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Mobile GIS: The best in-field partner a Geologist can get

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Geology in the field

Getting out of the office and into the field is one of the most stimulating parts of a geologist’s job. Whether you’re plotting the location and attitude of various rock units or evaluating potential hazards, geological mapping and collecting real data in the field is a crucial element of effective geology.

Geological maps communicate vast amounts of information and are an essential item for when out in the field. However, flimsy paper maps are an outdated tool – they’re impractical, can be difficult to view and are easily damaged.

The same problems apply to other in-field equipment such as pens, paper graphs, cameras, external GPS devices, note pads and data tables, which leave field workers with piles of paperwork, and information all over the place.

Mobile GIS application used in field on tablet mappt-splitting-tool


Time saving GIS features for geologists

The good news is mobile mapping and data collection apps are becoming widely used by geologists all over the world because they’re dramatically reducing the time and equipment needed in the field.

We can’t speak for all GIS applications, but Mappt offers geologists a range of features that speed up fieldwork, and make data collection far more efficient. The best part is these features sit on your tablet or mobile phone, so you can leave your GPS device, camera, paper map and notebook back at the office. Mappt’s top features for geologists include:

  • Import unlimited sized imagery including satellite, aerial, geological, topographic and elevation to view offline in the field.
  • Plot points, lines and polygons (shapes) and add data to each attribute.
  • Take geotagged photos that will appear on your map, right on the spot they were taken.
  • Create forms and organise the data they are collecting in a simple and easy manner.
  • Easily export your data back to your desktop computer in minutes.

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One of the most useful features for geologists is the map annotation tool. Geologists often examine the layers, folds and composition of rock beds and mineral deposits.

Field trip rock drawing using mobile GIS application Mappt

http://www.geosci.usyd.edu.au/users/prey/FieldTrips/BrokenHillOlary/Mapping.html

Mappt allows geologists to take geotagged photos of areas of interest, automatically tag them to their exact GPS locations, then add optional annotations.

Users can draw, add shapes, use multiple colours, dotted lines and type coloured text over the image to explain certain features. The annotated image is then saved and workers can return to their navigational map without any disturbance. Users can also annotate map screenshots as well as geotagged photos.

The geologist’s tool belt is full of necessities that can’t be put on a tablet, however GIS software can significantly reduce the amount of equipment a field worker has to carry around, and significantly improves accuracy, efficiency and accountability of information.

Some of Mappt’s other valuable features include:

  • Offline GPS tracking record your journey with no need for WiFi or 4G.
  • Drop down forms for faster and easier data collection.
  • Measurement tools ensure accurate distances and areas.
  • Geofencing to ensure you never breach a boundary.

For a full list and explanation of Mappt’s time saving features, click here.

So whether you are studying sedimentation, structures, mineralogy or metamorphosis, mobile GIS applications like Mappt have you covered in the field from import to export.

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Ssiobhan-profile2iobhan Herne
Marketing and Communications

Siobhan has no background in GIS, she’s a beginner, just like you. Follow her stories for an easier digest of all things geospatial.