Recording Audio Logs with Fulcrum

01 April 2015 by Coleman McCormick

Collecting rich media along with your survey forms is one of Fulcrum’s hallmark capabilities, allowing you to add detail to your collection workflow by using pictures and SpatialVideo.

Today we’re adding audio capture to the mix, which will enable your teams to record audio logs from their iPhone, iPad, or Android device to attach to data records captured in the field. This will be a great addition for users looking to record field notes by speaking into their phone, for later transcription. For performing inspections in tight quarters, or simply being able to quickly log observations without having to punch keys on your phone or tablet, audio capture could be a massive time saver and an addition that adds even more flexibility to the Fulcrum feature set.

Just like our SpatialVideo functionality, Fulcrum’s audio recordings can also create a GPS tracklog synchronized with your audio file. Playing back your recordings in context with a map can add that additional layer of spatial context needed to answer questions. Perhaps you want to record bird calls from an observation point and later see exactly where the data was collected while walking? Or maybe you want to record audio notes about the state of some stormwater management structures like weirs and box culverts while walking the circumference of a pond? This capability is built in to the settings our audio fields, and configurable based on your need. If you’re indoors recording notes for filing about a building inspection, you don’t really need the tracklog, so it can be disabled within your app.

Pausing and resuming audio

Audio recordings can also be paused and resumed in Fulcrum, depending on how you’re taking notes. When you do this, the tracklog will stop and pick back up and give you a log file containing multiple segments (example). We built a player for the Fulcrum web interface to review your audio recordings with a synchronized map view. On the left you get a nice waveform view of your file, and on the right your track lines from recording.

Audio fields example

We know there are dozens of ways our users are already planning to use this functionality. If you have an interesting use case for logging audio recordings while in the field, let us know.

About the author

Coleman is a geographer and our Executive VP, working every day with our customers to bring better data management capability to their operations.

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