GSI recently implemented tablet-based field data collection and sampling that allows for real-time mapping and faster data collection.

Using an iPad Pro with a high-accuracy global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and a mapping app, we are now able to navigate to proposed sample locations and map actual locations while in the field. The app also allows us to take photos and attach them to the exact sample locations. And because the system is cloud-based, edits are saved to the cloud immediately and can be viewed and edited using ArcGIS Online. We can then share the resulting online maps with our clients.

Faster, More Versatile System

All of this may sound a little too map-geeky to the uninitiated, but we’re pretty excited about this new capability. In early trials of the system, it has proven to be more versatile and easier to use than our more traditional GPS data collection system. The result: Mapping project sites and collecting and transferring data takes less time overall.

This rollout is part of an ongoing initiative to enhance our services through the use of innovative technology.

Renee Fowler and Steven Kuhlmeier using an iPad while collecting sediment samples at Willamette Park in Portland.