Central Florida GIS Workshop 2014
I attended the Central Florida GIS Workshop in Orlando on September 15th & 16th with Bryan McBride and Steve Krueger, two fellow members of the Spatial Networks team. The Central Florida GIS Workshop is a gathering of a wide variety of GIS professionals working in local government, engineering/surveying firms, and much more. Bryan gave a great presentation about Bootleaf, a template he created for building web mapping applications, which I think stood out nicely against a slew of ArcGIS online presentations.
One presentation that I attended was on the topic of Surveying with a GIS Deliverable. Something that really stood out to me during the talk was the lack of attribution within this type of GIS data. Most surveying data that has been converted into a GIS format is great for making numeric calculations and assessments, but why stop there? Geometry, elevation, etc is all useful, but the types of analysis that can be done with this information is pretty limited. I am sure that it is sufficient for the typical use case for this type of data, but if you’re also creating a GIS deliverable, I don’t think that additional attribution would be a bad thing to have in order to add value and relevance to a dataset.
Fulcrum isn’t just for collecting new data; it’s also an excellent tool for enriching existing data. If you have surveyed or digitized data without a lot of attribution, it is simple to create centroids from your polygons and lines using programs like ArcMap or QGIS. Fulcrum even does this for you (just import your polygon/line shapefiles). Simply build out an app with fields for the type of information you want to add, and import your data into Fulcrum. When you’re done adding attribution to your points during field collection, you can export the data and tie the new info back into the original dataset.
Incorporating Fulcrum into new surveying projects could be useful in giving users the ability to capture geotagged field notes, observations, photos, videos, and more. Currently, mobile devices cannot replace surveying equipment, but there is definitely some benefit in using Fulcrum as a companion to the usual surveying techniques. Do you think this is something that could add value to a surveying team?