Avian Field Studies
Commercial wind energy developers are required to assess potential impact of projects on birds and bats as part of the permitting process. These developers frequently seek out the services of Westwood Professional Services to conduct an avian fatality study.
Westwood starts by identifying a specific set of turbines as their test plot. Then they thoroughly search that area on a regular basis for bird and bat fatalities. They use collected avian fatality data for further data analysis to extrapolate test plot results to the entire wind energy project. Data accuracy is critical for the statistical analysis. Collecting data with pen and paper out in the elements and then trying to interpret handwritten notes back in the office for digital entry was not sufficient. Westwood found a better way.
Mobile Data Collection
In the past, Westwood used paper excel sheets out in the field to collect data. Regardless of rain, snow or wind, the paper forms went out in the field for data collection. Now, using GeoJot+, they have uploaded their four existing worksheets to create four mobile data collection forms. Those forms were easily distributed to field staff via email or by synchronizing all the field devices via the cloud.
Westwood staff now take thousands of photos and the fill out the appropriate avian data collection forms on the GeoJot+ app running on their iPhones or iPads. Data in the 4 forms include: weather conditions, turbine number, animal count and species among other items. The app automatically captures the location, direction photos were taken, date, time, and user. The GeoJot+ mobile app automatically sends photos and data back to the office via the cloud.
Westwood can easily transfer the the GeoJot+ mobile app between devices. If someone forgets to take their company-provided iPad into the field, they can quickly transfer the app to their smartphone. If a employee leaves, they can easily transfer GeoJot+ to a new device.
Reports and Other Output
Transferring data via Dropbox, Google Drive or FTP, data collected by all field staff is available back in the office. The accurate and consistent data point are used to extrapolate test plot results to the entire wind energy project. Photos are quickly sorted by form and processed creating maps and extensive client reports.