I am a long-time programmer, new to GIS. I am trying to get a feel for various aspects of GIS. In addition to my question about database, I am wondering about a GUI.
The sort of applications I am liable to code would things like:
- fleet management (land or ocean based vehicles)
- employee tracking
- inventory control (at a granularity of a physical position accurate to with a metre or so)
- errm, that's about it, really
I would normally expect to be tracking no more than 1 few hundred (maximum, possibly a few thousand) items. Sometimes the items will be located in the same (large) building, series of building, city, country or world-wide, depending on the application.
I will be visually representing them either on a custom floor plan of a building but, more likely, in Google Earth or something similar.
moderator note [Please make these separate questions you will get better answers from users]
Question: what are the major alternatives, given that I wish to develop a marketable product? (which implies a stable GUI with good support)
Question: which of these would be cheapest for me as a developer? (e.g, I believe that Google Earth is free up to a certain number of views, but some more commercial rivals may require me to invest a few $k in their software long before I can develop my app & see return on my money)
Question: given the sort of applications which I am liable to develop, which system would best meet the needs of my end users, rather than me as a developer?
Question: given that it is a business app, would a Windows desktop program be acceptable or should I be looking only at browser based, given the trend towards slate PCs and smartphones?
Question: I have done some reading, but was thinking of taking an online course. This one looks excellent, but alas is not currently available. Can anyone recommend another, preferably free, or a good online source of information and training?