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The Fulcrum Focus

Stay in the know with thought leadership, product updates, and latest news on field inspection and data collection topics.

Lesser-Known Tricks in Fulcrum’s Web App

While we try to make Fulcrum as intuitive to use as possible, there are some features that Fulcrum offers that may not stand out as clearly as the others. In this post, we’ll demonstrate some of those features. ‍Hiding Sections in the App Designer To start, we will take a look at a feature on […]

Fulcrum Location Accuracy and Trimble Catalyst

Fulcrum is capable of recording location data with each parent record, child record, and media attachment. The location data collected is based on the configured location provider in the operating system on your mobile device. Typically this is the onboard GPS sensor, which is sometimes augmented by the other sensors and radios contained within the […]

OpenAerialMap: Open Drone Imagery for Humanitarian Projects

We built Fulcrum Community to support humanitarian response projects around the world, so organizations would have a platform for crowdsourcing with local volunteers and responders. For these sorts of projects, map imagery is a critical tool in getting an accurate, up-to-date picture of the reality on the ground. In aftermath response, the most critical need […]

Creating Offline Map Layers

We’re often asked by customers how to create Fulcrum-compatible offline tile layers from existing map data. We have documentation on how to do this using TileMill, but it can be cumbersome and overwhelming to replicate the process for multiple tile layers and data files. TileMill is an amazing application, but it’s intended to design complete […]

The State of Business Software at SaaStr Annual

We’re excited to be headed out to the SaaStr Annual conference in San Jose, CA next week! This year there’ll be over 300 speakers and 12,000 attendees, all there to share ideas, collaborate, and hear success stories from some of the biggest players in B2B software. The SaaStr Annual always provides an energetic scene full […]

Integrating with Google Calendar

One of the many things people love about Fulcrum is its extensibility. We’re proud to offer a tool that easily integrates with other applications and services to meet the needs of your specific workflow. In this post, we’ll demonstrate how the Fulcrum Professional Services team wired up Fulcrum with Google Calendar to create, modify, and […]

Audit Logs for Security Reporting

As we continue to expand our enterprise offerings, we are excited to announce the release of Fulcrum Audit Logs! Audit Logs provide account administrators with a single source of all user activity within a Fulcrum organization. This detailed activity log can be used to review general user activity, troubleshoot technical issues, or as an audit […]

Top 10 Fulcrum Blog Posts of 2018

In the words of my Spatial Networks colleagues, 2018 was characterized most by growth, opportunity, technology, passion, and creativity. It was a great year! While we’re excited about what 2019 has in store, we thought we’d take a look back at our top blog posts from last year. Here are the hottest topics compiled into […]

Fulcrum Desktop with Docker

Fulcrum customers often have a need to maintain a local version of the data they collect with our platform, in their database system of choice. With our export tool, it’s simple to pull out extracts in formats like CSV, shapefile, SQLite, and even PostGIS or GeoPackage. What this doesn’t allow, though, is an automatable way […]

Spatial Networks Year in Review: 2018

As we reflect on the last year and all that the Spatial Networks team has accomplished, I’d like to share a number with you: 130,021,386. It’s a staggering amount, 130 million. What’s the significance? It’s the number of data records our customers have collected with Fulcrum so far. Mind you, that number is about two […]

Top Support Questions of 2018

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Introducing Photo Annotations

Over the past several months, the Fulcrum engineering team has been hard at work building out a completely custom image annotation engine from the ground up. This initiative provides a solid foundation for some exciting new features, the first of which we are excited to announce today: Photo annotations are now available on all Professional […]

5 Business Resolutions for 2019

What are your business goals for 2019? Increase revenue? Cut unnecessary spending? Decrease employee turnover? Those are sensible goals, but how will you reach them? As you take stock of the last year’s accomplishments and set your sights on new ones, remember what poet Antoine de Saint Exupéry said: “A goal without a plan is […]

GIS Education at Hunter College

As premier sponsors of the American Geographical Society, we try to do our part in promoting geographic literacy, education, and the future of geo sciences. Part of our effort last week was participating in the GIS Career Fair at Hunter College in Manhattan. Bill and I were there to showcase how geography fits into our […]

13 Geography-Themed Gifts for the Holidays

The holidays have arrived (like it or not), and the clock is ticking. Time to start shopping! Thanks to the Internet, it’s easy to find beautiful and useful geography-themed gifts made by artists all over the world. You’ll find some of our favorites here in our annual holiday gift guide for geo geeks! ‍ For […]

When to Use Gems

I’ve been working in Rails for almost a decade now (which was a sobering realization) and for most of that time I’ve always used gems as a selling point on why Rails is a great framework to learn. With such a rich and active community, there’s a gem for everything — authentication, e-commerce, file uploading, […]

How Fulcrum Became Our Asset Management Solution

I’ve always said: Ask me to run an office, and no worries, I got it! Then this task fell on my lap — a great combination of departments’ needs and wants, all to be managed by me… I needed to tag and inventory our assets. Sure, I think. Let’s use Google sheets and track the […]

Fall 2018 All Hands Recap

Our semi-annual All Hands events are always energizing and fun-filled, but last week was one for the record books. With 54 full-time employees, it was our biggest ever (there were 33 at our last Fall All Hands!) – and if you saw the barrage of photos on our social media accounts, you already know it […]

Some Tips on Using Arrays in PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is an amazing open-source database that has a lot of features that many users may not use or even know exist. One of these features is the ability to store data as arrays in a column. Once you have collected data in Fulcrum, you may want to export it into a local database within […]

Mobile Forms: An Invaluable Tool in Fight Against Ebola and Cholera

One of the fastest ways to prevent the spread of deadly diseases like Ebola is to catalog instances on a map. This enables emergency planners to monitor the scope of an outbreak and allocate resources to prevent loss of life. Maps also help community members and aid workers locate clean water, medical facilities, latrines, burial […]

How Mobile Forms Can Help Combat the Construction Labor Shortage

The good news: The current demand for new homes, buildings, and facilities in the United States is higher than it’s been in years, and the construction industry is booming. “For better or worse, business is good for us,” Goliath Construction Consulting founder Tyson Conrad told U.S. News and World Report. “They’re beating down the door.” […]

Exploring the Future of Energy, Geography, and Humanity

Every year since 2014, the American Geographical Society (AGS) has hosted Geography 2050, a multi-year strategic dialogue among thought leaders from academia, government, business, and the nonprofit sector. The focus of the annual symposium is to facilitate discussion of the technology and trends that will shape the geography of our planet over the coming decades. […]

6 Reasons to Go Paperless (and 4 Tips for Doing it Right)

From conserving natural resources to reducing business costs, there are lots of reasons to go paperless — but many companies have yet to do it. Maybe it’s because they’re attached to their familiar paper processes, or perhaps they’re simply reluctant to enact change. But it’s important to remember that even if you don’t change, the […]

Supporting FOSS4G 2018

Spatial Networks is once again proud to announce our support for the annual Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference. FOSS4G brings together the largest gathering of developers and users of open source geospatial software in the world- and this year it’s all happening in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, one of Africa’s fastest […]

How to Save Time Teaching Your Field Teams to Use Mobile Form

One of the biggest benefits of using mobile forms is the time savings. So naturally, once you’ve made the switch from paper, you’ll want to get your field teams up and running as quickly as possible. In this post, we’ll show you an easy way to get your employees trained on Fulcrum and collecting field […]

Showcasing the Fulcrum data collection app at FLGISA

Account Executives Jonathan Katzeff and Traci Phillips are in Boca Raton, FL this week representing Fulcrum at the Florida Local Government Information Systems Association (FLGISA) 2018 Annual Conference. FLGISA is Florida’s premier local government technology event, where representatives from the state’s city and county governments go to find tech solutions to their most pressing problems. […]

How to Collect Mobile Data with No Internet Connection

Advances in remote data collection Collecting data from the field is an essential task across many industries, and recent advances have made it easier than ever. For centuries, data collection took place with paper and ink. But the explosion in the availability (and relative affordability) of mobile technology has made it possible for people in […]

All in with Google Maps

Over the past several weeks our Product and Engineering teams have been working hard on transitioning our web mapping engine to the Google Maps JavaScript API. With this complete, we are excited to announce that Fulcrum is now fully leveraging Google Maps across the entire platform! With reliable, comprehensive geographic data for over 200 countries […]

How to Create a Mobile Inspection Form in 15 Minutes

Professionals across many industries — utility, engineering, and construction, especially — are giving up their antiquated pen-and-paper processes and switching to mobile forms, and for good reason: Taking inspection forms that have been filled out in the field and manually entering them into a computer is a slow and cumbersome process that takes otherwise productive […]

How to Use Basemaps

As we mentioned in a recent post, adding a spatial dimension to your field data vastly increases the value of your efforts, whether you’re collecting information for the purpose of tracking sales or fighting malaria. And all geospatial data collection starts with a basemap. In this post, we’ll explore the different types of basemaps and […]

New Additions to Data Events

Fulcrum Data Events allow you to design your own custom behaviors and workflows for your data collection process. From advanced data validation and dynamic lookups to alerts and filtering, Data Events provide a powerful framework for rule-based data collection tailored to your own workflow needs. We’ve recently added some enhancements to the framework in the […]

Value of Spatial Dimension in Field Data Collection

In the last few posts, we’ve talked about the benefits of collecting and analyzing field data. Information gathered from the field gives businesses and other organizations a unique advantage, providing the basis for more informed decision making and allowing them to better allocate resources. And when you enrich that information with even more relevant data […]

How Different Industries Collect and Use Data

The term “data collection” may sound esoteric, but the practice is actually quite broad. Data collection is a vital process that every business conducts regularly, even if they don’t call it that. To gain a thorough understanding, let’s explore the different types of data collection companies across various industries do, how they do it, and […]

The Logistics of Collecting Field Data

Field data collection can be a complex process, requiring time, money, and people. That’s why logistics are important. A successful project design will save you from wasting time, energy, and resources, and ensure the most reliable data possible. Tips for planning an effective field data collection project‍ 1. Define your purpose Before you start collecting […]

Spatial Networks Awarded Grant for Professional Development

Working at Spatial Networks has its perks. For one, you get to spend your weekdays with some incredibly talented people who are extremely passionate about geography. For another, the coffee never runs out. The half and half, sometimes — but never the coffee! SNI offers a lot of great benefits, like 100% paid health care […]

Data Collection Techniques | Methods of Collecting Data

In our last post, we explored how and why businesses gather and use information from the field. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into some of the different methods for collecting data. There is not one “best” data collection technique — every process comes with pros and cons. Some methods are better for projects that […]

What the GDPR Means for Fulcrum and its Users

As more security breaches and data thefts by hackers come to light, consumers are demanding increased transparency and responsiveness from companies that process or store their data. In fact, in a survey conducted last December, 62% of respondents said that in the event of a breach, they would blame the company — not the hacker […]

The Value of Field Data

Data that is captured in the field is some of the most valuable information available to a company. It provides a clear picture into what’s happening at a job site or point of transaction, giving managers and other executives the insights they need to make informed business decisions. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t make effective use […]

Spatial Networks’ 2018 Spring All-Hands — By the Numbers

We recently wrapped up our spring “All Hands” week, the semi-annual event when the entire staff descends on SNI headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL, for presentations, planning, and team-building. (And So. Much. Eating.) Spatial Networks is growing so fast, this was the biggest “All Hands” in company history by far. It was such a blast, […]

The 6 Biggest Threats to Workplace Safety

Globally, more than 2.3 million people die each year as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases — that’s more than 6,300 deaths per day. In recognition of World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which is Saturday (April 28), let’s explore some of the most common safety hazards & threats in the […]

An Efficient, Affordable Enterprise Asset Management Solution

Successful enterprise asset management is key to reducing costs and increasing productivity and profitability for any organization. Whether you’re a small company or a global corporation, maintaining your assets is critical to ensure the highest possible return on your investments. High asset turnover can kill your bottom line — especially if your operation employs large, […]

Integrating With Google Drive

Fulcrum was built to be extensible, enabling users to integrate best-in-class data collection tools with other applications and services for complete workflow customization. We provide a variety of integration points for getting data both into and out of Fulcrum and offer a full range of Professional Services if you need help getting things wired up. […]

Offshore Data Collection

Field data collection is by no means limited to the confines of terra firma! NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary has been successfully using Fulcrum to help city, state, and federal natural resource management agencies collect, access, and share marine enforcement data throughout the state of California. Photo credit: Jessica Morten, NOAA Channel Islands National […]

How to Build a Field Data Collection Survey

Successful data collection starts with a good survey. How you design your questions will have a tremendous impact on the way data is collected, processed, and analyzed. We’d like to share some of our best advice on building a proper field data collection survey. Effective survey design is not just about what is collected, but […]

Fulcrum Community at NPS JIFX

Recently, Spatial Networks attended NPS JIFX 18-2 at Camp Roberts, CA and provided an experiment demonstrating Fulcrum Community “for Mobile Data Collection during Disaster Response Operations.” This isn’t the first time that Spatial Networks has showcased Fulcrum at JIFX. Coleman, Tony, and Zac participated in experiments 5 years ago – working on disaster relief experiments […]

Should You Switch to Mobile Forms?

You have probably noticed that many companies have switched from paper to mobile forms, whether it was while checking in at the doctor’s office on a tablet or signing for a package with a stylus. You may have even considered going paperless at your own business, but questioned whether it was worth the cost (those […]

Comparing Bluetooth Barcode Scanners

With so many Bluetooth barcode scanners on the market, I thought it would be helpful to our users to offer a comparison. While Fulcrum can scan barcodes using the onboard phone camera, often users are rapidly scanning many items, in which case it is faster to use an external Bluetooth barcode scanner. What follows is […]

Spatial Networks Announces New CIO and CTO

We are excited to announce two internal promotions here at Spatial Networks that will help guide us toward our robust growth plans for 2018 and beyond! Bill Dollins, who joined SNI in 2017 as Vice President of Engineering and Technology, was named Chief Information Officer (CIO), and will be responsible for all corporate information systems, […]

Creating Lookup Tables in Fulcrum

We’re fans of keeping it simple when it comes to data modeling. While Fulcrum is flexible when it comes to making changes, it’s always helpful to start simple and add complexity as you need it when building your apps. One common and powerful use case for data relationships is creating lookup tables for common datasets […]

How to Work 30% More Efficiently

We know that companies save time, money, and resources when they start using Fulcrum for field data collection. How do we know? First of all, because we are Fulcrum users, too! Secondly, because we hear it all the time. Much of what we hear from our customers is anecdotal, however ― so we thought it […]

The Benefits of Software as a Service

We’re out at the SaaStr Annual again this year, a yearly gathering of companies all focused on the same challenges of how to build and grow SaaS businesses. SaaS really came into its own as a style of software in the early to mid 2000s with the rise and expansion of the internet as a […]

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