Efficient data capture and paperless workflows with GPS

Consultants often use handheld GPS technology to capture simple point information in the field, cross-referencing additional information recorded on a field notebook and field map. The GPS, notebook and map data require time-consuming integration back in the office.

With improvements in GIS/GPS technologies, SRK Australia has developed paperless workflows/techniques, using cloud or server based technologies to capture data more efficiently in the field and upload it in real-time. This workflow revolves around running ESRI’s ArcPad™ software on a tablet or PDA device and, if an internet connection is available, ESRI’s secured, cloud-based system, ArcGIS Online. Preprogramed validation rules and customised data templates dramatically streamline the capture and improve data accuracy.

Our in-house workflow was used effectively on a mine closure project for mapping the distribution of potentially acid-forming materials on the surface of a waste rock dump. The field geologist used a PDA running ArcPad to map the dump’s surface onto air photos uploaded daily to ArcGIS Online. The geochemist in the office, used the data in real-time to direct the field geologist’s on-going mapping for optimal results. 

In remote areas, consultants use database checkout on a laptop running ArcGIS. Synchronising data from the laptop, teams can work simultaneously on the same database, incorporating new or changed data daily.

The field mapping workflows that SRK has developed greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of field-based data collection. They improve the quality of the work with faster delivery, using a system that is suitable for all disciplines that require mapping.

Jason Beltran: jbeltran@srk.com.au
Russell Staines: rstaines@srk.com.au


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