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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.

Promoting Geographic Literacy Around the World

As a geospatial intelligence and technology company, Spatial Networks is committed to promoting geography in education to heighten students’ understanding of our changing world. According to the 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 24% of U.S. eighth graders are proficient in geography (another assessment is expected to wrap up in March ― let’s hope […]

Using Drone Maps in the Field with DroneDeploy

View your drone maps within Fulcrum on your smartphone, to use as reference when collecting data When we initially launched our integration with DroneDeploy on their App Market, we had other ideas on how to extend that integration to make drone imagery more accessible for fieldwork and ground-truthing using Fulcrum. The latest version of the […]

What are the Themes of Human Geography?

What is human geography Human geography has been around as long as, well, humans. But our study of “human geography” as a concept is relatively new, especially among the geospatial/GIS community. As kids in school, we learned about physical geography — mountains and lakes and rivers and such. We even learned about political geography — […]

5 Cool Crowdsourcing Platforms/Apps You Should Check Out

Last year, Spatial Networks released Fulcrum Community, which provides the ability to crowdsource mobile data collection across any geographical area. Data collected by the crowd or organization is then made open and available for anyone to view or download. It has been used in damage assessments for tornados, wildfires, hurricanes, and earthquakes, as well as […]

Looking Ahead to 2018

Since we introduced Fulcrum in 2011, the team at Spatial Networks has worked continuously to improve the platform and become the industry leader in field data collection, as well as to mature as both geographers and software developers. We like to think we’re succeeding on both counts. But as we gathered last year to start […]

2017: The Year in Review

At Spatial Networks, we strive to be your go-to source for geospatial data and the industry leader in mobile data collection technology. We continue to improve the Fulcrum platform and help our customers all over the world discover new ways to save time and money and streamline their business processes. With another exciting and productive […]

The Future of Mobility: Autonomous Cars, Hyperloops, and Drones

Earlier this month, Tony, Bill, RJ and I had the pleasure of attending Geography 2050, the American Geographical Society Annual Fall Symposium, at the beautiful Columbia University in New York City. Geography 2050 is a multi-year strategic dialog that asks the question: “What will the geography of the world look like in 2050?” The event, […]

11 Perfect Holiday Gifts for Geo Geeks

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it’s time to get serious about your holiday shopping. It also means it’s time for our annual holiday gift guide! If you’re not sure what to buy for your favorite geo geek, read on — you may even find something you’d like for yourself (in which case, […]

Working with Geospatial Data: An Introduction

At our core, Spatial Networks is a geography company. From building geospatial technology products to collecting, organizing, and analyzing geodata, we eat, drink, and breathe geography. It’s sobering to learn that, for many of our customers, Fulcrum often provides their first exposure to the wonderful world of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). We don’t build traditional […]

How to Export GeoPackage Data from Fulcrum

One of my favorite things about Fulcrum is that your data is always yours. I am impressed by how much work the engineering team puts into trying to make it almost as easy to get your data out of Fulcrum as it is to get your data in. To that end, Fulcrum supports numerous output […]

Spatial Networks 2017 All Hands Week Recap

We just concluded “All Hands” week, a semi-annual event where every Spatial Networks employee meets up at the company’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida for a fast-paced week of projects, teamwork, and planning for the future. Being our first All Hands since Fulcrum merged back into its parent company, Spatial Networks, it was great to […]

Universities Assessing Hurricane Damage Using Fulcrum Community

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused massive amounts of destruction in parts of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Now, engineering faculty and students from several U.S. universities are turning disaster into a learning experience. With grant (1,2) support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Fulcrum Community, the teams are conducting damage […]

Countdown to Geography 2050: The Future of Mobility

The American Geographical Society’s fourth annual Fall Symposium is next month – the countdown is on, and the SNI team is looking forward to the event! Academics, researchers, business leaders, policy makers, and other AGS fellows will spend two days studying, networking, and exploring “The Future of Mobility” at this year’s Geography 2050 symposium, which […]

Introducing Record-Overview Popups

Viewing records on both split view and map view just got easier. We’re introducing a new feature to the Fulcrum Editor — a record-overview popup that includes several important fields. The new overview popup shows: Title Status Photo Thumbnails Updated Date and Time Last User to Edit The popup menu appears as a web user […]

Fulcrum Community a Proud Part of Hurricane Harvey Relief

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall last month, dumping over 50 inches of rain on the Houston area, hundreds of strangers from all over the country were eager to help with relief efforts. We were proud to be a part of it through the Fulcrum Community initiative. Here’s a recap: ‍ Crowdsourcing a Map of Harvey […]

Improving Fulcrum Editor With Better Basemaps From DigitalGlobe

On September 1, 2017, astute users of the Spatial Networks product, Fulcrum, may have noticed a slight change to the Fulcrum Editor mapping interface. On that day, we switched our underlying basemap provider to the DigitalGlobe Maps API. DigitalGlobe is a world-class provider of satellite imagery and Fulcrum will now be able to serve up […]

Fulcrum Live 2017 Recap

Earlier this month, we held our first-ever user conference, Fulcrum Live. At this event, we hoped users could come together to share their experiences and learn from new ways organizations are using Fulcrum to streamline business processes. Judging by the feedback we received, it was a resounding success! It took our team many months to […]

Getting Started with Drones in Construction

Our friends at DroneDeploy are hosting a great webinar this week (August 16, 11am PDT/2pm EDT), a primer in getting started using drone data for construction projects. Construction job sites are one of the best environments where drones can make a difference in getting better information from the field. Drones for inspections On the webinar, […]

Integrating VETRO FiberMap and Fulcrum

In a business as ‘spatial’ as telecommunications, the physical network map truly is a core business information asset. ISPs need to know where everything in their outside plant is, how it’s connected, and its condition. When planning new fiber builds, the planning, cost estimating, design, and construction processes all require accurate, detailed local mapping data […]

Share Your Fulcrum Story!

Hopefully by now you’ve heard about our upcoming Fulcrum Live event, which is co-located with the International Conference for Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) on August 15th in Boston, MA. This is our first ever official user conference and we are preparing for a fantastic turnout from the Fulcrum community! While there’s […]

Kids and Coding: Investing in the Next Generation

Most people understand that the ability to use a piece of software doesn’t equate to the ability to build that piece of software. Using a computer has been an essential skill in the modern workforce for some time, but the ability to make a computer useful by programming it to do what you want is […]

Join Us At Fulcrum Live!

Update: Tickets to Fulcrum Live are SOLD OUT! Stay tuned for more updates & announcements from the conference on our blog! Fulcrum Live is an all day event co-located with the International Conference for Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G). Join Team Fulcrum, our partners, and user community on Tuesday, August 15th in […]

Taking to the Sky: Integrating Fulcrum and DroneDeploy

Using UAV Systems There’s been a ton of buzz in the last couple of years on using UAV systems for aerial imagery, obliques, LiDAR, 3D modeling, and more. While the technology is becoming more and more affordable for both consumer and commercial platforms, the systems are still complex to use for mapping. Taking photos, stitching […]

Introducing Mobile Widgets

Mobile widgets on Fulcrum The latest Fulcrum updates for both iOS and Android bring support for mobile widgets! Widgets allow you to quickly access frequently used Fulcrum apps on your device. While they function slightly differently between mobile platforms, widgets help to streamline your workflow for faster field operations. Widgets provide a more personalized app […]

Give Tanks: Connecting the Dots with Fulcrum Community

Seemingly obsolete and prehistoric, more than 15,000 water tanks have been constructed in New York City since the advent of the elevator and they continue to be constructed to this day. The City’s municipal water system can only provide sufficient water pressure to buildings at or below 6 stories. Buildings above 6 stories rely on […]

Add a Fulcrum App to your Home Screen

Have you ever wanted to launch directly into a Fulcrum App and create a new record, right from your phone’s home screen? Now, it’s possible with this helpful little add-on we built at: https://fulcrumapp.github.io/fulcrum-homescreen. To use this, open the link on your smartphone’s browser (preferably either Safari on iOS or Chrome on Android). Then, just […]

How a Smartphone App is Stopping Elephant Poachers

Poachers beware! Counter-poaching organizations have a new tool at their disposal to identify, track, and destroy elephant poaching networks thanks to Fulcrum. Fulcrum has been used for years by businesses and municipalities to collect forms and field data using customizable smartphone apps. Now, the geospatial technology behind Fulcrum is finding a new use in the […]

Shipping the Right Product

In the software business, a lot of attention gets paid to “shipping” as a badge of honor if you want to be considered an innovator. Like any guiding philosophy, it’s best used as a general rule than as the primary yardstick by which you measure every individual decision. Agile, scrum, TDD, BDD — they’re all […]

Launching Fulcrum Community

Today, I am proud to announce the launching of our newest product, Fulcrum Community. As a company, we are focused on building the best field data collection platform on the market and making it available to all industries. Many industries have limited budgets due to the nature of their work, particularly humanitarian, emergency management, disaster […]

Supporting FOSS4G 2017

We are incredibly excited to be supporting the 2017 FOSS4G Conference as a Gold Sponsor this August in Boston, MA! The annual International Conference for Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) is the largest global gathering of developers, users, decision-makers and observers focused on open source geospatial software. It’s a week of workshops, […]

2016 Year in Review

This year was a great one for Fulcrum. Since 2011, it’s been our mission to make communications and data capture more seamless between the office and the field, and the growth in diversity of our customer base has proven that it’s a challenge worthy of solving — that organizations in many verticals are faced with […]

2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Geo Geeks

With Black Friday behind us, it’s officially the holiday gift giving season! Do you want to give a unique gift to your favorite maphead or spatial geek? We know that finding gifts for map geeks can be quite tricky. So, a few of us on the Fulcrum team have compiled a list of interesting cartography […]

Geographic Approaches to Conservation & Protection

Last week at Columbia University, hundreds of scholars, policy makers, environmental researchers, and geographers sat down to discuss how geography can be used to solve major world problems at this year’s Geography2050 Conference. The theme for the conference, “Envisioning a Sustainable Planet”, focused on the use of GIS tools, data, and novel approaches to aid […]

Tools for Improving Feedback

This is part 3 in our series about feedback loops, improving data quality, and reducing the time between response and action. In this part, we’ll identify ways to directly improve feedback loops and highlight various tools which can help you communicate information into actions that will help you achieve your goals. With many workflows, you […]

Week in Workflow: Manage Time, 1Password TouchID, & Slack

This week we’ve got some interesting links from around the web — tips on using Slack more efficiently with a large group, personal time management, and notes on the latest powerful update to Workflow (the excellent iOS app). ‍ Having Fun with Touch ID and the Touch Bar → In their new MacBook Pro line, […]

DroneDeploy Conference 2016

I had the opportunity to represent Fulcrum at the inaugural DroneDeploy Conference in San Francisco, CA last week. One of the goals of the conference was to “focus on real-world drone deployments across industries driven by people”. The conference had people in attendance from an array of industries including end users, software providers, and developers […]

GIS-Pro 2016 in Toronto

Cory and I are in Toronto for this year’s GIS-Pro conference hosted by URISA. URISA always puts on a good show with a wide array of speakers, this time with heavy representation from Canadian cities and towns, as well. URISA’s Ontario, Alberta, and BC chapters came together and built a great program for planners, GIS […]

Fulcrum Webhooks: Sync Records From One Form to the Other

This Halloween season, let us make one element of your life less spooky: webhooks! Webhooks can be pretty daunting to the average hacker. Luckily, with the correct tools, one can overcome the intimidation that webhooks may present. ‍Background Webhooks can be scary; they are live data feeds that allow you to edit, create and delete […]

Trigger status changes by time with a script

Fulcrum is a hacker’s dream. If you know your way around the command line and through Javascript functions, you can automate and integrate numerous processes. In this post, I will walk you through a way to automatically change the status value after a certain amount of time has transpired. This type of time-based workflow can […]

Week in Workflow: Mind Mapping, Productivity & Programming

Being “productive” requires the right thought process. Your mental state is much more important that the tools you use for getting things done, though many productivity resources are overly focused on the toolbox (rather than how the tools are applied). This week we’ve got a few links on ways to think differently about “knowledge work”. […]

Tips for Extending Mobile Battery Life

With each new smartphone or tablet that hits the market, the manufacturers are always striking a balance on hardware design to squeeze more life out of the batteries in our devices. Using bigger batteries and upping the power usage efficiency keeps makers just ahead of the curve. New apps, notifications, and ever-increasing usage make it […]

Week in Workflow: Maps, AR, & Learning Loops

It seems like machine learning is either hitting its stride as a real “thing” these days, or is at a particularly high point in the hype cycle. The advances happening in this AI / ML space are fascinating. I think the Big Tech Companies are onto something with real-world applications that are neither pie-in-the-sky science […]

Improving Data Quality & Feedback Loops With QA

This is part 2 in a series about feedback loops and reducing the time between response and action. In this part, we’ll cover how using various features in Fulcrum can improve the quality of the data you collect and decrease the amount of time spent cleaning up and correcting data. Quality assurance in data collection […]

Week in Workflow: Event-Driven Process, Analytics

What’s new in workflow Here are some of the interesting things the Fulcrum team has found from around the web related to workflow, data, and analytics. Enjoy! ‍Event Driven SaaS — The Workflow Of The Future First up is a great, brief post from Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures. He argues that the old data […]

Introducing the American Geographical Society

At no other point in history has geography played such a critical role in virtually every aspect of our lives. From the long-standing traditions of map making and understanding how the physical environment is organized, to the contemporary explosion of GIS, GPS, and other geospatial analyses and techniques, Geography now permeates every aspect of our […]

Using mapFeeder and Fulcrum for Data Collection and 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 […]

New in Fulcrum: QA Data + Data Event Additions

On August 24th, we rolled out some significant updates and additions across all of the major components that make up the Fulcrum platform — iOS, Android, and the web application. You can always find a summary of the updates on our Release Notes page, but since this is a big one, we wanted to take […]

IAAO Talk Notes: Automation and Data Collection

Coleman McCormick speaker notes – IAOO 2016 Thanks for visiting! These are the notes and links from my talk at IAAO 2016 — Automating Field Data Collection. Below you’ll find links referenced or mentioned in the talk, the slides for download, and contact info to get in touch. Fulcrum Case Studies – If a picture […]

Talking Automation at IAAO 2016

Later this month we’ll be at the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) Conference, talking in-depth about what appraisers and assessors can do to automate their field data collection processes. We talk with hundreds of customers with diverse arrays of projects, and so frequently the underlying pains in dealing with data are the same, regardless […]

Presenting Fulcrum at CARTO Super Camp: Builder Edition

Last month, our longtime partner, CartoDB, rebranded as CARTO and launched their latest product — CARTO Builder. This rebranding and new product launch signify their commitment to the field of Location Intelligence. While the CartoDB Editor made it easy to visualize map data, CARTO Builder provides additional tools for simplifying data analysis and building out […]

Feedback Loops & the Benefits of Rapid Communication

“All purposeful behavior may be considered to require feed-back. If a goal is to be attained, some signals from the goal are necessary at some time to direct the behavior.” —Norbert Wiener, father of Cybernetics & Control Systems From investment banking to homeostasis to climate change, feedback loops are everywhere, and play a major role […]

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