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GIS Seminar 1

April 20, 2017

Mobile Field Data Collection

Evan Thoms


This was the first of what will hopefully be a continuing series of seminars about GIS. The next meetings that are currently scheduled are:

May 18, Thu, 12-1 p,

June 19, Mon, 12-1 p

July 20, Thu, 12-1p

All of which will be in the LHB East, Glenn Olds conference room.


Emails about upcoming meetings will be send to the following lists:

GS-AKA Glenn Olds <>
GS-AKA Grace Hall <>
GS-AKA Orca Street <>



And the GPS and GIS contact list (GS-G-AKanc AVO < >) will be up updated and used for more focused discussions within the group.


The topic of the next meeting will be preparing GIS data for published figures.


A list of other possible future topics:

NHD and Hydrography mapping – Becci Anderson

FGDC metadata, ISO metadata

Data release formats

Raster and/or vector management and/or editing – many topics possible, these could be run like GIS 101 workshops or mini-courses

Database design and development.

Here are some links for GIS support that I use. In particular, I encourage people with questions to ask the EGIS listserv.

EGIS ( ) – Enterprise GIS, USGS. ANY geospatial question

Geonet ( ) (ESRI). Clunky, but developers sometimes answer

GIS StackExchange ( ) . Open source



Not all devices have on-board GPS! Need wifi+cellular version

External GPS (Bad Elf ( ) will have higher precision and data backup

Instrument specs may hard to find. Keep this in mind if you are concerned about high-precision measurements.

Jamey Jones said he has a couple Bad Elf gps units that he can loan out.  

The purchase and security management of iPADs (not sure about other tablets) is now done through USGS IT. Jamey Jones has most recently gone through this process.



PDFMaps ( ) by Avenza

Import a geo-enabled PDF (easy to create in ArcMap or Global Mapper)

Points and tracklogs

Attribute schema and picklists

Geotagged photos


Only one raster per map

“Placemarks” associated with map. Multiple shapefiles to merge if you collect points in multiple maps

Features exported as KML which are not read natively by ArcGIS

iGIS ( ) by Geometry

Import custom raster after it has been tiled – MapTiler ( ) - GUI front end for ( )

Import/export shapefiles; points, lines, polygons

XML format custom data entry forms with timestamps, incrementing numbers, picklists.

Collector for ArcGIS ( )

Import by (1) building map in ArcMap, (2) sharing map on ArcGIS Online, (3) downloading from ArcGIS Online

Complex symbology of points, lines, polygons. Rotation of point symbols.

Full schema of geodatabase (domains, subtypes, relationships, attachments)

Big, complex enterprise solution for multiple editors

Mobile Global Mapper ( )

First beta version used only geographic projection. Presumably better now.

GIS Kit ( ) ($100) and GIS Pro ($300) by Garafa

Caches webmap tiles when connected to internet.


StraboSPOT ( ) – NSF sponsored project to create geologic (focus on structural data) mapping app


One app solution would include:

Easy custom raster import

Shapefiles as transfer format

Attribute schema with picklists

Easy symbology

Point labels

Geotagged notes (with handwriting recognition?) Smart pen ?

Photo annotation