Thursday, 10 November 2011

I'm regularly asked by our clients for recommendations for electronic field data collection.  Here are a few ideas to consider.

A. gINT Logs on a Rugged tablet PC

  • Use graphical data input, and see the log report as you enter data
  • Use a component description
  • At the end of each day zip the gpj and email it to your office
  • By working in the same software you want the data to ultimately reside in data transfer problems are minimized
  • PDF log reports while in the field

B. Excel on a Rugged tablet PC

  • I've seen some elaborate spreadsheets developed for field data collection on a tablet or laptop, including lookup lists, validation and VBA code.  But considering gINT Logs costs between US$1000 and US$1500, the superior data validation inherent in gINT, and the time and hassle saved by having the data in gINT from the my mind gINT Logs wins hands down.

C. PDA applications such as PLog

  • Ok for simply logging such as test pits and logging for the purpose contaminated land.  I think the interface on a PDA is too small for detailed logging, and it is a major disadvantage that you can't see the log as it will be presented when you're in the field.
  • PLog uses a Palm OS, and has a strong connection to gINT.  There are a number of apps on the market for WindowsCE/Mobile.

D. Other data entry applications on a tablet

  • A few commercial tablet based data capture applications are on the market.  Mostly coming from the mining industry.  If you look at these then consider if they are set up to capture geotechnical/contaminated land logging data, if they can show a log report as it would be presented, and if they can get data into gINT or a format gINT can import.

Hardware suggestions


Automatic backups

When using field devices one must consider automatic backup of data.  There are 3rd party apps that can upload automatic backups of gpj files to a webserver.  One such app is