GIS is a newly cherished friend to the environment. Only GIS is multi-faceted enough to create predictive models able to incorporate the multiple relationships and compound effects that are involved in environmental impact decisions. In order to gather the data to create these essential models, many man-hours must be spent in the field.
GIS then and now
Traditionally, environmental data collectors would have to lug clipboards with forms, writing utensils, maps, a GPS, a digital camera and whatever other necessary testing equipment out to the field – imagine that on a windy day! Now, environmental sensors can be purchased as smartphone attachments, like the Sensordrone or the Sensorex PH-1 accessory. Nearly everything the modern environmental worker needs can be found on a standard smartphone equipped with a Fulcrum environmental app.
Not only is it more convenient to carry just one cellphone, but it’s more efficient too! With paper, a data collector would have to read the GPS, fill out a bunch of paperwork, haul it back to the office and enter all of that data into the database. Have you ever played the Telephone Game or heard the phrase, “To err is human”? The more times that data has to be manually transferred, the greater the blunder-tunity. Additionally, data that originates digitally is more likely to be shared and who loves shared data more than geonerds?
Why should a tech savvy environmental worker use a smartphone with a data collection app like Fulcrum over a mobile GIS device? Frankly, I know the budget constraints environmentalists work under and I have seen the astronomical cost of the hardware and software of the mobile GIS devices available on the market. Please, collect the data in the field, analyze the data in a comfortable office and save the money for what really matters.
Some GIS devices are made to only be compatible with one software developer. If the software isn’t able to handle the magnitude or complexity of the job, it could take as much time, money, and troubleshooting as the developer sees fit. Environerds love diversity and so should their hardware.
Whether you are a park ranger, wetland delineator, or an educator who primes future environmentalists, you can easily customize Fulcrum to suite your needs. If you want to know if Fulcrum is right for you, try it for free (no gimmicks, no tricks, no strings attached) or talk to us about your project because we’re all about creative solutions.