Written by: Rachael Landry
Winter has arrived in the northern hemisphere, and municipalities and utility companies are working hard to keep up with the changing weather. They need to be aware of potential issues, such as tree limbs overhanging powerlines, street signs that may have been damaged, or blocked storm drains that can cause flooding and ice build-up. With Global Mapper and Global Mapper Mobile, crews have an effective and convenient way to report and manage these issues.
Used in conjunction with the desktop software, the mobile application, which is available for both iOS and Android devices, efficiently extends the reach of a GIS into the field by facilitating access to data for teams that work both in and out of the office.
For example, before venturing out to assess the condition of storm drains, a data manager in the office can prepare the required data in the desktop version of the software. This might include drain locations, sewer pipe infrastructure, property boundaries, etc. The data manager can also add template layers to the workspace for easy form-based data collection to ensure consistency in the data collection process. A layer template pre-defines the layer characteristics, such as vector data type (point, line, or area), attribute structure, pick-lists, whether an attribute is required, etc. This template is subsequently used to create an empty layer in the workspace, which will allow the team to note valuable information about the drains including identification numbers, condition, required maintenance, or blockages.
After the required layers have been prepared in the desktop version of Global Mapper, they are ready to be transferred to Global Mapper Mobile as a Global Mapper Mobile Package file. This single compressed file containing all of the data is transferred to the users’ device via email, Dropbox, or another file exchange service, and opened in the Global Mapper Mobile application. Once the file is in the application, the team is ready to begin their work in the field.
With the map loaded, the team can choose to create points, lines, or polygons in the app, which can be done manually or automatically based on their mobile device’s GPS location. Users of Global Mapper Mobile Pro can pair an external Bluetooth GPS receiver using the Advanced GPS functionality to ensure more accurate positioning. In our example, the team drops points at each storm drain location and uses attributes preassigned in the template layer to complete the data collection process noting each drain’s condition. When the review of each drain has been completed, the file can be sent to the data manager using the same transfer options noted previously.
The desktop and mobile versions of Global Mapper make it easy to work in the office and the field. Please visit the Blue Marble website to download the app and a Global Mapper trial today to learn more about it.