BGS Sigmamobile for geological field data

Jordan, Colm. 2010 BGS Sigmamobile for geological field data. Geoconnexion International, Novemb. 34-35.

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The British Geological Survey (BGS) has been developing innovative systems to collect digital field observations data for geological mapping for over 20 years. The culmination of our labours is a Tablet PC system (BGS•SIGMAmobile) which is currently used to collect and utilise digital field data across the globe. BGS geoscientists use BGS•SIGMAmobile in some of the harshest environments in the world from the sweltering heat of the Emirates to subzero temperatures in the Antarctic, encompassing all possible terrains in between from the tropical rainforests of Madagascar to the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland (see Figure 1). Following an evaluation of existing technologies in 2001, it was evident that none provided the functionality to collect the full range of data required by BGS geoscientists. We began by developing a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) system for point data capture, however the advent of rugged Tablet PCs with their larger screens and increased processing power meant that full digital survey and mapping tools could be placed into the geologists’ hands. The Tablet PC platform enabled us to heavily customise and link ESRI ArcGIS and MS Access systems and utilise handwriting recognition tools such as Inkwriter. The result is an integrated field mapping system based on those software packages that has been successfully implemented in many geoscience applications from traditional geological mapping to landslide monitoring and earthquake damage assessment. Having designed the system with geologists testing every step of the way, it provides a considered balance of structured input using drop-down menus along with free text and sketches where appropriate.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Geoscience Technologies
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Article also available for free download from URL above
Date made live: 06 Dec 2010 16:08 +0 (UTC)

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