Pricing and evaluation
Mapboard GIS uses a subscription pricing model. The base application is free, but most users will want a Full Version subscription which costs $29.99 per year (or your local currency equivalent), billed through Apple's App Store.
Limitations of the free version
The free version of the app gives access to all functionality, but with a limitation to 50 editing operations per day. On the trial, you can easily test drawing features, adding custom basemaps, connecting to remote servers, and sharing your results to GIS software. Although data creation is limited, it's easy to try out the app and get a sense of whether the workflow will fit your needs.
Why a subscription?
Our motivations in releasing Mapboard GIS are to save time for other researchers and to model a new relationship between geoscientists and their computing tools. Charging for a subscription will allow us to build a more smoothly functional tool, and our pricing compares well with the competition.
Building iOS software, keeping it up-to-date, and sharing it with the community requires tons of effort. The lifecycle of other tools such as FieldMove suggests that free or even single-purchase software risks abandonment due to uncompensated effort. Plus, it costs real money to list the application with Apple and build atop the world-beating Mapbox mapping stack. The Full Version subscription will help defray these costs, and we're confident that this project saves enough time to be worth the asking price.
Development and testing
We're excited to work with geoscience researchers to improve and integrate this mapping system. There are several pathways to use the app for free if you are collaborating with us.
Testing pre-release versions of the software is a great way to help out with development. Through TestFlight you can work with the full version of the application at no charge, although builds can be less stable and expire after 90 days. We appreciate feedback on our pre-release code.Join the TestFlight beta
The approach taken by this app and PostGIS Geologic Map has the potential to greatly simplify mapping workflows, but building these processes takes time and effort. We're excited to support the system's use in educational settings and professional map production. Please get in touch if you'd like to use the app in an organized way, and we can make a plan for how to proceed.
If you have feature ideas and are interested in working with us to implement them, we're open to giving access to contribute to the app. If this discussion arises, we will think about options for open-sourcing part or all of the codebase. We're also willing to spin out parts of our system as open-source libraries if it will contribute concretely to other projects.