Monday, March 23, 2015

Picture This...

I have found that one of the more complicated parts of creating a baseline document report for an easement property is keeping your field notes and pictures in sync with each other. Our field kit for baseline day has always included paper maps, a gps unit, a camera, and a notebook. Our usual process then includes going out to a point on the map, taking a waypoint on the gps, spinning around taking at least 5 pictures of each direction from the point, then logging in the notebook the list of each photo we took and any notes we want to keep track of. It usually works.

Back at the office, hopefully the photos, the log, and the notes all line up. If not, I hope my memory is good enough to remember which direction I was looking. Then, I have to fire up ArcGIS and other tools to import my GPS waypoints and manually make a new photo point map.

Here's an alternative that removes some of the gear, steps, and guesswork.

With LANDSCAPE, I can go out to a property with my smart phone. I can take a bunch of pictures without worrying much about where I am on the map. If I want to, there are a bunch of apps I could use to voice-annotate my photos - no more notebook.

Back at the office, I can open up LANDSCAPE and upload all those photos directly into the baseline map of my Stewardship project. They will appear as points of interest that I can then name, describe, etc. If the points were close together, I'll get one point with several photos instead of several points with a photo in each. That's pretty cool.

There are other ways of importing geographic data into LANDSCAPE. You can find out more about it and other map editing tasks in this knowledge base article.

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