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Top 5 Tablets for Field Mapping and Data Collection on Mappt

At Mappt, we’re often asked for recommendations on the best tablets to use with our software. With this in mind, we’re happy to offer our ‘Top 5 Tablets for Mappt!’

Mappt field mapping GIS software running on rugged android tablets in harsh conditions

 

We have reviewed the best Android tablets currently on the market and rated them based on a number of factors. Tablet features are considered relevant to the environments that Mappt users operate in, often involving mapping in the field. Given the majority of our user-ship surrounds field data collection, the main focus is on tablet robustness and visibility outdoors. As an additional note regarding visibility – we do provide a feature within Mappt to change between light and dark themes, as the light theme is more visible in sunlight. We’ve also considered tablet factors including processing speed, storage, GNSS (GPS) connectivity and price to name a few. If you have other questions regarding field data collection using Mappt please first check out this 3-part series; then read on below:

Top 5 Tablets for Field Mapping and Data Collection on Mappt

Standard Tablets:

Lenovo Tab P10 (A$400)

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The Lenovo P10 is a great budget tablet with very reliable performance. Our recommendation owes to its 4GB RAM, 1.8GHz processor, Android 8.0 OS, 12 hours battery life and built in GPS all at a low price. In fact, the Lenovo Tablet costs less than its weight at a dollar per gram (440g). This tablet isn’t ruggedised however, so a sturdy case is recommended, but the Full HD display is certainly outdoors-friendly at 400 nits.

Samsung Galaxy Active 2 Tablet (~A$600)

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The only rugged (IP68 standard and MIL-STD-810G certified), waterproof 7” tablet made for business in its price range. With up to 1.6 GHz processing power, 3GB RAM and 472 nits display brightness, the Active 2 tablet ticks a lot of boxes for field mapping at a budget price. The Active S Pen is a very handy feature for drawing lines and polygons, as it is much better than a traditional stylus and will even work on a rain-soaked screen. Additionally, 9 hours of battery life in the smallest form factor and weight (419g) on this list makes it Mappt pocket-worthy approved.

For low-budget, non-rugged tablet requirements, also consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab A in various specs/sizes.

 

Ruggedised Tablets:

Getac ZX70 (~A$1300)

getac_zx70_android_tablet

A small, rugged and powerful tablet with a 7” display pumping out 580 nits of brightness. Additionally, Getac uses LumiBond 2.0 technology for better readability outdoors, also offering better contrast and crisper colors. The ZX70 sports 4GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC storage, dedicated GPS, 1.4-1.9GHz processor and 8 hours battery life. The only tablet engineered down to the chassis for ruggedness, weighing in at 760 grams and designed to fit ergonomically in one hand, the Getac ZX70 could be your new best friend in the field.

 

Panasonic ToughBook FZ-B2 (~A$1500)

toughpads-panasonic

The FZ-B2 is a rugged 7″ tablet designed for field-based workforces with a 500 nit Outdoor Display. Running Android 6.0 OS and powered by a 2.4GHz processor, the Toughpad FZ-B2 has strong features. Also included is a quick charging, user replaceable full shift battery granting 8-16 hours of life with the dual upgrade. Contained within a fully rugged and sealed design, the thin and lightweight (540g) Toughpad FZ-B2 is built for long-lasting durability. Additionally, a 72 channel GNSS receiver is a significant optional feature for high precision mapping.

Also consider: ToughBook FZ-A2 for a larger 10.1” screen (800 nits) and GPS (~$2000)

 

Zebra XSLATE D10 Rugged Tablet (~A$2000)

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Want the ultimate in rugged tablets? The 10.1” XSlate Tablet is fully customisable to blow your field mapping productivity goals out of the water! Features include 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD, 1.9GHz processor and 8 customisable and interchangeable I/O ports. The customisability ensures future-proofing your business against changing technology. The display is a direct bonded, daylight-readable display with 500 nits of brightness. The XSlate has hard to beat features and up to 20 hours battery life, but it comes at a price.

As a final note, we want to acknowledge local service providers Rugged Computing who are a wealth of information regarding tablets and rugged field solutions. In fact, much of this information has been derived from their website and product offerings! Get in touch with them for any further purchasing assistance you may require and a quote. Be sure to ask about their own high spec rugged tablet offering under $1000 too!

We hope that this Top 5 list assists you in your tablet purchasing decisions for field mapping work! Please let us know in the comments if this post helped you, or if you have other suggestions based on your experiences.

Want to also use Mappt on your desktop upon return to the office?

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

Full comparison table below:

tablet comparison table rugged specs brightness

comparison-2

 

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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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It’s time to upgrade!

Mappt version 3.10.1 is available on Google Play.

mappt-3-10-1-mobile-gis-and-data-collection

Dear Mappt Community,
Version 3.10.1 has hit the Google Play store & it includes some important updates so make sure to update Mappt on your device before August 30, 2018 to ensure continuity of your field data collection activities.

Mappt on Google Play

Thanks for being part of the Mappt Community!
As always we’re keen to hear from you!
Kind Regards,
Ciaran Doyle

Product Manager
Takor Group Ltd

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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 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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What is Mobile GIS and why is it so important right now?

What is GIS?

Ok let’s take a few steps back, what’s GIS you say? Geographic Information Systems.

Still too scary? Well basically, and I mean very basically it’s mapping.

National Geographic defines GIS as “a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface.”

GIS can show several types of information on one map. This map has 3 layers – streets, buildings, and vegetation. GIS enables us to see and understand noteworthy patterns and relationships.
Understanding the location element of any kind of data helps us to discover facts about the world we live in.

We can use maps to see change or relationships in population for urban planning, pollution for environmental hazards, soils for agriculture, rock characteristics for geology or telephone poles for asset management. These examples offer only a glimpse into the incredible means GIS and mapping technologies provide.

GIS layers on map

What is Mobile GIS?

Ok now that we’ve wrapped our heads around GIS lets dive a little deeper into mobile. Yep, you guessed it, ‘mobile’ GIS is simply the power of GIS in the palm of our hands.

With the rise of the smartphone era, people now need access to information at every moment of the day. This is critical to performing tasks in the field or on location. Mobile GIS allows people to access the entirety of their spatial data on a tablet or mobile phone. Not only can people view this data anywhere at any time, but they can add, manipulate and share the information in real time.

According to the recent Technavio report, the global mobile GIS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.04% during the period 2016-2020. According to the report, it is because of the growing need for continuous and constant access to geospatial data and an increaseof mobile viewing in remote areas, without internet.

Mobile GIS companies must tackle the complex nature of programming on this platform and be fully functional offline for use in isolated areas. The creator of Mappt, Takor Group, has also been named a prominent vendor in the Global Mobile GIS Market.

Want to try a mobile GIS app? Download Mappt for a free trial.

Or check out the data collection version of Mappt for iOS users here: www.mapptelements.com.au

 

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.

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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.

Takor Group set up an office in Melbourne

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