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Most of the organizations are increasingly implementing web based mapping systems, this is where the importance of mapping to Drupal comes in.  Drupal 8 development offers amazing tools for mapping. It integrates with a lot of libraries, technologies and third party services. There are solutions for simple maps but also for complex mapping needs.

If you start mapping with Drupal, you need to use a combination of location modules to achieve your goal.

There are currently stable modules in Drupal that enable gathering, storage, processing and display of geospatial data;

Setting up Drupal Mapping

  • Coordinate systems (the center of the earth, the plane of origin of latitude, & the plane of origin of longitude) 
  • Models of Earth (EPSG codes) 
  • Specifying a location (latitude, longitude, & height above a surface model) 
  • Map projections (flattening the Earth) 5
  • Location data (latitude & longitude) are special
  • They are not your typical data format: text/number/dates
  • Since you usually want to measure distances and areas, which are sensitive to coordinate systems & projections, they must be special objects to be efficiently handled by spatial functions
  • Also, we often want our points, lines, polygons to be easy to customize/style, we must create new data type format for this mechanism to be possible

Applying geospatial data storage in Drupal CMS

  • KML, GPX, and GeoJSON are usually text file formats
  • WKT is usually implemented as a database object format, hence faster or more efficient to process. 
  • Keyhole Markup Language - XML variant, popularized by Google, default format in Google Earth 
  • GPS eXchange Format - XML schema designed for GPS data format, Native format in GPS-capable smartphones/devices 
  • GeoJSON -  JSON object ,  generally more compact than KML/GPX 
  • Well-Known Text - text markup language for representing vector geometry objects

Drupal is a powerful Open Source CMS which has a large community of Drupal developers, designers and users. Drupal mapping continue to increase as more people become aware of the numerous benefits maps and GIS applications provide. The future is bright for a comprehensive Drupal mapping system that combines all the best geospatial modules.
 

If you are already on Drupal 6 or Drupal 7 site, your upgrade to Drupal 8 is relatively painless with good backups and the right approach. It is better to build an upgrade path to be more mobile-friendly, great multilingual abilities, better markup and an enhanced UI experience rather than trying to correct all the errors in the old Drupal site.

There are several factors involved before you can migrate your old content to enhance the functionality and user experience in the target system. But, you can do some in-house work on the process, technology and costs and prepare your team for the migration, making it hassle-free.

Here are the 11 things to keep in mind before migrating to Drupal 8:

  1. Drupal 8 is a big change compared to how you have been programming so far as Drupal 8 follows Object Oriented and MVC patterns.
  2. You need to learn a new PHP framework called “ Symfony.”
  3. New template engine “Twig” has been introduced and PHP engine is no longer in use.
  4. You can only migrate the content from older version the modules, themes, views and so on needs to be re-created.
  5. Your cool blog content can be migrated, but not themes, views and blocks.
  6. All your custom modules will have to be reworked according to Symfony rules and Drupal 8 standards.
  7. Many modules don’t support Drupal 8 yet. So you may have to find alternative or recreate them yourselves.  
  8. Folder structure must be followed according to MVC standards.  
  9. Several widely used Hooks methods are deprecated.  Drupal 8 employs routing method instead.
  10. Module.info file no longer exists. Drupal 8 uses  “.yml” files instead.
  11. You need to use new versions of PHP at least 5.6.

I know, these are all a lot of things, but this is what it takes to do it right. You shouldn't take the risk to do it yourself if you are not a Drupal developer. If you have any experience with migrating or upgrading to Drupal 8 please feel free to share your thoughts on the new process.

Technology has progressed at an exponential rate and has dramatically transformed virtually every industry to drive more value out of these as business leaders look for better ROI on existing deployments.  The new disruptive digital technologies provide a platform to achieve results. Developing world will have no choice but to look beyond the usual day-to-day maintenance of an enterprise IT infrastructure and adopt these new innovative digital solutions to address the complex business challenges. As a result, collaborating and forging partnerships in digital business would be super-easy.

Digital transformation is not about disruptive technologies, but it’s about exposing the power of technology to bring a radical shift into the culture of the company and everyday operations. A broad range of digital technologies reached a tipping point, from cloud, big data and analytics to internet of things and DevOps that will transform the developing world.  Here are the five:


1. Cloud ERP

The next generation of ERP is upon us and they are a world apart. Cost-effective, quick to install and cloud based, customizable, these ERP tools are so simple even small companies can use them. Cloud platform is highly customizable and scalable to manage data across multiple locations on web and mobile devices. Integrate your business processes across SaaS-based application and on-premises. Now every business can use it to share information and collaborate on projects to improve customer engagement and drive revenue.


2. Internet of Things

Internet of things (IoT) is revolutionizing various industries with such rapidity that it has exerted influence on enterprises, small and large. Thought leaders recognize that connected technologies are the future of developing world. IoT will not only be transformative, but also disruptive to business models.

The growing influence of IoT spans energy, automotive, healthcare and consumer spaces, and the education market is also being recalibrated. Automated processes will benefit businesses and customers alike using connected devices. In a data-fueled IT era, IoT enables organizations to capture and track data to connected devices such as smartphones, tablets, RFID sensors, barcoding systems, cameras, vehicles and hand-held devices. Organizations can capitalize on this new digital-first and mobile-first world to be transformed by data flowing from IoT sensors.


3. DevOps

As organizations are making a culture shift to fast changing business requirements, DevOps is evolving rapidly to support agile IT service delivery. DevOps enable organizations to build, test and deploy applications at a faster pace, and higher quality, than ever before. With a set of automated tools, DevOps promotes better collaboration between operation and development teams. In the digital age, successful DevOps strategy emphasizes people first and technology second approach.


4. Marketing & Sales Alignment

In the digital age, technology hyper-critical to improve visibility, engage prospects and increase customer satisfaction. Marketing technology including marketing automation, email campaign management, big data and analytics are powerful tools to nurture customers and prospects. There is a need for business leaders to drive innovation, ensure successful implementation and improve effectiveness through multi-channel digital marketing.


5. Silo-busters, Microlearning & Gamification

With the digital surge, businesses are looking for opportunities to improve efficiency, productivity and usability in the workplace. Silo-busters are tools that break down the organizational barriers and enable employees to solve problems and generate new ideas. Organizations should leverage collaboration tools such as social media, along with crowdsourcing, and hackathons, to rise beyond traditional teams and structures.

Microlearning helps employees become more competent and skilled in the digital workplace. This involves informal and contextual digital learning and training delivered through videos, quizzes, discussion forum, blogs, webinars, podcasts or other modalities.

Digital transformation is accelerated through integration of gamification into real-world business activity to captivate users and subtly persuade desired behaviors. Gamification or any other addictive activity can be effectively used to anything to improve employee performance and increase retention, improve customer loyalty and satisfaction through rewards and incentive programs.

Everywhere you look, efficiency is automated and transformed leveraging the power of digital technologies. This is the essence of the new semantic economy. The fully automated age in the developing world transforms the way we interact with each other, as the information content in products and services increase exponentially.
 

Social media is today’s hottest trend that is transforming millions of lives all over the world. Social media is everywhere. Social media has a significant impact our social, online and mobile experience. The immense popularity of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and Foursquare are changing the ways we communicate with the large audience. Businesses have adopted social media to reach out to customers and promote their brand.  Drupal has an array of social media modules and plugins that improve its social media presence. Drupal enables business site owners to interact with their clients at the highest level and brings high quality traffic to the website. Here are some fantastic tricks that can turn Drupal into a social media phenomenon with better fan following:

Blogs:  A blog will allow social activity and will act as a source of creativity, innovation and ideas on your site.

Social commenting: Website users can post comments on the blog and spark discussions to boost your site.

Social login: Users can login with Facebook, Twitter, Google plus and more.

Social sharing: Social media is about sharing content with several people and encourages social seeding. Readers can share, bookmark and email articles and web pages using Facebook, Twitter and social bookmarking sites.     

Mobile: Drupal can be optimized with social networking features with the ability to provide responsive mobile support. Drupal developers can integrate advanced social networking features with mobile content delivery and localization, in real-time, to target customers.

Facebook: This is the top notch social media platform that is accessed by over a billion users everyday. Drupal helps you to integrate Facebook plugins to the website and add the ‘Like’ button to the content.

Twitter: Drupal allows you to add a Twitter button to your site with the ability to share content in a great way.

Activity Stream: It creates a live stream of social activities on Facebook, YouTube, StumbleUpon, etc. in one place making it a great tool for community sites.

Social Bookmarking: Integrating social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, and many other sites into Drupal allows users to share content on the website in a simple and easy way. Your reach is worldwide.         
 

In the cloud, mobile and digital era, finding the right platform to publish and share content is critical. Making the decision around the right web platform and web content publishing technology is significant. Getting started with the right system will improve your web presence and brand.

Drupal is a reliable and secure content management framework supported by an active community of 1 million members and 31000 Drupal developers.

What makes Drupal so special?

Drupal is powered by best-of-the-breed technologies which makes Drupal highly customizable and scalable. Drupal is free and open source and supported by 30000 free plug-in and modules which extends its core capabilities. Drupal is easier to build and use with multiple languages and provides support for 110 international languages. Drupal provides innovative and intuitive mobile experience across multiple mobile platforms leveraging special mobile-friendly themes.

How Drupal is going to make a difference for your business

Anubavam is a full service Drupal development company that offers a variety of services with quality, high performance, timeliness and cost-effectiveness. As committed users of Drupal since 2005, and now serving our clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, our team realized that many website owners have long been frustrated with the difficulty of finding affordable and reliable Drupal service. Our unique value proposition is delivered to customers with a combination of highly skilled workforce, Drupal platform expertise, best practices in Agile development and scrum methodology, and flexible engagement model. Here are five great ideas to make your site efficient with Drupal development services.

1. On-demand Drupal development

Anubavam allows website owners to have high quality Drupal development services available on demand for different industries. We can build powerful applications using custom modules and themes to benefit the end-users. We have designed multi-user system which has dramatically enhanced security and access control of the database.

2. Drupal Migration

Anubavam is a leading provider of Drupal migration service with huge experience in successfully migrating to Drupal CMS for a wide range of projects, ranging from simple blog to highly complicated database. Our team of Drupal professionals has expertise in migrating data from the legacy website and rebuilt a robust, high-speed, SEO-friendly interactive solution using the Drupal platform.

3. Mobile-first

Mobile app and website is now the way of life. Taking advantage of mobile-friendly responsive themes in Drupal, we have optimized websites for multiple operating systems and multiple devices including iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and others.

4. SEO-friendly

We have provided effective SEO strategies to drive sales and improve rankings in search engines by implementing microdata and rich snippets.

5. Third party integration

We offer integration with third party applications including payment gateway, social media, Google Maps, Google Analytics, etc. to transform your website and augment your capabilities.

Our combined strengths in Drupal development services could solve problems of website owners, and doing so would not only be great business, but also would benefit Drupal CMS.


 

Location-based mobile apps have transformed the way people communicate on the go. They are used to get geographical information of the respondent using smartphones and tablets.  Mobile devices have geolocation capabilities which are frequently used to identify the physical location and share the information with friends using social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Mobile SMS

Geolocation-enabled services offer benefits such as messaging, GPS navigation, location-based deals and coupons, check-ins and more which are used for mobile marketing campaigns using smartphones. Mobile analytics lets businesses to compare competitions at check-ins.

Localization

The location-based features on apps and services can be disabled by users at any point of time. Location-based apps promote social interaction when people checks in to the places they visit and let others know about their location and if they are close to their neighborhood, they may join friends.

Best practices

Location-based apps benefit both consumers and enterprises to share information in real-time and reach out to customers. Location-based information can be used from a smartphone and can leverage third party sources as well as user-generated public and private feeds.

Using geo-fencing, the location-based apps can be filtered to display content which are relevant to them and store the location on the phone and share with people. Be sure to use alerts in the mobile app for events, and make the most of the opportunities offered. Location-based applications are used for travel, real estate, automobile, restaurants, medical, etc. and optimize for search engines using tags.

Mobile devices let users know that the geolocation information is shared when you use them to find deals, rewards and special offers close to your business location. Mobile users can add any location and use Twitter to know what people are tweeting, optimizing the location services.  

Location based applications for business

Location based applications has provided tools and flexibility for enterprises to reach out to customers and workforce, and are not restricted to any specific industry… rather countless from real estate to automobile and beyond. Location tracking devices are used to track the location of others and are available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phones and Symbian. Here are some examples of location based services:

  • Restaurants
  • Automobile
  • GPS navigation
  • Real Estate
  • Higher education
  • Airlines
  • Maps
  • Push notifications
  • Mobile advertising
  • Events
  • Games
  • Local search
     

Responsive web design enables website to customize to the screen size of the device automatically and deliver unique browsing experience in multiple devices. RWD is built on the principle of designing and developing websites to respond to user’s behavior and environment – website or mobile. Responsible design is optimized to screen resolution, device and user behavior. It improves user experience of the website viewed on your smartphone or tablets, and creates a huge impact in  cross platform development . Responsible design makes a world of difference with its personalized and enhanced user experience, however, it is easy to create and implement.


Unleash the power of Drupal to deliver responsive design themes organically.  Responsive design is commonplace nowadays and an Enterprise CMS system supports responsive design. With Drupal CMS you can build a site from scratch and preview your website on a mobile app or mobile website and you don’t need to zoom with a magnifying glass to access web pages on devices without modifying the content. Using the web services, modules and themes of Drupal, you can access drupal on mobile devices without editing content. Develop responsive accessibility on Drupal sites using contributed modules and themes, and through APIs and coding solutions.  Drupal powers a number of higher education sites, e-commerce sites, corporate sites, and many more with specific level of responsive accessibility.


Transform the website tailored for multiple screen resolutions for mobile phones and tablets with user-friendly design taking into account of unique multi-platform user experience. Drupal responsive design theme has all the groovy bells and whistles to browse website on iPad and mobile devices.


With smartphone and tablets exploding the market, mobile browsing is fast outpacing desktops with a third of the mobile users accessing internet through mobile phones. It is wise to assume that desktop content is optimized for smartphones and tablets through mobile websites and mobile apps and responsive design delivers true enterprise mobile solutions with its look and feel, scrolling, resizing, zooming, consistent browsing experience and location-based information.


Key features

  • Simple code at the backend
  • Personalized user experience
  • Cross browser and cross platform compatibility
  • Create responsive design from scratch
  • Design to a fluid grid
  • Configure Mobile-first Drupal themes like square grid, Adaptive, Omega, HTML5    
  • Progressive Enhancement rather than graceful degradation
  • Flexible images
  • Responsive CSS3 Media Queries & customization
  • Portrait/Landscape orientation
  • Browser support
     

 

Siri...? Maybe, we can name it something else...maybe you can rename it to your best friend’s name...but Siri is here to give some ‘siri’ous competition to your best friend.

iPhone’s Mouthpiece

The new iPhone 4S features Siri which is a Voice command personal assistant...and the Apple website declares that for Siri ‘Your wish is its command’. Siri is an evolution of the Siri Virtual Assistant, a spin-off of a DARPA project called CALO. The iPhone 4S has a lot of other new features like the 8 MP camera though a lot of people were looking forward to iPhone 5 where a sleek design, laser keyboard and holographic images (Apple can make it happen!) were conceptualized by the public.

So until we wait for iPhone 5 let us have a look at the latest revolutionary version of the iPhone which more than a normal update with bugs fixes and improvements. It has a lot of exciting features like the advance iOS 5 (with over 200 new features), 8MP camera, dual-core A5 chip, iCloud. And as this article is being written Apple has already sold over 1 million units (and counting) within the first 24 hours of its release. The unique feature of Siri is that it is not only a dumb voice-recognizer which is already present in a lot of other smart phones. On the other hand take voice recognition to whole new dimension to ensure that you do not look stupid talking to your phone in public. This blog is completely dedicated to the features of Siri because it totally deserves it...

‘Siri’ answers your questions

First and foremost Siri understands what you say... you can say something like “Tell my kid I’m running late.” “Remind me to call the mechanic.” “Any good coffee joints around here?” Siri does what you say, finds the information you need, and then answers you. It’s like you’re having a conversation with your iPhone.

Next it knows what you mean... Siri not only understands what you say, it’s smart enough to know what you mean. For example, you want to text your wife reminding her to pick up the dogs from the boarding while coming home from office. You can just say, "Tell my wife don't forget the dogs." Siri will send your wife a message saying, "Don't forget the dogs." How can Siri identify your wife? Well, she doesn't at first, but she'll ask, and once you tell her she'll remember - forever.

Siri goes ‘Places’

It helps you do routine stuff that you do everyday albeit makes it easier. Ask Siri to text your Mom, remind you to call the florist, or find directions, and it figures out which apps to use and who you’re talking about. It finds answers for you from the web through sources like Yelp and WolframAlpha. Using Location Services, it looks up where you live, where you work, and where you are. Then it gives you information and the best options based on your current location. From the details in your contacts, it knows your friends, family, boss, and coworkers. So you can tell Siri things like “Text Anita I’m on my way” or “Remind me to make a doctor appointment when I get to office” or “Call a cab” and it knows exactly what you mean and what to do.

Siri, an intelligent voice app

 And then there's the other part that makes Siri so much better: you don't have to remember the commands. At least, not the way you do with Android. If you want to get the directions on Google Navigation, you just have to say "Directions to X." With Siri you can say "Get me directions to X," or you can say "Tell me how to get to X," or even "Directions to X." It's a minor difference but it feels more like Siri is smart enough to figure out what you want, whereas the voice recognition elsewhere feels more like you have to be smart enough to remember to say what it wants.

Just see what happens when you ask Siri absurd questions

 

Thums up to Siri

The best part about Siri is that it integrates most of the apps on iPhone to help carry out the command assigned to it. It understands what you are saying and also the content within which we are saying it and executes that command appropriately using the right app. True, it is still a bit rough when it comes to a few features like reading your mails and hence you can’t give voice reply to your email unless you manually trigger it with your fingers. But anyway, a giant leap ahead of what is already available now. Cheers to iPhone and thank you Steve Jobs. Like always Apple has come up with a juicy bunny out of the hat and is once again taking the lead and asking too much of the competitors.

iPhone developers are working to bring Siri, the virtual assistant app, to other iOS 5 devices and it seems iPad 2 and iPhone 4 projects are already running with Siri.

A Tribute to Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Facebook app for BlackBerry will be soon getting an update with version 2.0 in BlackBerry development on par with other platforms like iPhone and Android. The new app features a revamped user interface, improved integration with OS, support for Chat, view friends lists, profile information, and pages. The Facebook developer will integrate Chat feature in the BlackBerry app.

Facebook 2.0 for BlackBerry in beta form is due to come out in March, while the final version will be launched in May 2011.

Windows Phone 7 gets Facebook update to new version 1.1 that adds Facebook Places and photo tagging features in Windows Phone 7 development. Facebook version 1.1 for WP7 supports two major features within the app that will enhance its performance, improve graphical interface, and it also runs with screen lock on phone. Facebook app for WP7 allows users to tag friends in photographs directly from the phone. Facebook Places, the location-based service, enable users to check in to a location, find out those checked in at the same location which will appear in user's friends' news feeds.

The app is yet to integrate Facebook chat and video uploading features but will feature in the forthcoming update, according to Facebook developer. With this update, Windows apps now joins BlackBerry to integrate location sharing service. The update is now available in Windows Phone 7 Marketplace for free download.

 

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