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Mappt & QGIS Workflow: Using Drones to Enrich Field Assessments

DEM Dubai Airport Satellite Imagery Digital Surface Map orthomosaic sentinel 2 multispectral bands satellite imaging corporation

When it comes to fieldwork, the best outcome (aside from zero injuries) is to return having collected as much high-quality data as possible. We all want to ensure our project goals are reached successfully, so using a wide variety of relevant data to address the project criteria is a good strategy. An example of this is producing high resolution Digital Surface Maps (DSMs) using drones to complement field surveys conducted on-foot. These DSMs can provide additional information such as elevation, NDVI indices and more to complement the field survey data. 

DEM Dubai Airport Satellite Imagery Digital Surface Map orthomosaic sentinel 2 multispectral bands satellite imaging corporation

Digital Surface Map of Dubai International Airport by Sat Imaging Corp.

The workflow below describes the process for creating a DSM with QGIS to produce a data-rich field map, which complements field survey operations conducted using Mappt.

The Mappt team conducted a field survey at Kensington Bushland, in which we collected a range of points to characterise the local vegetation using Mappt.

Kensington Bushland, City of Victoria Park, walk leisure recreation natural park for

Kensington Bushland, City of Victoria Park

Each survey point contained a range of attributes for the field worker to fill out on location, including plant species, condition, time, % coverage etc. We created the attribute form using Mappt’s handy drop-down feature to collect all the field data. This was of course put together and pre-loaded prior to heading out into the field, like the intelligent and efficient field workers we are 🙂

(Click HERE for a free copy of our Ultimate Field Checklist)

Of most interest for this assessment was the species and condition of vegetation at the field site. The project goal was to explore trends that may explain any gradients in the species structure, coverage and/or condition. We collected additional drone imagery over the survey area, which was used to provide valuable complementary information on the vegetation community.

 

Now that we’ve returned from the field in good spirits and relatively unscathed, it’s time to begin our workflow process for the field survey!

Loading Mappt data into QGIS

First, we want to export the survey data collected using Mappt and bring it into QGIS. To do this, we want to navigate to the saved project file within Mappt and then click the export icon. We then want to select all layers, choose the GeoJSON format for QGIS, then choose to export to external apps, lastly selecting Google Drive as the export location. (See below)

Mappt user interface field mapping collecting georeferenced images for vegetation assessment screenshot_20190605-110141

That’s it, put down the tablets people! You’ve successfully collected and exported your field data from Mappt. Pretty easy right?

Now we want to move over to our desktop computer and load the Mappt data in for further processing in QGIS. Open up a new project in QGIS and check that the CRS projection is set to WGS 84 (under Project > Properties).

Next, add Google Satellite as a base layer for your project (click on the Web > QuickMapServices > Search QMS, then click on Google Satellite in the window that opens in the bottom-right).

 data-source-manager-icon

Click this icon to Import the Mappt data from Google Drive into QGIS through the Data Source Manager.

 

 

Now double-click on the Vector file in the Layer Window to make any style changes desired. For my data, I have characterised survey points into species type and given them different colours. I also filled in the polygon for the reserve area, and indicated my survey entry and exit points with coloured lines.

mapptdata

Now you’ve got your Mappt survey data looking schmick in QGIS, it’s time to bring in the drone images to create a DSM overlay! First, we will need to combine all the photos from your drone together into the one orthomosaic (to rule them all).

Creating a Digital Surface Map using Drone Deploy

Go to http://dronedeploy.com and create an account if this is your first time using it. Then simply upload all your images into the window and drone deploy will create an orthomosaic for you! You can change the processing time by toggling the speed vs quality bar under the ‘Advanced’ tab. Click ‘Upload Images’ to begin the process.

It might be time for a tea break now, as this does take a while.

drone deploy mapping software online orthomosaic creator drone imagery

Once the map has finished processing, you have the option to export the orthomosaic as a natural colour GeoTIFF, as well as NDVI index and Elevation map. Export any that you want and ensure they are GeoTIFFs.

Now, we want to bring QGIS back up and load in the files, once again using the Data Source Manager.

raster-icon Click this icon within Data Source Manager to load the GeoTIFFs as raster files.

Again, we can change the opacity and style of each layer to get the desired style. For my orthomosaic, I chose to reduce the opacity of the natural colour layer so that the elevation can be seen.

orthomosaic-data

There are some interesting features of the elevation that seem to overlap with some patterns in the vegetation structure! We should create a map to show the boss.

Creating a map in QGIS including Mappt survey data and DSM data

print-layout-icon To do this, we want to click on the Print Layout icon in QGIS.

This opens a blank page from which we can begin to draw our map.

addmap-iconIn the Composition Window that’s just opened, click the ‘Add Map’ icon.

Then click and drag an area over the canvas in the window to produce a map. The map produced is based on the view in your main QGIS window, so you may need to do some final style tweaks to finalise the image.

map-icons You can then add a Title, Legend and Scale bar to your map using their respective icons.

You can customise all of these to your liking by clicking on the feature then using the ‘Item Properties’ window on the right to adjust the information displayed.

imageicon Next, add a North Arrow by first clicking on the ‘Add Image’ icon.

Then, navigate over to the ‘Item Properties’ window and click on the ‘Search Directories’ drop down. Here you will find a number of images that are suitable as a North Arrow.

Lastly, click on the map itself and navigate through the item properties until you find the ‘Grids’ drop down (See below). Click on the green plus icon to add a grid, then click Modify Grid to set the scale. Once your grid is displayed nicely, lastly change the frame style to ‘Zebra’ and then close out.

grid

Voila! Your map is now complete for reporting. For my data I’ve found a pattern between increasing elevation on my DSM, and abundance of Banksia menziesii. Neat!

QGIS map of kensington bushland created using mappt and drones to produce digital surface map and vegetation survey data

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Field Mapping in Geology: Mappt User Story

Geologist in the field using a smart device to measure strike and dip on a rock formation

Geologist in the field using a smart device to measure strike and dip on a rock formation.

Geologists working in the field often require various measurement and mapping instruments to record and distribute geological information, while working in tough environmental conditions.

Mappt is a mobile GIS mapping tool that enables geologists to simplify their arsenal for completing mapping projects in the field. Paul Wright, a Senior Exploration Geologist, loves the ease of use and features he can take advantage of for his field work, simply using Mappt and a tablet device.

“I like the adequate but not over the top functionality which makes learning it easy. Just enough to collect the critical aspects and get on with the job”

-Paul Wright, Senior Exploration Geologist

Mappt also makes use of the internal accelerometer of smart devices. This enables a suite of additional mapping features to provide important orientation measurements in the field, including strike and dip. Combined with the GPS functionality of such devices, field measurements and data can be recorded in Mappt without the need for cellular/WiFi.

Mappt strike and dip field data acquisition tool

pitch roll and yaw measurement collection with smart device field data measurements using mappt

 
Paul is currently working on a porphyry copper project in Central Qld, where he is due to launch into a geological mapping exercise. He will be using Mappt to quickly and accurately digitise polygons whilst in the field. Additionally, Paul can save himself a lot of time collecting orientation measurements of geological structures using Mappt’s strike & dip feature. After his initial experience with Mappt, Paul feels confident in its applicability for larger scale mapping projects in his portfolio. The wealth of features and simplicity of the Mappt solution will enable Paul to conduct his operations in the remote and challenging conditions in Papua new Guinea.
We look forward to continue working with Paul to provide a convenient and effective mapping solution for his work in central QLD and PNG.

-story by Colby ‘Big Dawg’ Bignell who recently joined the team at Mappt.  Colby has an exciting CV including implementation of shark detection and deterrent devices!

Colby "Big Dawg" Bignell


If you would like to know more about using Mappt as an efficient and robust field inspection utility, please contact us at: support@mappt.com.au

Try Mappt today by downloading it from the Google Play Store

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Quick Field Inspection Reports From Mappt

Mappt continues to prove itself as a versatile tool with new and innovative uses occurring regularly.  This post focuses on implementing field inspections and in-field reporting using Mappt. 

Using Mappt to perform on-site roadworks inspections

Using Mappt to perform on-site roadworks inspections

A recent client inquired about Mappt’s ability to generate in-field inspection reports suitable as a client deliverable.  As an agnostic data collector (i.e. unhindered by proprietary data formats) Mappt renders data in various formats – both GIS-specific (e.g. shapefiles) and generic (e.g. .csv files).  As an efficient data capture tool, Mappt gives users the flexibility to create field forms following a natural data collection hierarchy and progression.

Completed roadworks inspection report from Mappt

Completed roadworks inspection report from Mappt

In this instance, we were provided with the client’s standard field inspection report and tasked with developing a workflow within Mappt for capturing all data to be included within the report and to provide functionality to generate reports in-field as a client deliverable.

The client’s standard six page inspection report was inclusive of seven unique data types covering the following categories;

  • General Parameters: date, time, inspector, weather
  • Site Photos: works in progress & comments
  • Roadworks by Location:  specific road locations & activities
  • Manpower Classification: job classifications and aggregate hours
  • Equipment Type and Number:  equipment in operation on site
  • Quality Assessments: assessments of roadworks to design
  • Safety Compliance: titles and names of responsible parties, proper signage, etc.
Segregating inspection data types into Layers improves data management

Segregating inspection data types into layers improves data management

Breaking each category into separate layers was deemed most effective as some categories were not required to be populated during each inspection/site visit.  For example, inspections might occur when the contractor was offsite and therefore recording the “equipment in operation on site” was unnecessary.  In addition, a single category might include upwards of forty-five attributes.  Including the possibly hundreds of features in a single field form is less ergonomic, requires the user to look at their screen for an extended period, and possibly unsafe as the user could become unaware of equipment operating nearby.Creating a comprehensive layer inclusive of 45 attributesCreating a comprehensive layer inclusive of 45 attributes

A unique but useful utility in Mappt is the ability to call up Google Street views directly from Mappt.  It is useful for orienting site visitors who may be unfamiliar to the project or for inclusion into a client deliverable such as these field reports.

The Google Street View Icon lets can help orient users to new locations

The Google Street View Icon (red circle) launches Google Street View on your tablet

Google Street View captured in Mappt helps users find new locations

Google Street View captured in Mappt helps users find new locations

After data collection for the inspection report has been completed the data are exported as comma separated values files.  Using a previously formatted spreadsheet workbook, the data is imported to a data input worksheet and a second formatted worksheet makes reference calls to the first to generate a print-ready field inspection report.  Users can than render the report in a printer friendly format (e.g. .pdf) and email it to the client.  Spreadsheet software for Android tablets includes MS Excel, Google Sheets, and Polaris Office.

Formatted field inspection report with reference calls to input sheet

Formatted field inspection report with reference calls to input sheet

Visualising Roadworks Inspection Information on Your Desktop

To visualise the roadworks inspection information on your desktop, first share the layers from Mappt as either GeoJSON or Shape Files and them import them to your desktop GIS system.  We mentioned that each feature contains numerous attributes and it may be necessary to call this information up ‘on-the-fly’ to recap previous inspections or track progress onsite.  Tool tips in QGIS are an effective means to call up attribute information, especially text information like this.  By calling up the display properties for your layer, it’s possible to call up any attribute information possible using HTML syntax.  Referencing an attribute is as follows; [% “AttributeName” %].  Using <br> ensures that a carriage return is used and any text typed in will also appear in the tool tip.  You’ll need to enable map tips from the View tab in QGIS to switch on map tips.  When map tips are enabled, hovering your mouse over a feature in the active/selected layer will cause the tool tip to appear.

Syntax used for displaying multiple attribute information in QGIS

Syntax used for displaying multiple attribute information in QGIS

 

Displaying information for features with multiple text attributes in QGIS

Displaying information for features with multiple text attributes in QGIS.  

This exercise highlights how Mappt can simplify field inspection report generation and improve data integrity.


Harmeet Kuar developed the workflow for: Quick Field Inspection Reports with Mappt

Harmeet Kuar developed the workflow for: Quick Field Inspection Reports with Mappt

By Harmeet Kaur

Harmeet Kaur is a recent Geographic Information Systems graduate from the University of Western Australia and has recently completed an internship with Takor. While at Takor, Harmeet focused on developing workflows to improve Mappt’s in-field usability and has contributed to many of the blog posts you see here.


If you would like to know more about using Mappt as an efficient and robust field inspection utility, please contact us at: support@mappt.com.au

Try Mappt today by downloading it from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store

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Ground-truthing Saltmarsh Vegetation Communities with Mappt. Lindisfarne Island, UK

lindisfarne_collage

Lindisfarne is a tidal island located off the north-east coast of England covering 405 hectares (1,000 acres). Whilst small, measuring 4 km in width 2.5 km in length, the island habitats consist of thriving saltmarshes, sand dunes, and tidal mudflats.  The island is known as a spectacular habitat for viewing migrating birds.

The coastal salt marshes of Lindisfarne formed when salt tolerant plants colonised the adjoining intertidal areas. The region’s high tidal variation has created an environment endemic to the islands unique range of flora and fauna.

How Mappt Assists Uni Students in the Field

Post-graduate research students enrolled in an International Marine Environmental Consultancy course provided by Newcastle University, UK, successfully used UAV imagery and Mappt to identify saltmarsh vegetation communities around Lindisfarne Island.

Students used stratified random sampling to collect ground truth data in order to train predictive mapping models for object-based image analysis of drone imagery. Students identified eight vegetation communities for predictive mapping.  Method “C” was found to have the most successful prediction rate.

Tidal plant communities on Lindisfarne island mapped using image-based object analysis of drone imagery

Tidal plant communities on Lindisfarne island mapped using image-based object analysis of drone imagery

Vegetation Communities Identified for this study

Code & Salt Marsh Plant Community Name

SM13 Puccinellia maritima
SM14 Halimione portulacoides
SM15 Juncus maritimus-Triglochin maritima
SM16 Festuca rubra
SM28 Elymus repens
SM6 Spartina anglica
SM8 Annual Salicornia

 

For this study, Mappt was connected to a Trimble Catalsyt GNSS (via bluetooth) to stake out quadrats, navigate to sampling areas, and store field data.  *Mounting your tablet to the GPS pole as was done for this study is advantageous as it frees up your hands for other important tasks.  We like how Paula took advantage of soft soils to ‘plant’ her GPS and tablet while referring to her comprehensive list of 864 unique National Vegetation Classification sub community names.

Using Mappt in conjunction with Trimble GNSS to map tidal plant communities

Using Mappt in conjunction with Trimble GNSS to map tidal plant communities

Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive and included the following;  

Uploading shapefiles was easy

Sampling points when overlain on drone imagery were easy to navigate to  

Sampling points could be made invisible after data had been collected

Students Share Their Excitement for Using Mappt

Students Share Their Excitement for Using Mappt

Students at the university of Newcastle plan to use Mappt for their future projects such as; sand dune monitoring, rocky shore habitat mapping, and measuring the impact of activities such as bait collection from the intertidal area. In this way, Mappt is helping university students to map and collect data on-the-go effectively.

 

Mappt is available for free to educational institutions.  Here’s how to become an educational partner with Mappt.  

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1m Positional Accuracy in Mappt using Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor

Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor & Mappt Mobile GIS

Measuring 60x100mm the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor can provide 1m accuracy

Measuring 60x100mm the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor can provide 1m accuracy

Thanks to the helpful folks at Bad Elf, we recently got our hands on the Bad Elf Surveyor Bluetooth GNSS* for testing with Mappt. Combining Mappt with an external source of positional information delivers higher  accuracy than using the on-board GNSS for mobile phones and tablets. It also reduces battery consumption and CPU load on your mobile device.

Vendors like Bad Elf also provide applications offering enhanced functionality for data logging, device configuration, and data QC. Using external GNSS sources makes determining your position less “black box” and more hands-on when it comes to resolving your location and understanding the level of accuracy provided.
Compact and Compatible
Paring the Bad Elf GNSS with Mappt follows the same procedure we’ve detailed in a previous blog. The compact design (100x 60x20mm) and long lasting battery make the Bad Elf a handy field companion for mobile mapping and data collection. With a small LCD screen yielding important GNSS information, the Bad Elf keeps you well aware of the positional information available to you.

GNSS information available from the Bad Elf's compact 35x25mm LCD screen

GNSS information available from the Bad Elf’s compact 35x25mm LCD screen

Increased Accuracy
When either mapping or collecting data in the field, increased positional accuracy is always a plus. Often it’s necessary to revisit the field to account for seasonal changes (in the case of environmental sciences) or for relocating benchmarks or critical infrastructure such as utilities. The Bad Elf Surveyor offers up to 1m accuracy, an improvement over the 3-5m accuracy achievable with tablets and mobile phones.

 

How does it do that?
The Bad Elf Surveyor uses information from three satellite constellations; GPS, GLONASS, and QZSS. Thus from wherever you are globally, there’s an increased probability that you will have the required four satellites to resolve your position. Many devices derive location from a single satellite constellation thus limiting the amount of satellites available to them. The Bad Elf Surveyor also implements SBAS, Satellite Based Augmentation System, to gain positions within 1m. Serving as an augmentation to Global Navigation Satellite Systems, it works by collecting raw positioning data from regional Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS), computing error corrections, and sharing these corrections to users via a geostationary communications satellite. While southern hemisphere regions don’t have their own SBAS, Australia is currently implementing its own SBAS test-bed to be operational by January 2019.
Alongside SBAS, the Bad Elf Surveyor also implements PPP, Precise Point Positioning, which removes GNSS system errors providing a high level of position accuracy from a single receiver. This solution depends on GNSS satellite clock and orbit corrections. These corrections are delivered to the receiver via satellite to provide positioning accurate to within several deicmetres.

 

Mobile Device GPS Behavior Versus Dedicated GPS Units
Mobile device GNSS chipsets have been designed to compliment an integrated system (your tablet/phone) delivering a wide variety of applications. Just count the number of apps you’ve downloaded from the app store. Can you imagine carrying a separate component for each of these?  These mobile applications are optimized to reduce load on the system by reducing battery consumption and processor load. The optimisation for mobile GPS chipsets puts limiting battery usage at the top of the list with time-to-fix location second and positional accuracy third. Dedicated GNSS devices like Bad Elf devices flip this priority on it’s head, placing positional accuracy first followed by time-to-fix and lastly the reduction of battery power. While it may seem like the Bad Elf would quickly run out of juice, it can continuously stream Bluetooth GNSS information for 24 hours. We have yet to see a tablet with that type of battery power!

We took the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor to our favourite bushland, Signal Hill Park

We took the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor to our favourite bushland, Signal Hill Park

Mapping Tips n Tricks Learned Using the Bad Elf Surveyor
Creating Polygons in Mappt –  Turn on the enter polygon tool and record each significant point of the polygon (corners and inflection points) as you walk out the perimiter. This ensures that corners/vertices are not shortcut and an accurate shape of the area is recorded.  It’s possible to create polygons in Mappt using the GPS Tracking tool, then walking out the perimeter of the polygon, and finishing off by converting the polyline to a polygon to enclose the area. This method helps when moving continuously (such as when in a vehicle) as you don’t need to stop and record points around the area. However the points associated with your polyline are created at the frequency of GPS updates from your device and you may end up not recording those key corner points!
GNSS Location – Place your external GNSS device in a way that provides a clear view of the sky. Some websites suggest affixing the GNSS face-up to the top of your hat! While you will have great reception, this limits the opportunity to check parameters on the LCD screen. Affixing the GNSS to a surveyors staff gives you both a walking stick and place to mount your tablet. This setup affords both good GNSS reception and makes data entry easier as the tablet is held steady by the staff.  Note:  The team at Bad Elf are currently developing hardware designed with rapid mobile mapping in mind.

The crew at Bad Elf are working on a clever monopole mount for the Bad Elf Surveyor

The crew at Bad Elf are working on a clever monopole mount for the Bad Elf Surveyor

Bad Elf has developed an integrated GPS and mobile device monopole for rapid mobile mapping

Bad Elf has developed an integrated GPS and mobile device monopole for rapid mobile mapping

Bad Elf GNSS Logging – The Bad Elf allows continuous logging of points. After a hard day in the field, it’s nice to know how much ground you covered. Logged information can be downloaded as GPX files and visualised in desktop GIS solutions such as QGIS.

Signal Hill Park Map from QGIS. Bad Elf track points (orange) displaying the total ground covered in this mapping exercise.

Signal Hill Park Map from QGIS. Bad Elf track points (orange) displaying the total ground covered in this mapping exercise.

*GNSS, Global Navigation Satellite System, is the collective term for all navigation satellites groups (constellations) including GPS.

 

If you would like to know more about configuring an external GNSS to work with Mappt, please contacts us at: support@mappt.com.au

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External GPS sources for Mappt Part 2: Mapping in the Field with RTK GNSS (survey-grade GPS)

In our last post we covered how to configure your tablet or phone to receive an external GPS signal via Bluetooth.  Here we share our experience of linking up Mappt with survey-grade RTK GNSS (Real Time Kinematic Global Navigation Satellite System) to achieve centimetre-level positional accuracy.

 

Utilising RTK GNSS and Mappt for centimetre-level positional accuracy

Utilising RTK GNSS and Mappt for centimetre-level positional accuracy

Achieving Survey-Grade Positional Accuracy with Mappt

Joe user asks, “Hey how can I achieve high positional accuracy with Mappt?

The short answer is, “Bluetooth to an RTK GNSS to achieve centimetre level accuracy“.

What’s GNSS?

GNSS, is the collective term for all satellite positioning systems which includes GPS (USA), BeiDou (China), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (Europe), IRNSS (India), and QZSS (Japan).  Phones, tablets, and survey-grade systems use satellites from multiple positioning systems, thus we’re referring to these systems as GNSS (rather than GPS).

The Benefits of Using Mappt in conjunction with RTK GNSS

Mappt’s flexibility and onboard functionality helps users achieve the full benefits of high accuracy RTK GNSS while in the field.  For example when using Mappt in conjunction with RTK GNSS, users have in-field access to these mapping tools;

  • Locate and save point features with unlimited attributes
  • Thematic Mapping gives users the ability to colour code mapped information while in the field
  • Layering of data types to achieve hierarchal data structure and visualisation
  • Interactive functionality (exclusion & inclusion zone warnings) improving field safety
  • The ability to display web-based aerial/satellite imagery and other GIS information such as WMS, WMTS, & WFS
    • With a data connection, this data is continuously updated as you move to new areas
  • Offline display of high resolution aerial and satellite images (ECW, JP2)
  • Multi-user data capture & updates using MapptAir.

RTK GNSS Gear

In our previous post we detailed how to configure your mobile device to receive location information via Bluetooth.  Thanks to Mangoesmapping and Ascon Surveys both for their technical support and equipment (on loan) used to complete our trial.  We found the Emlid Reach RS RTK GNSS units (available from Mangoesmapping) suitable for this trial.

Our Field Experience

The following data was acquired in less than one hour (including setup and pack down of the RTK base unit and survey pole mounted rover unit).  Data collection in this small urban bushland was on-the-fly as point types were added as deemed necessary.  Points types collected included kerb locations, footpath limits and walking tracks.  Point types were added to our field form as necessary thus the list of point types was added to as new elements were observed.  *To save time, a dropdown list of point ID’s can be created prior to leaving for the site.  In the limited time spent onsite, three point IDs were all that was necessary.  We also utilised the geotracking utility to map in the trails crossing the site as well as to create a geofenced area at the park’s centre.  Lastly we tested Mappt’s geofence alerts feature by entering and exiting our geofenced area.  Have a look at this video showing how it works.

Mappt mobile GIS data gathering using RTK GNSS at Signal Hill, Belmont, WA

Mappt mobile GIS data gathering using RTK GNSS at Signal Hill, Belmont, WA

What we took away from the experience.

It was a simple step to download all data gathered to shape files and import them into QGIS.  We mapped in such features as the back of kerb, footpath limits, and bush tracks.  RTK GNSS units have the ability to validate/qualify positional information with an audible “Fixed” to indicate that positional information is within your specified accuracy.  Likewise when the positional information is below spec an audio warning “Float” will alert users that possibly more time at that location is needed to gain a fixed position or that trees or buildings are hampering satellite reception.  Our recommendation is to have this activated on your RTK GNSS receivers to eliminate collecting data of low positional uncertainty (occurs in areas of high tree cover and when adjacent to tall buildings) .

QGIS map showing GIS data gathered using RTK GNSS and Mappt

QGIS map showing GIS data gathered using RTK GNSS and Mappt

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How Smart Technology is Saving Species

Habitat loss, global climate change, poaching and human disruptions have all caused enormous devastation to wildlife biodiversity all over the world.

How can we reverse the damage humans have done? Or prevent future harm to endangered species?

Progressions in technologies, created only in recent times, has redefined our knowledge of how animals live.

By understanding the geographical habits of an animal, we can make more informed decisions that will revolutionise conservation.

satellite technology for wildlifeSmart Maps

In almost real-time, using remote sensors, satellite imagery and GPS tracking, wildlife conservationists now have the ability to follow enigmatic creatures that was once considered impossible.

With the breakthrough in satellite technology and the growing number of satellites, both public and private in nature, allow conservationists to gain an unparalleled perspective on what’s happening around the globe.

Imagery can reveal information about climactic conditions and vegetation type, which can aid in predicting animal movements. Dense colonies like emperor penguins in the Antarctic, can also be tracked and mapped with satellites.

By revealing the world in extraordinary detail and by allowing more people in more places to access this data and technology, we are slowly safeguarding our wildlife.

cheetah smart collarSmart Collars

We’re not just talking about GPS tracking, ‘Smart’ collars collect almost the same amount of data that our wearable fitness bracelets do.

This technology allows wildlife managers to remotely monitor an animal’s movement patterns, when they’re sleeping or how they’re hunting. These collars can tell you practically anything about an animal’s activities.

Researchers anticipate that by visualising and knowing exactly what a species does in a day, they can further understand them, potentially predict behaviour and in turn reduce human conflict.

smart phone mapping wildlifeSmart Phones

Now that we’ve got smart collars and smart maps, what would happen if we were to integrate this collected data into our smart phones?

Mobile technologies have been introduced to make viewing, collecting and sharing data when out in the field to be seamless, efficient and integrated.

Mobile mapping and GIS app, Mappt, is an example of a downloadable phone app that allows users to view satellite imagery or animal movement patterns or GPS tracking, layer by layer.

Mappt allows users to collect new data and add to the mapping visualisation tool. Users can add geotagged photos and create geofences to prevent people out in the field from entering exclusion zones.

This app can be assimilated into any GIS software, importing and exporting any kind of data to your desktop computer. Mappt has been used to map and track cheetah populations in Iran.

Saving The World

Digital location based technology is changing wildlife conservation in more and more profound ways.

Geographical information and the ability to view data anywhere and anytime is a valuable tool for conservationists and wildlife ecologists saving the animals, one location at a time.

Sources

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Mappt is now available in Hindi!

In 2017, India has the highest number of Mappt users than any other country, so we are thrilled to announce the arrival of Mappt in Hindi language.

Followed closely by the United States and Indonesia, Mappt is now being used in over 130 countries around the world.

The need for offline mobile GIS has skyrocketed in the past few years and according to several recent reports, the global mobile GIS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.04% over the next 4 years.

India Mappt

DOWNLOAD A FREE TRIAL OF MAPPT HERE

Why Mobile GIS?

Mobile GIS has exploded into a range of industries including mining, agriculture, environmental and utilities. From maintenance, inspections to tracking and mapping, mobile data collection applications are changing the way we do our field work.

Mappt makes your any work in the field faster, easier and way more accurate. Not to mention cheaper… Have you tried the new iOS version of Mappt?

Mappt Elements (iPhone) is free to download on the app store here.

If your tablet’s language is already set to Hindi, Mappt will automatically download into your set language. If you want to change it manually, this can be easily adjusted in Mappt’s settings.

Mappt on tablet

Globalisation is Here

With the growing interconnectivity of the world, the need for products in multiple languages has never been greater. You asked, we listened.

To access Mappt in Hindi, upgrade for free to the latest version of Mappt via the Google Play Store here.

Mappt is also available in English, Indonesian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, French, Farsi and Turkish.

Is Mappt not available in your language? Email us at support@mappt.com.au to let us know you want it!

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Mappt Elements: The Free Data Collection App for iOS

Mappt elements for iphone and ipad

You wanted it, you got it! Say hello to Mappt Elements, the free data collection app for iPhone and iPad… with a twist.

Lightning fast and meticulously accurate, Mappt Elements was born from years of experience in mobile GIS. It has been designed for you and your team – whatever level your GIS skills are – and is available for anyone to download from the App Store.

The difference between Mappt and Mappt Elements

Mappt Elements is very different from the fully-fledged Android version. It has a slick new look and is free to download, but the most impressive aspect is that it’s completely customisable.

We built Mappt Elements with an array of features available to purchase in-app, which means you only pay for the tools you need. So you can build up Mappt Elements to transform your iPhone into a simple data collection assistant, or a powerful in-field partner.

Mappt Elements Features

From environmental scientists experienced in GIS to local governments new to mapping technology, Mappt Elements is for anyone who wants to ditch desktop and capture data easily with an iOS device.

The seamless navigation and design make it easy for anyone to grasp, but don’t be fooled by its simple appearance, Mappt Elements has an impressive list of growing features that currently includes:

  • Create points and add attributes
  • Measurement Tools
  • Choose from a selection of base maps
  • Add your own WMS imagery layers
  • Load in Shapefiles and GeoJSON vector files as reference layers
  • Offline caching
  • Various export formats

To find out more, hit the button below and download it for FREE:

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Mappt Elements drop points, add data, export and report

How to use the Mappt Elements Form Builder

Mappt Elements also contains a unique external form builder. You can easily manage projects by making simple data collection forms and sharing them with your team for use in the field.

Create and customise projects using the Mappt Form Builder (see steps below) or by using one of the preset templates in app.Mappt Elements Export Tool

  1.  Build your form in app or visit www.mapptelements.com.au/form-builder.
  2. Create your form by specifying ‘required’ or essential attributes.
  3. Hit Upload Form and copy the generated code
  4. Head back into the app go to New > From a template code > Paste the code into the box and tap load.
  5. Once it has finished loading, enter the project’s name. The project will then be ready to use.

Export and report

Once you’ve created your project, Mappt Elements gives managers the flexibility to export information in a variety of ways:

  • Instantly generate PDF reports for quick distribution to clients and stakeholders
  • Export to all major GIS data formats such as Shapefile and KML, to integrate with QGIS, ArcInfo or Google Earth.
  • Export to CSV to view your data in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Email data as an attachment, without having to return to the office.

When you’re ready to export your project and put the data to work, hit the Export button and choose your format. Please note that you must purchase the Export Package (AUD $4.99) to export in any formats other than CSV.  

To find out more, visit www.mapptelements.com.au, or download it now and explore the features yourself!

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Only on Android? No problem! Download a free trial of Mappt from the Google Play Store.

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

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.

Start My FREE Mappt Trial

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.

START MY FREE MAPPT TRIAL

 

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.