Below are the questions from the Q&A session during the September 10th webinar: Pipeline Data Collection With Smartphones &Tablets. Please contact us for an extended trial of GeoJot+ on one of your projects.

Q: What happens if my contractors are collecting data in an area with no cell phone reception – will the GPS still work?
A: Yes, the GPS will still work. Almost all newer smartphones and tablets have built in GPS chips which get higher accuracy than trying to triangulate you position using cell phone towers. If you set your phone to capture the highest accuracy GPS, it will use the GPS chip which is independent of cell phone coverage. In addition, if you choose to send data back to the office via the cloud, data will be put into a queue if there is no coverage and sent later. You can also choose to only send when you are within WiFi coverage.

Q: When taking a picture, does the GPS describe where the smart phone is, or where the object is that you’re taking a picture of (focusing on)?
A:The phone will do either based on how you need to use it. If you want to capture the coordinates of an asset you can do so by going up to the asset and locking you GPS coordinates in the App. Then you can back away from the asset and photograph it. The locked coordinate will be the one used when the information is written to the EXIF header of the JPEG. On Android devices we also support the use of laser rangefinders to offset your point to the correct asset location. This is ideal in situation where access to your asset is obstructed or problematic.

Q: How accurate is the GPS? Can you increase the GPS accuracy?
A:GPS accuracy is dependent on your hardware. Many smartphones are around 10 meter accuracy but it does vary between manufacturers and even specific models. GeoJot+ already enhances the accuracy of iPhones and iPads which tended to have a lower native accuracy. In addition, GeoJot+ can communicate with more accurate external GPS units via Bluetooth, overwriting the coordinates from the smartphone or tablet. The GeoJot+ app can actually run on handheld GPS units with Windows Mobile 6.x including most Trimble and Juniper units.

Q:You had said that this can connect to a GPS for accurate positioning, but from a surveying stand point it will collect elevations if connected to RTK GPS antenna?
A: When connected to an external GPS unit GeoJot+ will report whatever location information that the external unit is delivering over the NMEA stream. So, if the RTK GPS Antennae is collecting elevation information, that information will be what GeoJot+ writes to the JPEG’s EXIF header.

Q: The data can go into PODS?
A: We support integrating the data into a wide range of backend system. We can write directly into certain databases. We can do the custom work necessary to make sure the data resides where it needs to.

Q: How much does GeoJot+ cost?
A: The most basic implementation of GeoJot+ is $329/user/year. Generally, the larger the organization, the more custom implementation that needs to be done either on the front end or back end.

Q: How do you license GeoJot?
A: GeoJot+ is a yearly subscription that is licensed on a per user basis. Each licensed user can have access to (1) concurrent activation of both Core and the App.

Q:Do I have to transfer data via cloud?
A: No, you can also transfer the data via usb port or email.

Q:The data is actually stored within the photos?
A: Yes the data is stored in the EXIF header of each photo so the data can never be separated from the photo in the future.

Q: Do you provide an SDK for GeoJot?
A: We do not provide an SDK for GeoJot+ currently.

Q: Who sets up the data collection forms and how are they created and modified?
A: The data collection forms can be created and modified on either the desktop portion of the software (Core) or the mobile App. Creating and modifying the forms on the desktop portion is preferable due to ease of use and the ability to import existing Excel table to populate new data collection forms.

Q: What are the advantages of GeoJot+ over ESRI webgis apps?
A: GeoJot+ is easy to use for the non-GIS experts, it was created for contractors and field workers. GeoJot+ is flexible & can work with a wide variety of backend databases and systems. Although GeoJot+ works with ArcGIS. it does not require an ArcGIS online or subscription or ArcServer license. In addition to adding data to their Geodatabases or viewing the data in ArcGIS or Google Earth, users can also create a wide variety of reports and web output to share data with management and other non-GIS users. GeoJot+ is focused on the photos – the data is stored in the photos so the data and photos can never become separated in the future and can serve as incontrovertible evidence. The system also offers a wide array of tools to manage photos which can become cumbersome when collected in high volume over long periods of time.

Q: Do you have deals for non-profits?
A: We offer a discount to non-profits. Contact us at sales@geospatialexperts for more information.

Q: What coordinate system do most smart phones use by default?
A: Most smart phones use WGS-84.

Q: How does one change the projection?
A: The projection cannot be changed on the mobile device. Within Core you can change to any projection you need by going to Project Settings>Coordinate System>Change. This will launch the Select Coordinate System from Datasource wizard.