Developement of a mobile GIS Data Collection Solution
Kiprop, Simion Chepkwony
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Mobile GIS is the expansion of GIS technology from the office into the field. It enables field personnel to capture, store, update, manipulate, analyze and display geographic information. Traditionally, the processes of field data collection and editing have been time consuming and error prone. Field edits were performed using sketches and notes on paper maps and forms. Once back in the office, these field edits and measurements were reduced manually and finally entered into digital systems. The result has been that data has often not been up to date or accurate. The main objective of this study was to develop a field data collection solution to support specific GIS field tasks and projects which was aimed at ensuring that attribute and spatial data was up to date and accurate with little or no redundancy. Mobile GIS integrates three essential components; Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), rugged handheld computers, and GIS software. Bringing these technologies together made the enterprise database directly accessible to field based personnel whenever and wherever required. The system developed is based on existing GIS (Field and Office software) and Hardware (GNSS Receiver), using existing software Development Kit (SDK).The functionality of the system was customized to fit into user desired field to office scenario. The development of the solution entailed creation of data collection form that was user friendly and based on existing database structure, a script to perform checks within the existing database before updating or adding new attribute and spatial information and a barcode scanner to read meter information automatically. The approximately automatic system resulted in Kenya Power prepaid meter database, being updated quickly with no redundancy, adding position information to attribute data, and reducing human errors in information collecting process.