Given the wide scope of work that GIS professionals complete, it's important for organizations to stay on top of the progress of various projects that are going on. No tool allows you to do this better than the Operations Dashboard application from Esri. The Operations Dashboard allows organizations the ability to monitor work, track field work crews, and view the status of tasks related to specific projects.
Last Week, I (Micah) drove Paul's Ford Focus out to Carson City, Nevada while he drove his Ranger truck and Smoky the Cat. This was an easy drive, directionally speaking. Interstate 80 goes all the way to Reno Nevada just 15 miles north of Carson City. It's 1,874 miles from Peoria to Carson City. (Aside from audio books, podcasts & windshield mounts) There are several maps apps & websites I used to help plan and document our 3-day journey
I admit, this is quite the "Wish List" from your rich Uncle Montague. But they're neat to dream about and hope for someday.
In no particular order.
1. Land Carpet.
Who doesn't want to stretch out on a map? Because paper is not really inviting, how about a map made out of genuine New Zealand wool? (did you know there are 7x more sheep in New Zealand than people?) Awesome. However at $2100 for a 6'x8' area rug, it's not for the typical GIS Technician's budget. Something a little more reasonable is the I Am Here Custom play-mat
2. Map Wheel
I know where I am, most of the time. The Map Wheel is a distinct custom made reminder of where that other place is in reference to wherever I call home, or whatever location you choose to be in the center. Kind of like the Direction Pole in the TV show MASH. A custom Map Wheel is about $100 US with about $10 shipping, but it's made in Australia.... soooo, it might have to be a Valentines Day present.
3. World Map iPhone Case
Easy. $30. Wood. Looks nice. Made in Indiana by a guy named John, how American is that? Boom. Get it. Only for 4/4s & 5/5s. No iPhone 6 or 6+ yet.
4. Fitbit Surge
I like GPS & I am a watch wearer, but I'm not holding out for a Apple Watch. They look cool, but I don't have that kind of cash. Plus there are literally dozens of other smart/fitness/GPS/bluetooth watches on the market. I like a rectangle design and the Surge price tag of $250.
5. Hand Made Globe
uh. I've tweeted about these before, and actually gotten a response from the folks at Bellerby & Co. These are amazing - beautiful - works of art made with care, precision and an obvious personal touch. My wife would grab her Scrapbooks running out the door in case of a home fire, I would grab this globe. Especially since the desktop version is about $1700 US. Save your pennies kids! Someday. Someday.
There you go. 5 rather unrealistic and completely unnecessary first-world presents to get for your resident geographer to celebrate Christmas.
Got any other Ideas? Put them in the comments.
Don't want to buy expensive GPS equipment?
Do you need web access in the field?
Cloudpoint has begun the rental of mobile GPS collection devices. These are ruggedized iPads specifically in a special casing to provide complete weatherproofing. The devices are locked down but outfitted with appropriate software and internet to give field crews the tools to start a GIS.
If you think about it, this is a perfect solution. Most local governments want to be on the right side of cloud computing. They want their crews to be up-to-date and efficient. However, a majority of public works garages don't have the technical expertise to deploy tablets. Don't forget about fighting with the finance department over whether or not a cellular data plan is a taxable benefit. As well, a city council may not like seeing 5 iPads come through as a capital expense. There are many reasons why local governments might opt not to go to a mobile workflow. It's easier to stay with paper, but can you afford it?
We are offering a pre-loaded mobile solution for short-term projects. No software, subscription, data plan or techie geek required. Any field worker can be trained and collecting data (including photos) within minutes. After the project's completion, you get the data and walk away.
Avoiding the shock of the fence and the charge of the bull....
So how do you get a highly accurate GPS location on something that is not accessible??? Using the Trimble Geo XH 6000 series and Terrasync (cm) Edition we are able to use the "Offset" command in the Data collection tools within Terrasync software. We simply tell the unit that the point is exactly 10 feet south of our current location and we start collecting data. The system will automatically assign the GPS location with an offset of the given distance and bearing. Out in the woods and not sure on the bearing??? Simply pull out your iphone and use a compass app to come within a couple degrees of the actual direction. Keep in mind you will need to calibrate the app prior to using it but it is very simple to do. In addition, remember that the farther away you are standing from your target, any error in the bearing will be greatly exaggerated so its generally good practice to keep the offset distance to a minimum. For more tips and tricks on GPS data collection visit us at www.cloudpointgeo.com.
Visit us at www.cloudpointgeo.com