Using mapFeeder & Fulcrum for Data Collection & Management
This is a guest post from our partners at RESPEC, an integrated consulting and services firm with over 230 full-time employees and annual revenue over $30 million.
mapFeeder is a location-based task tracking and data management studio, which is accessed via the web. Simple maps, powerful user-driven searching capabilities, historic data tracking and reporting make mapFeeder ideal for using & managing geospatial data.
With many of our customers needing to capture data in the field, it made perfect sense to integrate a mobile, native application with mapFeeder. In 2012, we began a partnership with Fulcrum, an elegant mobile app with advanced data collection capabilities, and added it into our software stack offering. By integrating mapFeeder with Fulcrum, our customers can get near real-time data using mapFeeder back in the office.
Since establishing our partnership, RESPEC has deployed mapFeeder and Fulcrum for dozens of applications such as water quality, asset management, permitting, best management practices, mining and more.
With its ease of use, disconnected editing, and robust tools, Fulcrum has allowed us to bring field data collection capabilities to our clients in an economical manner.
The City of Andover, MN uses RESPEC’s mapFeeder application to track and manage their traffic signs. Andover is diverse and the southern half of the city is heavily developed with residential, business, and industrial uses. The northern half is comprised of larger lots and farmland. The city uses mapFeeder to track inspections and maintenance needs for over 7,000 signs they manage.
The sign management team can search many temporal attributes such as date of last maintenance activity, date installed, date replaced and also when the sign was retired. They can search by other attributes as well, including MUTCD code, sheeting, and zone, in addition to to using the interactive map to select signs visually. mapFeeder’s easy to use interface allows the user to create complex queries which can be saved for use at a later date. Further, mapFeeder allows for ad-hoc reports which can be exported to Excel, CSV, or PDF.
mapFeeder is perfect for sign management as each inspection and maintenance need is captured in the database, allowing the city to view historic information about each sign asset. mapFeeder more than fills the requirements of the FHWA requirements to track traffic signs to ensure the reflectivity is up to the standards, making the road safe for travelers.
In the field, the sign technicians use Fulcrum for disconnected data collection. mapFeeder “speaks” to Fulcrum so all data entered in the field is synchronized with the mapFeeder database for near real-time data management by users back in the office — a seamless integration.
Fulcrum runs on an iPad with an iSXBlue GPS to capture sign information, inspections, and maintenance needs. The iSXBlue is connected to the iPad via Bluetooth and overrides the GPS on the device to capture high accuracy location data. The combination of mapFeeder, Fulcrum, iSXBlue GPS and iPad have made the job of Andover’s sign management team seamless and increased their efficiencies from installation, through the maintenance cycle, to sign retirement.