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Mappt’s First Mini Conference in Perth

Two weeks ago we celebrated Earth Science Week by holding our first mini conference in our hometown, Perth!

We teamed up with tech giant Panasonic to “Unlock the Power of Mobile Data Collection”, and show how industry leaders are completing their field work and making discoveries that would have been tedious or near impossible without today’s technologies.

Our guests gathered at the brand new Ambrose Estate venue for a morning of insightful presentations, amazing door prizes, morning tea and the chance to network with professionals from a variety of industries.

The Presenters

Paul Barber, Director of ArborCarbon  – “Urban Forest Monitoring: Improving Sustainable Forest Management”

Paul Barber is a Forest Pathologist & Environmental Consultant with over 20 years’ experience in vegetation diagnosis, monitoring and management.

mappt-event-paul-barber

Chris Devlin, Director of iSpatial Solutions – “From Field to Office: Integrating Efficient Asset Management and Reporting”

Chris Devlin has 22 years’ experience in the resources and earth sciences sector and helps organisations to define, develop and implement GIS focused solutions.

mappt-event-chris-ispatial

Adrian Young, Product Manager at Spookfish – “Capturing Field Data with a Mobile Eye in the Sky”

After a decade of using geospatial technology to help state and federal government, Adrian has spent the past 10 years working with startups, enterprises and governments to take innovative geospatial technologies to market.

mappt-event-adrian-spookfish

 

Sean Mirzadeh, Panasonic Business Development Manager (WA) – “Panasonic: The Global Leader in Rugged IT”

With 10 years’ experience in sales engineering, business development and client relationship management, Sean is currently working on some of the major mobility projects for mining and oil and gas in WA.

mappt-event-sean-panasonic

If you couldn’t make it, stay tuned as we’ll be uploading our speakers’ presentations to our YouTube channel.

After the presentations, we drew the prizes. One lucky guest walked away with an annual Mappt Standard licence, and the other a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT30 camera!

We then made our way to the balcony where we networked under the glorious Perth sun and enjoyed a delicious pastry… or four.

mappt-event-balcony

mappt-event-ambrose-estate-perth

Huge thanks to our speakers and everyone who made it; you guys rock!

To hear about future events, sign up to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. See you next time!

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Mappt ECW and JP2 Support Demonstrated at HxGN Live

Would you like to see offline mobile imagery support for Mappt? You’re not the only one. Offline mobile imagery support, specifically ECW, is one of the most commonly requested features by many of our users.

Taking up the call, Mappt recently engaged with Hexagon Geospatial to prototype their new ECW/JP2 SDK for mobile platforms. This development is still in beta mode although an early version of Mappt was demonstrated at HxGN Live (Las Vegas, Nevada, from 2 – 5 June, 2014) in front of thousands of delegates.

Stage presentation at HxGN Live

Mappt with offline ECW and JP2 support will enable users to simply load and have imagery for their areas of interest at their fingertips while in the field. Using your own imagery as a core reference point, this allows you to ensure the data you are collecting reflects the surroundings you are in accurately.

We are excited to be working with Hexagon Geospatial in embedding ECW/JP2 support into Mappt. Expect this support to be released in early July 2014. For more information about Mappt visit our product site at mappt.com.au.

For more details on HxGN Live, see the website.

For more information on the Enhanced Compression Wavelet (ECW) file format, see here.

GPS Tips and Tricks in Mappt for Android

One of the most-used features in Mappt is the ability to capture location data from internal or external GPS devices. With Mappt, users can record their movements throughout an area, turning this GPS-captured information into features.  These features can then be manipulated and annotated, then ultimately exported as Shapefile or KML, to be sent via email or uploaded to cloud-based technologies.

Based on the feedback we’ve received from Mappt users “in the field,” we’ve decided to highlight some tips and tricks when working with the GPS functionality in Mappt.

Image of a Baboon Sitting on a Cliff

Clearly lost, this baboon ponders the power of Mappt’s GPS capabilities.

Tip #1: “Walking Out” an Area

Did you know that, when you are in “polygon drawing mode” or “line drawing mode,” you can drop a new vertex at your current location? This is handy for “walking out” an area when you are in the field.  In the image below, I took a casual stroll around a sand pit, adding vertices at my current GPS location to a polygon as I went.

Partially-drawn polygon being mapped from the user's movements.

A partially-drawn boundary of the sand pit, using points dropped at my GPS position.

The resulting polygon is a bit messy, being subject to GPS inaccuracies, but could easily be tidied up within Mappt, or exported and tidied up on a desktop machine.

Polygon Created by "Walking Out" the Boundary

The completed polygon.

This minor feature provides a range of applications, from mapping boundaries as demonstrated above, to measuring paths or areas, to simply logging landmarks as markers on a map.

Tip #2: Take a Break on Large Trips

Mappt is capable of handling captured GPS paths with tens of thousands of vertices, but eventually performance will degrade under such weight.  We recommend pausing, saving then restarting the GPS tracker every hour or so, which will split your path into smaller segments.  These can later be stitched back together if necessary.  This will also allow you to hide unimportant segments using the visibility toggle button, which reduces the workload on Mappt and promotes responsiveness.

Screenshot of a segment of a captured GPS path with over 7000 points

Mappt will remain responsive, even when working with captured GPS paths with thousands of points

The rate of vertex collection will depend on several factors, such as speed and overall GPS activity, so you may want to experiment with the amount of time between saves.

Tip #3: Ditch the GPS and Use High-Res Imagery For Increased Accuracy

This tip may seem a bit out of place in a blog post about GPS tips, but it all falls under the category of georeferencing features in Mappt.  If you have high-res and accurately-georeferenced imagery of your remote location loaded into Mappt, you can use visual inspection of your surroundings to accurately place features on to the map. For example, you could determine your location by picking a nearby tree or rock formation and finding it in your offline imagery loaded into Mappt.  You can then be sure that a feature placed at that location in Mappt will have reasonable geospatial accuracy (as long as the georeferencing of the imagery is accurate!).

Tip #4: Mappt Will Continue to Capture GPS Data in the Background

As long as you leave the GPS tracking enabled within Mappt, it will continue to capture GPS data, even if you minimise or switch to another app.

Screenshot of the Mappt Background Service notification area item

Mappt will put an item in the Notification Area to let you know it is capturing GPS data.

Note that if you exit Mappt from within the menu (Menu -> Exit Mappt), Mappt will shut down the GPS and stop capturing points before it exits.

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Loading Tiled Imagery into Mappt

Last week I posted an article about Mappt supporting Compact Cache Bundles but did you know it already supports tiled imagery.  The difference between the two is that tiled imagery is exploded so each tile is it’s own image file.  There are three bit’s of information a tile needs to display on a google map.

  • The Level of Detail (LOD)
  • X position and
  • Y position

Tiling programs generally create a directory hierarchy to define these three properties.

Directory tile hierachy

Here the first directory is the LOD.  The next is the X location and the filename is the Y.   This is the most common structure but occasionally you will come across tiles with a single filename that contains the LOD, X and Y separated by an underscore character:

tile_hierachy_small

Mappt is capable of using both of these tiled images formats.  Just transfer the tiles to the tablet via the USB cable and make note of where they are located.   Personally, I load them into the Mappt -> Downloads folder and use ER File Explorer to  verify the exact path to the tiles.

es_file_explorer_path

Now select ‘Tiled Map Layer’ from the ‘Add/Load layer dialog’.

select_tiled_map_layer
Enter a name for the new layer and then type in the path to the tiles.

view layers

The important part here is the fields surrounded by the curly brackets ‘{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png’ .  This part defines the structure of the tiles as discussed above.