScript API and when not to; when to use ArcGIS for Server vs. ArcGIS Online, or when it is better to write in Python than in JavaScript.

Development and Production Quality pervades our entire process. Whether it is designing highly efficient algorithms, adhering to standards and best practices, producing clear and well documented code, or thorough testing, we take pride in our work and deliver solutions that are reliable, robust, and long-lasting. We check to be sure our apps respond well not only in ideal conditions, but also in the rough and tumble of real world environments, imperfect users, and the passing of time. In the end, you know you have a high quality app that you and the users can count on.

Learn more about our GIS Apps services and expertise. Browse our project examples.

Our engagements are custom-designed to meet your needs. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Call 1.866.953.1400 or Email us for more information