FieldDataCollector

About

FieldDataCollector is a universal, ios data collection application helping people around the globe to collect data on their i-phone and i-pad running  ios  8.0 and above. It uses geolocation and offers the ability to build robust and flexible forms for collecting data with or without an Internet connection. It turns your physical location into valuable data which you can export as KML for further analysis in other GIS platforms. You can also share your data between different devices by exporting as a JSON.  The files generated during the export process are send as an email attachment . The exported JSON file can then be easily imported in another device by opening the email attachment with the FieldDataCollector application.

What you can do?

  1. Easily build your own customized data collection forms
  2. Store/Group your data in logical folders
  3. Create a location and add pictures, sketches and other items/features associated with that location. Symbolize the features at the location with marker symbols or icons which you can generate in the app.
  4. Use the GPS Trace tool for creating any polygon/line feature without having to click on the map.
  5. Create FeatureClass and renderer for grouping the polygon/line/point features. Then create corresponding features in that FeatureClass by drawing polygons, points and lines on the map, add attributes to them  through designing flexible forms and store them in the local database.
  6. Measure the Strike/Heading and Dip/Pitch of a bedding plane with the Compass provided with the app.
  7. Draw free sketch on the map and export them as a geo-referenced image (.kmz) in email attachment.
  8. Measure length/area by drawing on the map
  9. Create a Buffer around a point.
  10. Edit existing features – polygons/lines/points
  11. Move existing location
  12. Export the data along with the stored pictures to a different device in JSON format through zipped email attachment or using i-tunes.
  13. Export/Transfer data to a GIS database in KML through email attachment . The KML data can then be viewed in other popular GIS software packages such as ESRI ArcGIS Desktop, Google Earth and Google Maps.
  14. Bring your GIS data from any GIS database in KML format, import it in FieldDataCollector and start editing.
  15. You collect data in the phone/tablet without using additional GPS, Camera, Compass and paper forms.
  16. Automatically Download basemap tiles by zooming in and out at different levels for the desired area and then take it offline. The inbuilt map cache prevents slowing down performance.
  17. Easily view the data collected
  18. Easily integrate the data with other devices without having to retype  or redraw.

This app could be used for

  1. Mapping
  2. Surveys
  3. Research
  4. Real Estate
  5. PhotoAlbums
  6. Geological field mapping
  7. Damage Reports

How To?

Steps:

  1.   Create a Folder by clicking the “+” icon in the folder page. It will be used for logical grouping of your data. You can have multiple folders.
  2. Design the forms(Location and Item form) accessible from Settings menu in the tabbar by adding fields to the optional Field List .
  1. Create Items to be added to a Location (Add/Update Items ): An item can be a feature or an attribute which is associated with a location. e.g. Utility guys can think an item to be a Construction Unit or a geologist can think of Strike/Dip or other structural features like schistosity  as an item. It is associated  with a symbol and an optional rotation field and Display field.  The items are grouped based on category. So in case of Geological field data the category will be Structure for structural data. The Rotation field will be used for rotating the symbol for the item on the map and the  Display Field will be used as the label for the item while browsing the data.
  2. Configure the items by adding a symbol and assigning the Rotation /Display field. There are 2 types of symbol that can be created in the app – picture symbol and marker symbol. Picture symbols have an image file associated with them and will be stored in the Documents folder accessible through i-tunes. So in case you want to generate the symbol in a third party software you can update the image in i-tunes with any symbol of your choice but keeping the same name. Marker symbols are drawn on the fly.

 

3. Create a Feature Class to store the geospatial features and its attributes. A featureClass is nothing but a data structure which can have a geometry of line or polygon or point and associated with a name. e.g. if you want to draw outcrops of sandstone or if you want to draw the boundary of a real estate or parcel mapping then create a featureclass with geometry polygon and give it an appropriate name. A featureClass can also have attributes associated with it which is easily configurable by adding required fields. The visibility of the features is controlled by turning them on/off. Each featureClass is associated with a fill or line Color which can be modified anytime and it will be reflected in the map.

4. Map Tools: It is accessible from the Tools icon in the right corner of the app. It contains all the tools as described below:

    1. Start/Stop :It is used to start/stop editing while drawing features corresponding to a feature class.
    2. Draw: This tool when selected will allow to draw a polygon/line/point feature according to the geometry type set for the feature class. It can be selected only when Start (edit) button is active and a feature class is selected for editing.
    3. Measure /Area: It helps to measure the length or area of any shape. As you draw on the map with the tool selected  the values will be displayed in ft / miles.
    4. GPS Trace: Like the “Draw” tool this tool can be selected when the Start button is active and a feature class is selected for editing. As you move with the device a line / polygon will be traced automatically without having to click on the map.
    5. Select: This tool is used to select a feature in the map.  You can edit a selected feature by setting the Start button active and then selecting the Draw tool
    6. Move Location: It is used to move an existing location. To move a location select the location to move and then tap on the map in the desired area where  you want to move. All the items added to the location will also move along with it.
    7. Clear Selection: It is used for clearing the selection of any selected features.
    8. Buffer: when selected will ask for the buffer radius in miles and will draw a buffer around the point wherever you click on the map.
    9. FreeHand: This tool can be selected when the Start button is active. With this tool selected you can draw any shape on the map and export it as a georeferenced picture in kml format as an email attachment.
    10. ClearTool : It helps in clearing any previously selected tool.
    11. Clear: It helps in clearing the graphics drawn while using the measure and area tool.
    12. Undo/Redo: These tools are obvious by their name and are used while drawing features on the map.

5. Start/Stop GPS: This button is present in the bottom left corner of the map. It is used for starting/stopping the application from using the GPS signal. It is provided so that the user can control its usage for saving the battery lifetime

6. Create a Location: Select a folder where you want to save the location. Otherwise it will be stored in the Default folder. Then click the arrow icon in the bottom left of the map. It will then zoom to the current location which is marked by a pointer symbol. Click on the symbol and you will see the current address. But you might need to turn on the cellphone data/ wifi for it to work accurately. Then click on the Details icon and the Location page will come up as shown below.You can now add previously created items to the location and fill up the item form accordingly. You can also take pictures or make sketches in a drawing interface and store it with the location. Once you add the items and pictures you must Click the SAVE button at the top to save them. Otherwise the items and pictures are not going to be saved. You can also add items or pictures to an existing location. But still you need to click the “SAVE” button at the top to save the newly added items/pictures.

7. Draw a  feature corresponding to a Feature Class: Select a folder where you want to save the location. Otherwise it will be stored in the Default folder. Then select the feature Class against which you want to draw the features and turn its visibility to “on” if in “off” mode. In the mapTools set the “Start” button active and click the “draw” tool. Then start drawing on the map . Once done, click the “Stop” edit button and choose the options accordingly. Once saved you can see the saved feature on the map having the same symbology that was set earlier for the feature class. Of course you can change the symbology of the feature Class anytime and it will be reflected in the map. To add attributes to it click the feature on the map and then choose the details icon. It will bring up a form which was designed during creation of the feature class.

8.FreeHand: This tool is used to draw an overlay on the map to highlight a particular area or for some other purpose . On clicking the Stop edit button, it can be emailed as a georeferenced image in .kmz format as an email attachment. Currently, it is not stored anywhere in the device. This image can then be imported in any GIS software package like ArcGIS or Google Earth for further study.

9. Export/Import Data:

  • ExportToJSON: This option is used  to export data to another device.  You need to select the folder for which you want the data to be exported. Then on clicking the export button on the top right corner you will get 2 options for exporting data – I)File Sharing where the data will be saved in the Documents folder and ii) Email attachment. If you choose the File Sharing option then the generated file will be stored in the documents. You are responsible for deleting the file from the Documents directory after copying the file to some other device.
  • ImportFromJSON: This will import the JSON data, exported previously, in the device . If you chose the File Sharing option while export then you need to manually copy the file  to the Documents folder of the app. In case of an email attachment, the JSON file gets copied to the Documents folder on opening the attachment in the app by right clicking on it and choosing the app. You will need to type in the folder name  where you want to import. If the folder is not already there, a new folder with that name will be created. As the symbols are not exported you need to create the symbol for the features thus imported.
  • ExportToKML: This is used for exporting the features in a folder as a KML file which can be  imported in any  GIS Software package for further analysis. In ESRI ArcGIS software there is a tool  to convert the KML to a  shape file or a layer file.
  • ImportFromKML: This is used for importing KML  data  in the app for further editing. The kml file can be in the form of an email attachment or copied in the documents folder. In case of email attachment it is copied to Documents folder when the file is opened in the app. It will  search for *.kml files in that directory and import the data.  After the import process the kml file gets deleted.
10. Browsing the data: The  locations and features in the device can also be browsed  easily by folders and is accessible from the tab bar.

11. Compass: The compass  measures the True Heading, magnetic Heading, tilt, pitch and roll. The geologists need to measure the Strike and dip of a bed. In that case the true Heading corresponds  to the strike of a bed and the Pitch corresponds to the dip of a bedding plane. You need to place the device on the plane with the longer axis parallel to the plane to calculate the dip. Similarly for measuring Strike, the device needs to be held parallel to the strike direction of the bed .

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