Posts

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Quadrat surveys on Mangrove forests in Borneo

Satellite view of Borneo within Mappt, where we will explore the ability to conduct Quadrat Surveys on Mangrove Forests.

Satellite view of Borneo within Mappt, where we will explore the ability to conduct Quadrat Surveys on Mangrove Forests.

The unique power and simplicity of Mappt lies in its’ ability to handle large amounts of data stored in layers with various formats and structures. This was previously very difficult to achieve in a device as small as an Android tablet. Gone are the days of lugging bulky laptops, hard drives, data folders and antennae of various shapes and sizes in order to complete field work tasks! Now Mappt even allows you to collect field data completely offline, without any connectivity dependencies to WiFi, cellular or otherwise.

We’re always excited about describing novel ways to digitise and store complex data within Mappt. Especially when prior data collection methods were particularly tedious to scribe (usually on paper) and then transcribe onto digital computers later for storage, formatting and analysis! This is true for the case of conducting Quadrat Surveys – a method commonly used in vegetation/coastal surveys designed to monitor all aspects of the environment, fauna and flora. Even just 5 years ago during my Environmental Science degree, we were still conducting Quadrat surveys with a physical Quadrat square made out of PVC pipe.. and we’d spend all afternoon writing out a huge range of data attributes by hand for each sampling location. Then of course, no one could ever find their field notes when it came to put the data together in group projects..

I’m getting a bit side-tracked, but it is legitimately exciting to return to Quadrat surveys with a savvy new digital tool in Mappt. Below I’ll go into detail on using the gridding tool for conducting Quadrat surveys, with a focus on mangrove areas in Borneo. Be sure to get out your tablets and load up Mappt to follow along!

Quadrat surveys using Mappt Grid Tool

To begin our excursion into quadrat surveys with Mappt, what we are doing is essentially achieving an identical sampling outcome using a digital version of a quadrat. This has many benefits; you don’t need to lug around and physically place a big quadrat on your sampling locations in the field, you won’t disturb any flora or fauna and you can rely solely on GPS within a handheld map on a tablet to know your location at all times. These benefits will all lead to higher quality data, whilst also greatly simplifying the field work process. Win-win!

borneo mangrove qudarat survey restoration rehabilitation

Defined mangrove restoration areas have been digitised in Mappt for quadrat sampling.

You will still need to define your quadrat areas and size etc first, following an established methodology. You can use random stratified sampling or another method to ensure statistical robustness in your quadrat sampling. Once this has been decided, you can produce precise GPS points for the quadrat survey and easily map out your points in Mappt. This is where the gridding tool comes in! To get started with creating a vector gridding layer:

  • Position the map centred on where you would like the grid to begin, you can enter precise GPS points after if desired
  • Tap on the  button to Add/Load Layer
  • Select ‘Insert Grid’ 
  • In the Grid Properties window, enter the specifications for your grid.

 

borneo mangrove sampling quadrat mappt grid tool

Once you have clicked Insert Grid in Mappt, this table will appear for customising grid properties.

You can change the grid’s position in the properties window that appears, by altering the Lat & Long values to match your precise sample location(s). In this table you can also set the cell units, number of rows, columns and cell size of the grid to match your Quadrat methodology. For example, if you plan on sampling 5x5m Quadrats, set the number of rows and columns each to 5 with a cell height and width of 1m. For the Borneo example, this will enable me to precisely map out survey points for mangrove flora within 1m2 squares within my 5x5m Quadrat. You can also set a bearing for the grid, if you need to have it laid on a particular angle over the landscape.

borneo qudrat survey grid tool mappt

Properties Window options for drawing your quadrat grid.

You can choose a naming convention for the cells within the grid using the drop-down in the Properties Window to suit your requirements.  In order to map points within the grid, you will need to set the grid type to Polygon. Lastly, be sure to set the Grid Type to vector for storing survey data within the Quadrat grid. Once you’re happy with your settings, click on ‘Create New Grid’.

Final list of options within the Properties WIndow for the Gridding tool.

Final list of options within the Properties WIndow for the Gridding tool.

Now we’re ready to start sampling with our fresh new Quadrat laid down! You should see something like the below on Mappt:

borneo quadrat survey mappt grid tool

Quadrat drawn over Borneo mangrove rehabilitation site using Mappt’s Grid Tool.

Adding Field Forms to Manage Complex Survey Data in Mappt

In order to begin adding sampling points within the Quadrat, we should first set up a field form so that we can quickly enter data for each new point in Mappt. To do this, long-press on the Quadrat layer you’ve just created to open the options table. Click on the Attributes Tab across the top then click the ‘Add’ button on the bottom of the page to begin adding data attributes.

Here you can add attributes to your field form for quick & easy data collection in the field.

Here you can add attributes to your field form for quick & easy data collection in the field.

There are a number of different Attribute Types that can be selected to fulfill different data format requirements. Select the most appropriate type for each of your desired data attributes. For example, for Species type/composition the best option would be a multi-select list, which you can fill out with a range of various species names to be included. Click on ‘Required’ and ‘Include in Wizard’ to ensure that a selection will be prompted each time a field worker adds a new point within a Quadrat survey. This is a great way to digitise the collection of a range of complex data, which is usually the case for Quadrat Surveys, in a simple form on a tablet!

borneo mangrove survey field data form

When adding a survey point, a list of Mangrove species to select appears from a pre-filled field form detailed above.

Repeat the above to add all unique data attributes required for your particular survey project. When it comes to adding survey points in the field, be sure that the appropriate Quadrat layer is selected for the survey data. Line up the crosshair on Mappt within the correct 1m2 square in the Quadrat, then click on the ‘Add Point’ button in the top-left of the Mappt screen. The Attribute Form Wizard will prompt the field worker to fill out the data for each attribute. Lastly, they will see a summary table in Mappt to confirm/rectify any issues before adding the point to the layer.

Field form summary table showing all the entries for each data attribute.

Field form summary table showing all the entries for each data attribute.

The field worker simply needs to repeat this for all the survey data they need to collect within each of the Quadrat areas that were decided for the sampling project! Mappt stores all of the data within the same project, which can easily be exported upon return from the field for use in a desktop or web-based GIS. Better yet, the project could be built in Mappt Air beforehand, so each field worker can simply upload their data to Mappt Air into a single, dynamic and synchronised project repository following each sampling exercise! No more duplication and recquisition of multiple data files streaming from an unmanageable amount of sources, no need for extensive time handling data management. For more info about this powerful collaboration & data synchronisation tool, check out the Mappt Air Website.

Exporting data from Mappt

To export the data manually, simply follow these steps:

  • Select the Export option using a touch gesture on the  button
  • Tick the boxes next to the layer(s) you would like to export
  • You are then able to select the format and delivery option for your data, each of these depending on your particular project requirements.

The Export window will ask you to select a file format to export from the list shown below. Shapefiles or CSV files will both be common outputs for Quadrat survey data, depending on the software that will be used for further analysis.

List of file format types to select for exporting your field survey data.

List of file format types to select for exporting your field survey data.

Following your data format selection, you will then be prompted to choose an output location for your data export. You can select to export the data to the file system of the tablet itself, or you can choose to export the data to external sources including Gmail, Google Drive and more for smooth data storage and management!

How do you use Mappt for field surveys? We always love to hear how our users are kicking their project goals with our favourite mobile mapping tool. Feel free to reach out to colby@takor.com.au any time with your success stories, and I’ll be sure to feature it in our blog. Also remember that support is always available if you have needs beyond this tutorial. No question is a silly question when it comes to GIS! You can reach out any time at support@takor.com.au with any queries.

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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GeoTIFF conversion to ECW/JP2 for use with Mappt

geotiff of satellite imagery shown over google earth map data

Satellite imagery and various forms of map data are commonly stored in GeoTIFF formats.

Which is your favourite Map data format? GeoTIFF, JP2, ECW? Is there any you can’t use in your current circumstances?

It is likely that you may have handled a variety of different GIS data formats throughout your career. Perhaps your company is migrating to a new software provider or changing their data management protocol. Or maybe you’ve just received a set of map data from an external source that’s in a different format to what you’re used to. For whatever reason, converting map data to different file formats is a regular activity in the life of a GIS professional.

Mappt is a mobile field mapping solution that allows you to utilise a great degree of flexibility in the types of contextual data that can be displayed. Map imagery data can be brought in to Mappt in either JP2 or ECW format. These formats bring a lot of advantages in their compressed file sizes and tiling features, which make it much easier to load imagery in smaller tiles for offline mapping. It is also possible to load very large, detailed maps in this format within Mappt, up to 1 gigapixel and beyond for Mappt PRO users. This grants the ability to view high resolution imagery even whilst using Mappt completely offline!

Given the popularity of GeoTIFF as a GIS data format, we decided to write a guide detailing how to convert these files to either ECW or JP2 file formats for the best use of Mappt.

Data conversion programs

In order to convert GIS files, special programs are usually required for new GIS formats to be written. A number of software programs are available to do so, and it is likely that your workplace will have access to at least one of them. For this guide, we will be using Global Mapper, which is a very useful and affordable program suitable to complete the file conversion.

global-mapper-featured

 

The first step here is to run Global Mapper and click on the folder icon to load your GeoTIFF data. Before this stage you should also check the projection of the data is correct for your workplace requirements. If it is not correct, change it in your regular GIS program beforehand.

Converting GeoTIFF data for Mappt

Once you have loaded the data in to Global Mapper, simply click File -> Export -> Export Raster/Image Format to begin the conversion process. A pop up will ask you to select a file type from a drop-down menu. It is here that you can select ECW, JP2 or otherwise depending on your requirements. Once selected, clicking OK will bring up the window shown below.

ecwconvert

 

In this window you can toggle the compression ratio, which will determine the final file size. For example, a lower ratio. eg 5:1 will result in a larger file than a ratio of 20:1. You can also select the metadata file formats to generate in this window, to match the program(s) you will be loading the data into following conversion. Everything else can stay at their defaults.

If you wish to clip the data at all, you can click on the ‘Export Bounds’ tab at the top of the window. Here you can click ‘Bounding Box’ to draw a custom box around the data you want included in the output.

Lastly, click OK to complete the conversion process and the program will ask you to specify a file name and location for the output.

Loading Imagery in Mappt

Once the above is completed, you will have your new data format saved on your drive and ready to load in to Mappt! To do this, you just need to send the data to your Android tablet running Mappt. You can do this via your preferred method (Email, Google Drive etc) and load it into your tablet’s filesystem. From here, follow the directions below within Mappt to load your data.

loadmappt loadecw

 

Now you should be equipped to convert and load imagery data into Mappt for your mobile mapping needs. Also remember that support is always available if you have needs beyond this tutorial. No question is a silly question when it comes to GIS! You can reach out any time at info@takor.com.au with any queries.

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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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Mappt User Story: Urban Planning in Carlos Chagas City, Brazil

A street scene in Carlos Chagos City, Brazil

A street scene in Carlos Chagos City, Brazil

Project Name: Technical Scientific Cooperation on Urban planning using Georeferencing and Geostatistics

Date: 2019

Company: Federal University of Viçosa

Location: Carlos Chagas City

Industry: Education

 

Background

  • What is the company? What does it do?

We have a scientific research group on developing new methodologies for urban land planning. Using georeferencing through drones, Geoprocessing, Geostatistics and MoT, Maps of Things, we are transforming the public policy of poor Brazilian municipalities and making them sustainable.

  • What was the background situation?

Urban land planning has always been a problem for Brazil. On average poor municipalities have never done a cadastral survey or it’s been 20 years since the last one.

Problem

  • Why did you need to use GIS?

In urban land planning the vertices of the minimum unit, called portion, must be georeferenced (required by current Brazilian legislation).

  • Why did you need Mappt?

The Mappt app was used to edit the attribute tables in the field by adding important and customised information about the features.

  • What problems were occurring before Mappt?

The usage of paper materials made the work messy and inaccurate.  Costs due to inaccurate data were higher than licensing Mappt for our field workers.

The alternative software available don’t have the features we needed. They also aren’t as intuitive as Mappt.

Objective

  • What was the overall objective of the project?

Developing new methodologies for urban land planning, using georeferencing through Drones, Geoprocessing, Geostatistics and MoT – Maps of Things. When we realise that our actions can give the expected sustainability in the project, then we create public policies and institute them in the municipalities.

 Solution

  • How did you use Mappt?

The app was used on a Tablet device, importing the features of the interested areas, adding physical and social information as needed for each address, such as pedology: -sandy –rocky –hard …; topology:  -rise -descent –level … ; etc.

  • What problems were solved?

The biggest problems were the inaccuracy of the data, since it was written on paper, the staff would check the wrong options.  The white paper also has a high reflectance, causing headaches for our staff.  Within 4 months of work, the amount of money that was saved on paper could even buy another device (Tablet). The number of people needed on each team on the field was reduced from 3 to 2, and in the office, to 1 person.

Urban planners utilising Mappt in the field

Urban planners utilising Mappt in the field

Orthophotos, JP2 images, loaded into Mappt

Orthophotos, JP2 images, loaded into Mappt

The visualisation of previously taken orthophotos and GPS position plus tracking helped the team to locate themselves and associate the polygons with the physical object.

The measurement of each team’s daily productivity allowed us to estimate precisely when the work would be finished.

We tried other apps available on the Google Play store, but none of them allowed editing the attributes by visually clicking the feature.  This makes the app very easy and intuitive to use, no knowledge of GIS software was needed.

Cadastral boundaries and building footprints in newly developed areas of Carlos Chagas City

Cadastral boundaries and building footprints in newly developed areas of Carlos Chagas City

  • Why did you choose Mappt over other software?

The choice of this app was based on its easy and intuitive interface. The field team found no difficulties in learning the steps to record information. Also no prior knowledge of GIS software is required for field data collection.  Initiating new team members is a quicker and therefore cheaper.

  • What Mappt features did you use?

All the work was done offline, even though an internet connection wasn’t required for this work. The paper forms became obsolete since Mappt allows users to edit directly on the attribute table, avoiding errors at the transcription stage.

Utilising the attribute to verify and update existing cadastral data. Note that Mappt is available in Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, Indonesian, Turkish, Hindi, Ukrainian, and Russian

Utilising the attribute to verify and update existing cadastral data. Note that Mappt is available in Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, Indonesian, Turkish, Hindi, Ukrainian, and Russian

Outcome

  • How did the project turn out?

The project was executed more efficiently and the clients were really satisfied.  Our clients even considered using the app themselves to update data from time to time.

  • What was the most valuable thing about the app?

The visualisation of orthophotos was undoubtedly the feature that most helped the field team to get their work done with precision. The style customisation of the polygons also helped them colour code the addresses that still required a site visit.

  • Did it save you time or money?

The amount of money saved is measured by the number of people that are not needed anymore; one person for each field team, and another one in the office to process the day’s field data. The amount saved on paper, would be used to pay for Mappt licenses and tablets over time.

  • Would you recommend Mappt to others? Why?

We sure do! The app is amazing, very stable, even when the devices got really hot, since a lot of sun light shined on it, it didn’t crash. The app doesn’t need high system requirements, the device we used was a Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T280 – 2016 (RAM: 1,5Gb; Internal Memory: 8Gb; Processor: Quad-Core 1.3GHZ; Battery: 4000mhA).

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

 

homeritoSpecial thanks to Homerito Meireles from the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil for authoring this article.  We’re gifting Homerito a Mappt lithium battery pack for his efforts.  All contributors for user case studies receive a free battery pack for their efforts.  Contact us at:  support@mappt.com.au to submit your user case scenario and receive a free battery pack.

Use the Mappt Lithium Battery Pack for backup power on those long field days

Use the Mappt Lithium Battery Pack for backup power on those long field days

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Mappt On Your Laptop.

How to experience Mappt on your laptop/desktop using Bluestacks.

Running Mappt on Windows using the Bluestacks Android emulator

Running Mappt on Windows using the Bluestacks Android emulator

We’re often asked, ‘Can Mappt run on my desktop?’.  Generally no, unless you use a Google Chromebook or another laptop using Android as your OS.  But to our gaming and other users who want the best of both worlds, Android games/apps running on a Window’s PC, there’s Bluestacks 4, an Android emulator.

Bluestacks installs as a desktop application on to which you can install Android apps from the Google Play Store.

The Bluestacks Android Emulator for Windows

The Bluestacks Android Emulator for Windows

We found that Mappt installs easily on Bluestacks and your existing Mappt license key can be used here too (though you may have to enter it each time you restart Bluestacks).  Bluestacks should appear and function much like the OS on your Android device.  Note that many laptops do not have an onboard GPS.  While Bluestacks does make use of your laptop/desktop’s positional information, the position is likely gained via wifi or other positional sources.  *We have not tested Bluestacks in the field for positional accuracy.  You may want to add accessory apps like a file browser to make finding files within Android easier.  Moving files on and off Bluestacks is achieved using the Media Manager app (found under More Apps on Bluestacks v4).

Bluestacks Media Manager

Bluestacks Media Manager

The Bluestacks Media Manager for importing files to Bluestacks

The Bluestacks Media Manager for importing files to Bluestacks

In short, the tool brings files from your Win OS to Bluestacks.  You can use the Import/Export to Windows tool to bring files across.  This launches a Windows Explorer window where you choose files for import/export.

Browsing for zipped shape file

Browsing for zipped shape file

Zip file imported to Bluestacks

Zip file imported to Bluestacks

Here we’ve brought across tracks.zip, a zip file containing all files relevant to a shape file.  *When importing shape files to Mappt, we recommend zipping them prior to the transfer and upload to Mappt.  Mappt has the capacity to unzip the contents on upload.  By default Bluestacks drops the file into /root/storage/emulated/0/DCIM/SharedFolder.

Browsing for files on Mappt

Browsing for files on Mappt

 

From Mappt choose to load a shape file from the filesystem and choose the relevant zip file.

Tracks loaded to Mappt

Tracks loaded to Mappt

Unloading data created within Mappt in Bluestacks also uses the Media Manager.  On unloading the Media Manager will let you copy files to any directory on the Windows OS.

 

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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Mappt User Story: Protecting African wild cat species in Zambia

Panther's staff use Mappt on a daily basis

Panthera’s staff use Mappt on a daily basis

Dr Jake Overton is with Panthera, an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) devoted to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and their habitats.

The large cat species of Africa (Cheetah, Lion, Leopard, African Golden Cat, Caracal, and Serval) are under constant threat from poaching, illegal game trapping and habitat loss.  Big cat protection must be undertaken in a dynamic environment – the cats are constantly moving while illegal hunters never seem to take a rest.

Protecting large cats in Africa involves managing highly mobile animals over large areas.  Maintaining spatial awareness through mobile GIS systems is what makes Jake’s job more effective and ultimately improves big cat conservation outcomes.

“We use GIS for so many things – from ecological analyses to field planning.”

-Dr Jake Overton, Panthera

However, there were technical boundaries to utilising this GIS information in daily activities.  Panthera went searching for an interactive utility combining GIS and GPS in a portable device.  They found their solution in Mappt.  Prior to using Mappt, Panthera’s field crew had taken laptop-based GIS applications in the field – but crucially they weren’t linked to live positional information.

Panthera field staff now use Mappt on a daily basis for collaring and survey work.  Jake relies heavily on real time positioning available in Mappt for help in navigating remote areas without existing maps.  Another feature Jake has found especially helpful is the ability to load aerial images and cache Google Maps images for use offline in remote areas.

The view from Panthera's front office. Sioma National Park, Zambia

The view from Panthera’s front office. Sioma National Park, Zambia

Having the ‘big picture’ available, in terms of geospatial information, is essential for protecting big cats and their ecosystems.  Panthera’s objective is to protect wild cat species and the environment that supports them.  Beyond traditional ‘protect and preserve’ practices, Panthera aims to provide thriving ecosystems to help wild cats again reach sustainable levels.

Mappt Mobile GIS is used to assist animal collaring in Sioma NP, Zambia

Mappt Mobile GIS is used to assist animal collaring in Sioma NP, Zambia

by Darren Smith

Mappt has a been game-changer for many organisations who rely on accurate geospatial information to improve efficiency and accuracy.

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

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Mappt Military at Modern Day Marine Expo 2018

Jim Rhetta manning the Mappt Military stand

Jim Rhetta manning the Mappt Military stand

Takor was represented by Jim Rhetta & Craig Baldner at the Modern Day Marine Expo from 25-27 Sep in Quantico Virginia to present our Mappt Military application.  This base is the HQ or the USMC with Program Offices and staff elements for acquisitions of new products.  This event is 3 times the size of the Marine West and Marine South Expos we attended this year. It is very popular with the Industry Partners.

This event had an unexpectedly wide variety of foreign attendees. These included personnel from Russia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Singapore, Austria and Saudi Arabia.  Most did not appear to be embassy Attache personnel, so may have been sent by their Nation or Unit for product awareness.

A member of the Australian Defence Force dropped by the Mappt Military stand

A member of the Australian Defence Force dropped by the Mappt Military stand

Providers of a wide-range of hardware products dominated the venue floor but there was a lot of interest in Mappt Military – the only mobile mapping product in attendance.  Contacts were made with representatives of several agencies including the Global Technology Office, Government Marketing & Procurement, Ft McCoy Training Range and the Comparative Technology Office.

A semi-submersible sailing drone was one of the new technologies presented at the expo

A semi-submersible sailing drone was one of the new technologies presented at the expo

Mappt Military has assisted ground personnel worldwide

Mappt Military has assisted ground personnel worldwide

Mappt Military provides enhanced situational awareness, field mapping and navigation tracking for defence and security personnel through a mobile application. To learn more about our game changing technology check out www.mapptmilitary.com

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Returning to Paradise with Mappt: How the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort Utilises Mappt to help Native Plant Re-vegetation

Lady Elliot Island, Queensland has taken on Mappt to assist native plant re-vegetation

Lady Elliot Island, Queensland has taken on Mappt to assist native plant re-vegetation

Lady Elliot Island is an idyllic 40 hectare coral cay, located 84 kilometres off the Queensland coast. It is the southernmost coral cay of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The surrounding waters are known for their clarity due to the island’s southerly location and distance from the mainland. Its proximity to the Australian continental shelf is believed to be linked to the availability of food for manta rays, for which the island is renowned.
Human Impacts
By the late 1800’s, guano mining had removed significant amounts of material lowering the island by 1 – 1.5m. The guano was used in the manufacture of agricultural fertilisers. Goats were also introduced about this time as a food source, and were subsequently removed in the late 1960’s. The island remained baron until the establishment of a small low-key tourist resort in the late 1960’s, which has been credited with starting a revegetation program also contributed to by the lighthouse keepers.
Many species of plants were introduced in the early years, a lot of which were not native to the coral cays of the southern Great Barrier Reef. Positive revegetation efforts continued over many years. Current efforts are focused on removing the introduced exotics and replacing them with native species to build the island’s resilience to climate change.

Lady Elliot Island, LEI, Ecco Resort is replacing introduced plants with natives. Mappt Mobile GIS has been implemented as the preferred field data collection and validation tool for LEI's re-vegetation program

Lady Elliot Island, LEI, Ecco Resort is replacing introduced plants with natives. Mappt Mobile GIS has been implemented as the preferred field data collection and validation tool for LEI’s re-vegetation program

Where Mappt Comes In

Mappt has been selected to help manage and monitor re-vegetation efforts on Lady Elliot Island.  The LEI Ecosystem Resilience Plan has been developed based on the Queensland Herbarium’s ‘Regional Ecosystem Model’, identifying appropriate native species best suited to this environment.  The modular delivery approach is ‘step-wise’ with a nominated area being prepared and re-vegetated prior to another area starting.

Functionality such as ‘geofenced exclusion/inclusion zones’ and buffering (a new feature in Mappt) are useful tools for this type of work.  For example, ‘exclusion zones’ help keep activities within, or outside, designated zones.  Buffering tools assist with activities adjacent to aircraft runways to manage Civil Aviation Safety Authority requirements.

Mappt Mobile GIS is used in-field to help workers locate areas for revegetation on Lady Elliot Island.

Mappt Mobile GIS is used in-field to help workers locate areas for revegetation on Lady Elliot Island.

Mappt for Better Land Management

Mappt is an intuitive, easy-to-use field data collection application that lends itself to a variety of disciplines including land management, agriculture, and sustainability programs. Important ecosystems such as Lady Elliot Island benefit from careful management supported by up-to-date geospatial information.

Lady Elliot Island staff using Mappt to direct contractors on re-vegetation activities

Lady Elliot Island staff using Mappt to direct contractors on re-vegetation activities

Contact us today to learn how Mappt can be of benefit to your field mapping and data collection activities.

Re-vegetation polygons on Lady Elliot Island. Note the buffering polygon surrounding the island's runway.

Re-vegetation polygons on Lady Elliot Island. Note the buffering polygon surrounding the island’s runway.

 

 

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Mappt User Story: Building Market Linkages for Smallholder Farmers in Uganda

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor.

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A project enumerator collects data from a respondent using Mappt on a Samsung-SM231 in a rural village in Uganda

Laza Razafimbelo is a research associate at IPA in Uganda. He works on the “Market Linkages for Smallhold Farmers in Uganda” project. Prices of staple foods like maize, beans, and rice vary substantially in Sub-Saharan Africa, depending on the season, country, and region. Addressing the imbalance in food supply and increasing farmer income may require a multi-pronged approach that tackles multiple barriers at once. The project is evaluating the impact of contract farming services and a mobile technology-enhanced trader alerts system on food markets across Uganda.

Why did you need to use a  Geographic Information System (GIS) in the project?

Laza: In planning the project, it was decided that a Geographic Information System (GIS) was required for 2 reasons;

  1. As a management tool, we needed to use it to keep track of the data collection process.
  2. As part of the project, we wanted to map the road to our study areas and collect information along the route.

Why did you need Mappt?

Laza: Mappt is the best road mapping app we could find on the market after testing several. It has a great support and sales team. One may be tempted to use the bunch of free apps on the market, but this made the difference and the quality of data from Mappt is incomparable to other applications.

What problems were occurring before Mappt?

Laza: Internet coverage is a big problem. The internet is not always guaranteed since we mainly work in the rural area of Uganda. We  found that paper materials were messy and inaccurate. We tried to collect some of the data (travel time, etc)  manually, but the data was inconsistent due to the inaccuracy.

How did you use Mappt?

Laza: We were using Mappt to help us to add the transport cost into our analysis. With Mappt, we were mapping the main commercial routes of our study areas. With the same tool, we also collected other data such as road quality type, travel time, etc. We subscribed to 9 licenses for a period of 2 months and we managed to collect all the different data that we wanted using only one tool – Mappt.

Why did you choose Mappt over other software?

Laza: We chose Mappt for a number of reasons – cost efficient, ability to work offline, brilliant attribute features and vector layers, good GPS coordination system and great support and sales team.

So how did the project turn out?

Laza: We are done with the data collection and will start the analysis.

What was the most valuable thing about Mappt?

Laza: Reliable tool (never got a bug), great support and sales team.

Final question – would you recommend Mappt to others? Why?

Laza: We highly recommended Mappt for any mobile GIS work for its reliability and the great team behind it. We have tried a lot of other apps but Mappt is way better.

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Collecting field data using Mappt under the shade of a mango tree in rural Uganda

 

Try Mappt today by downloading it from the Google Play Store