GIS Mobile Mapping with ArcPad
During the fall of 2003, the Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) added eight weather stations to their already existing weather network. The weather stations designed by Campbell Scientific were spread through out the Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia) region from Digby east to Grand Pre. The data from these weather stations needed to be periodically collected and they also needed to be inspected from time to time for any maintenance issues. Therefore, as graduate students we were each asked to create a mobile mapping application for ESRI Arcpad that could be used with a Trimble Geo Xt hand held GPS unit that could aid in the collection of the weather data.
Included below on this page is the report written for this project, a presentation that covered all aspects of the project and more general information and links about GIS mobile mapping. The report includes all code used in designing the ArcPad application (visual basic, XML etc). The presentation was presented at COGS in Lawerncetown, Nova Scotia during the fall of 2003. The existing AGRG weather station network now consists of 14 tripods and 1 tower setup (as of Aug 2004).
This page will use ESRI ArcPad as an example due to the relative experience I have had with this over the past few years. But do keep in mind that there are many more different ones out there and one should experiment to find the setup that best fits their project needs.
ESRI ArcPad software combines database access, mapping, GIS, and GPS integration when you are in the field via a handheld computer device. The main advantage to this is that you can incorporate your existing data such as database, vector and raster images along with the data that you collect. The following are some of the many functions that are possible with mobile mapping:
- Move around your map with navigation tools including zoom and pan, and center on the current GPS position.
- Query your data: Identify features, display hyperlinks, and locate features.
- Measure distance, area, and bearings on your ArcPad map.
- Navigate with your GPS: Connect a GPS and let ArcPad guide you.
- Edit your data: Create and edit spatial data using input from the mouse pointer, pen, or GPS.
The user can output existing data from a GIS project to use with the mobile unit in the field and then input the new data into the same project file in their GIS when it is completed. This function known as “disconnected editing” is great for updating an existing database and project with out having to create a new every time. It also allows the user to bring a subset of the data that they need and not the complete data sets, allowing them to save disk space and making it possible to use with a hand held unit. Customization of ArcPad is done using the ArcStudio program. All customization is performed on the PC and deployed to ArcPad on the mobile device. Some of the customizations possible are
- Creation of new toolbars with built-in and custom tools.
- Design of custom forms to streamline data collection in the field.
- Write scripts that automate tasks and interact with ArcPad software’s internal objects.
- Build applets to accomplish your organization’s unique
More information on ESRI ArcPad can be found in the ESRI white paper titled ArcPad™- Mobile Mapping & GIS
2003 Mobile Mapping Related Documents & Links
- MacKinnon E (2003) Mobile Mapping Application for Updating AGRG Weather Station data Middleton, NS: Applied Geomatics Research Group, Centre of Geographic Sciences, 27 pages
- MacKinnon E (2003) Mobile Mapping Application for Updating AGRG Weather Station data presented at the Applied Geomatics Research Group, Centre of Geographic Sciences; Middleton, Nova Scotia
- MacKinnon E (2003) Leica GS20 Professional Data Mapper – AGRG Users Guide Middleton, NS: Applied Geomatics Research Group, Centre of Geographic Sciences, 31 pages
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