Finally I see a really attractive application for iPad Oriented to capture GIS data in the field.
The tool has potential for many things, and leaves in Apps I've tried as well as in GaiaGPS, GIS4Mobile, ArcGIS for iPad and GISRoam; The latter is powerful but unfriendly to work with and more focused on analysis than capture.
GIS Kit is a development of Garafa.com, the creators of GPS Kit. It comes in two versions: GIS Kit and GIS Pro; basically the difference for now is in the handling of .csv data, bluetooth transfer, sharing feature class datasets and export to shape files; in the rest of the functionalities they are similar. The price of the Kit version is in 99 dollars, the other one is about to be defined in the next 5 weeks according to the authors' comments.
Let's have a look to see if it's worth it:
1 Deploying data with GIS Kit
The organization structure is based on projects, which then include layers that can be controlled with priority, transparency or off / on with simple dragging of fingers. Very practical and simple, you can create, copy, move layers. You can also define as many attributes as necessary, including photo type; which can be taken directly if iPad2 is used or choose from the image directory; apart it supports list (combo box), boolean (check box), date, url, telephone number, among others.
As for the appearance of the layers, it is quite intuitive, allows you to choose the width of the border, color, line type in a simple and good looking.
As background maps, it is far beyond what I was expecting:
- Google maps, in Street, Satellite and Hybrid forms.
- Bing maps, in street, satellite and Topo forms.
- Open Street maps and Open Topo maps.
- The Pro version will support WMS.
- Also georeferenced orthophoto if carried Loaded in a kmz file.
Best of all, it can be cached to view it offline when going to the field without an Internet connection.
2 Data capture in the field
It is possible to measure distances between two points, or in a multipoint route. These can be displayed in meters, yards, feet and nautical miles.
Supports coordinate systems with lat / long and UTM. It also has USNG and MGRS, which are the systems widely used in the United States, almost identical to WGS84.
In the place where it is positioned, it shows data such as course, coordinates, speed, etc. But apart from that you can capture data with the GPS that it brings inside, for this it does not require internet connection, but normal signal like any GPS. Remember that the capture of a GPS point is not an exact measurement, but an average of a series of measurements in the form of pulses. GIS Kit has options to capture data by filtering criteria.
- Filter by distance. You can tell it not to capture data if there are no maximum displacements from a certain distance.
- Filter by time. You could be told to capture data every certain number of seconds, no matter if there is no displacement.
- Filter by precision. You may be asked to only capture data when a range of precision is exceeded.
- Ultra precise filter. This is a functionality that Apple offers to the application developers, in which the process forces the device to search only for precise information and not simple pulsations.
The capture can be of points, lines or polygons, depending on the configuration of the layer in use. Once the object is captured, a panel is displayed to enter the data.
3 Data editing
Once the data has been taken, you can edit not only the alphanumerics but also the geometries (line, point, polygon and tracking). Even, a polygon can be lifted partially with GPS and the rest point it, very practical as to combine GPS with photo interpretation when the conditions of detail allow it.
4 Supported formats.
This has a good rhythm, although it must be clarified that it is a GIS capture application, so CAD, or analysis should be done from the desktop.
Import and export data of ESRI (.shp), Excel (.csv), Google Earth (kml / kmz) formats and also obtained with other GPS in exchange format (.gpx), I refer to these programs, although these can be generated almost with any current GIS application.
Interesting the case of kmz that has become a much more attractive format than the old shp, since it supports data such as photographs associated with a field and even georeferenced orthophotos and more than one kml in the same file. This format is also recognized as OGC standard and it supports 32 bits, which surpasses the archaic native tables .dbf although in number of attributes it requires some mage xml.
Layers can be transferred via email, iTunes, Bluetooth and iCloud.
In short, the best seen so far to take advantage of an iPad in the field. It looks simple and potential for practical projects where printing is more important than precision, such as real estate, agricultural inventories, socioeconomic survey or forestry projects ...
It occurs to me that it would not be very complex if you wanted to apply to a rural cadastral survey, since in the cabinet you can download the satellite image in cache, and then go to the field without the Internet connection. In some places the image that has been provided to Google meets acceptable conditions of accuracy, however, having your own orthophoto can be loaded in a WMS service or in kmz files to take to the field.
At the same time the parcel is measured, the cadastral file would be filled, the associated photographs would be taken, it could be drawn by photointerpreting parts that do not require travel, drawing the buildings or pools, classifying the permanent crop or editing an existing record. It is not very difficult to configure all the data included in a cadastre sheet with multifunctional approach, even with a simple 3G connection the data could be arriving at a shared feature classes server.
In the case of an urban survey, it could be used as a complement, raising with total station all fronts and with this toy photointerpret or measure the bottoms of the buildings, draw the building and complete the cadastral or socio-economic survey. If we add the times that the technicians take to write down in the notebook, consult the list of codes, take the photograph with another camera, then go to the cabinet to complete the file, draw the sketch with a scale, calculate the built-up area, make the calculations and enter data into a system ... it could be that yes, this has potential.
Let's not say other perverse uses, because using me.com You could track where the technicians are, how much time they lose, where improper places get ... including where the thief who took the iPad.
For further information http://giskit.garafa.com/.