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GIS - GPS

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JonTEP View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 May 2007 at 11:30am

Hello hello!

Following on from your discussions last year on GIS; how has everyone got on with it?

I use both in my day job (arboricultural surveyor/consultant) and have been experimenting with them at home in monitoring our local slow worm population (and everything else, in fact, it's quite addictive!).  It's a frighteningly powerful tool and I'd highly recommend it, but agree a consensus on recording and mapping conventions at an early stage would be very useful.  We use MapInfo and FastMap GIS and differential backpack GPS units (<300mm accuracy in optimal conditions)

Basemaps can be an issue; for my research purposes I have bought my local area through Promap (www.promap.co.uk), which wasn't too expensive and was worth every penny.  But as long as coordinates are logged against each record (easting,northing) then they can be used later on or on other systems when maps are available.

Anyway, I'd be interested to know anyone elses experience.

Cheers!

Jon

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2007 at 4:19pm
Hi Jon & welcome.

I use Quantum GIS (coz its free!) and use an EGNOS enabled hand GPS unit, which is ok to around 12 feet in optimal conditions, easily enough to find a tin in a sea of heather !

Base maps are an issue, but there is a surprising quantity of free stuff available, it all depends on what you need; are you looking at trends/distribution across the country/county or a field. Clearly the latter requires high accuracy and detailed mapping.

Horses for courses I'd say :P
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arvensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2007 at 5:54am
James(Jimpklop) and myself was discussing this a couple of weeks back on MSN.      I downloaded Quantum GIS, but haven't had the time yet to play with it.   It something I'd like to do, in respect of mapping at least 1 of my sites.   

Mark


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JonTEP View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonTEP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2007 at 6:30am

I've just had a look at Quantum, I'd not heard of it before; it looks good though.  On another note; A (very sad) colleague in our office is making me an all-singing and dancing Excell recording sheet for my reptile project; I'd be happy to make it available when he's finished to others; what would be the best way to do it?

Basically it'll have some fancy formulae that give you a data entry form for use on a handheld device like an iPaq, then it shares that data to some more tabs; one for printing out, one for importing into MapInfo and I'm trying to get him to make some summary analysis and graphs.  Or am I reinventing the wheel?

 

Jon

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2007 at 8:10am
Originally posted by JonTEP JonTEP wrote:

Or am I reinventing the wheel?


Hi Jon......It depends....on exactly what you are aiming to achieve.

A key issue will be what data fields are pertinent. I would suggest a good steer can be found from accepted recording formats, as used by the HCT, and can be downloaded from the SurreyARG survey page.

Transcoding geolocation references is fairly straight forward, and the OSGB supplied spreadsheet to do this work very well, with a few tweaks.

Much of the data that (you may choose to record) lends itself nicely to a relational database structure, so you may find Access easier to code and to extract data than say an Excel spreadsheet.

Having said all that, there is one area that would benefit hugely from some development: If somebody was to write code, that ran on a handheld (with a plug in GPS module) so that when you had a sighting, you simply hit a button, which recorded time (date) and location, and then presented a simple menu system to record species, age, gender etc...that would definitely speed up surveying and reduce transcription errors.

My tuppence.

Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2007 at 8:14am
Missed one point.

Quantum is fine for presentation of data, but I don't think that it yet works for querying the presented data, but you can always do this using maths from the data source, however a definite 'minus' for this otherwise excellent free software.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darlington_gcn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2007 at 11:15am
i am learning GIS - both mapinfo and arc9, i am finding mapinfo earlier atm but still waitinf for offical training on arc9. i think they are extremely useful and will be looking into the free version quantum when i have some time as it could be useful
Working on a 12 month conservation project with Durham Wildlife Trust and Darlington Borough Council on Great Crested Newts. Any help/advice appreciated - rjackson@durhamwt.co.uk
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