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GeoJot+ Tips and Tricks
While GeoJot+ has been designed to be easy to use in the field and in the office, there is also a lot of advanced functionality available to users. This tips and tricks section will help you to discover less obvious but powerful features that are just a click away. In addition to the tips below, remember there is context sensitive help throughout the App and Core!

Transfer the app across devices
Data collection in remote or disconnected areas
Avoid sending mobile workers back to a location for missed or inaccurate data
Resolve Dropbox/Cloud upload issues
GPS averaging for greater accuracy on your Android or Windows Mobile device
Use higher accuracy external GPS
Add descriptive help text to your forms
Speed up processing
Save disk space
Avoid “System Out Of Memory” exceptions
Integrate with ArcGIS
Advanced report topics
Understand the link between photos and attribute data
Download the GeoJot+ app for Windows Mobile 6.x handheld GPS devices
Automatically upload data to your backend database or the cloud
Managing large numbers of photos
Search your photos more easily
Moving a point in the field
Cloud transfer features to improve efficiency & minimize data plan usage

Transfer the app across devices

  • Users can access the web-based Administrators Dashboard to deactivate app licenses making them available for other users in their organization. There are two ways to transfer an activation to a different device
    • On the smartphone or tablet, go to the activation screen. Select deactivate and that activation will now be available for use on another device. The new user will just need to download the free GeoJot+ App and enter the serial number on their activation screen.
    • If a device has been lost or damaged, you can deactivate a user from the Administrator’s Dashboard. Login to the Administrator’s Dashboard online. Enter the username (email) and password for your organization. Select the Activations tab. Find the device in question and select the Edit button on the right side of the screen. Choose Deactivated if you want to make that activation available to a new user but you still want the existing user to be able to use it again at a later time. Choose Disabled if you want to make sure that the serial number can never be used again on that device. The new user will need to download the free GeoJot+ app and enter the serial number in the activation screen.

Data collection in remote or disconnected areas

GeoJot+ will still capture photos, data, and GPS location without cell service / internet connection / WiFi. This is true for all mobile devices that have an internal GPS chip. We have never seen an Android device without an internal GPS chip. Some Apple products do not have internal GPS chips. If you have chosen to use the cloud data transfer, GeoJot+ will queue the data and send it as soon as there is connectivity. You will find this functionality in the app by selecting Settings > Cloud > Provder. There is also an option that allows you to send data only when you are in Wi-Fi range on the cloud screen.

Avoid sending mobile workers back to a location for missed or inaccurate data

  • Users can utilize the camera roll to review data before moving on the next data collection site. In the GeoJot+ app, click on Camera Roll. In the bottom corner of the screen is a map button. Click on it to see all of the photo points on one map. This is a quick way to check if any of your GPS points are problematic.
  • To review your data, click the back button (Android) or the camera roll button on the lower left (Apple). Select the first photo you want to review from the list. Click the Attribute button on the bottom of the screen. The image and all the data will appear. Click on any data element to change its value. You can also modify the location of the photo by clicking on the Map tab at the bottom of the screen. Depress your finger on the point and hold. As soon as the lat and long turn red, drag the point to your desired location.
  • If the problem is poor GPS accuracy, you can choose to set GPS accuracy requirements in the app. Settings>Advanced>Required Accuracy. When you choose an accuracy requirement, GeoJot+ will not allow the user to the take the photo until the GPS accuracy meets the selected accuracy requirement.

Resolve Dropbox/Cloud upload issues

GPS Averaging

  • The Android and Windows Mobile versions of the app now feature the ability to enable GPA averaging. GPS averaging allows you to collect and average multiple points of GPS information for one photo to get a more accurate location. The user can chose how many points to collect and can also set minimum accuracy requirements so GeoJot+ will only include individual points in the average if they meet that threshold.
  • To use GPS averaging, go to Settings > Advanced > Enable GPS Averaging. On the Advanced screen you may also choose to set Required Accuracy for each point to be used in the average. After turning on the GPS averaging feature, go to the camera screen and you will see a button across the top that says GPS Avg On. You will see the number of points in the average on the lower left hand side of the screen. On the right you will see the accuracy of the individual point being taken at that moment. When you feel you have collected enough points, take your picture by hitting the orange camera icon. Fill out your form and select Save. After saving the camera screen will appear again. The GPS Avg button will still appear across the top but it will be set to GPS Avg Off. Tap on that button and it will switch to GPS Avg On and start collecting a new set of points for your next photo. When you process the data in GeoJot+ Core you will be able to see the number of points used to create the GPS average and the average accuracy.

Use higher accuracy GPS

  • The locational accuracy of data collected with GeoJot+ is generally based on the internal GPS chip in the smartphone or tablet running GeoJot+. However, the GeoJot+ app can link with an external GPS such as a Trimble Geo6000 or a Juniper for higher accuracy coordinates. Do do this you will need to install this Bluetooth GPS app on Android, and connect to your device using that app. Then GeoJot will use the Bluetooth GPS position instead of the coordinates from your smartphone or tablet.
  • OR back in the office, you can the desktop component, GeoJot+ Core, to re-geotag the photos with more accurate information using the Geotag tab. Using GeoJot+ Core, the new GPS coordinates will overwrite the coordinates from your smartphone or tablet. GPS data can from a Trimble unit can be Post Processed before it is imported in Core, typically using a program like Pathfinder Office.

Display descriptive help text in your app forms

  • When you click on a field in your data collection form in the GeoJot+ app, the data entry screen that appears shows the descriptive text that you defined when you created your list. For example, if one of your fields is height, the description might say measure height from the base to the lowest branch. This descriptive text is added when you create your form in GeoJot+ Core on your computer.
  • After you have started GeoJot+ Core, select the Form Editor Button across the top of the page. There you can enter the name of the field, type of field, if the field is required, if typing is allowed, a default value, and last but not least the description which will appear on the data entry screen in the app.

Speed up processing in GeoJot+

Speed up processing in Core by only creating the output you need.

  • Watermarked Photos: By default, the system will always create watermarked photos. This takes a great deal of additional time and disk space if you don’t actually need watermarked photos. You can modify the default settings in GeoJot+ Core if you do not need watermarked photos.
    • Tab 6 – Shared Output Settings. On the left side click on the first item – Click on Photo Information. The first item on the right side of the screen will be Watermarked Photos. Deselect the box “Always include in Output”.
    • Tab 7 - Select Output. On the left side of the screen, click on the first output you have chosen to create. The options for that output will appear on the right side of the screen. For each type of output you have selected, go to the Photo option and make sure that watermarked photo is NOT selected.
  • Downloading Maps for Reports: During processing, by default, GeoJot+ Core goes finds and downloads the maps that will be displayed in your reports. If you do not need maps in your reports, follow the steps below to remove all the maps, greatly speeding up processing time and decreasing file sizes.
    • Tab6 – Shared Output Settings. On the left side, select Static Maps. There are 3 maps used in report creation. The Overview Map, Map1 and Map2. Please note that Map2 is a tab just to the right of Map1. Set the Map Source to <None>.
    • On each of the report files you have the option to include the static maps. In addition to selecting <None> on Tab6, you must also make sure that you also deselect all maps in the map output in tab 7.
    • For example: On the left side of the screen select Standard under Report Files. On the right side of the screen the options for the Standard Report will appear. Be sure to deselect Overview Map and Background Maps.

Saving disk space

  • One way to save disk space is to change the default settings so that no watermarked photos are created. (see speeding up processing section above)
  • Another way to save space is to change the size of the watermarked photos, original photos and thumbnails. In GeoJot+ Core, got to Tab 6 – Shared Output Settings. On the left side click on the first item – Photo Information. Select a smaller size for the Watermarked Photos, Original Photos, and Thumbnails.

Avoid “System Out Of Memory” exceptions in GeoJot+ Core and GPS-Photo Link+

  • The system out of memory exception can be caused by limited processing capacity on your computer, which is affected by the number of photos or the size of photos. If the error is occurring when importing photos, close any other memory hogging applications that you might have running and try processing your photos again. If the exception occurs again reducing the size or number of your photos is the best option.

    If the error occurs when you are trying to create output, try going to Shared Output Settings>Photo Information and reducing the size of the photos to 800 or lower. Also, try running the project with no watermarking of the photos. Watermarking can be disabled on the individual Output Files settings.

Integrate with ArcGIS

  • GeoJot+ Core can be run within ArcGIS as an extension. Once the data is processed you should have a GeoJot+ toolbar in ArcGIS. The toolbar enables “hot linking” shapefiles to photos. You can click on a feature to the associated photo and data. Hover over a point and the thumbnail pops up.
  • GeoJot+ will run in ArcGIS basic, standard or advanced.
  • During photo processing, you can choose to create shapefile and Geodatabases. There are a host of settings for the ArcGIS output, of particular interest to many users is the ability to create a BLOB geodatabase so the links between the photos and the data are never broken in ArcGIS.

Advanced report functionality

  • Dealing with photos taken using different lists in the reports

Some of our clients need to create multiple reports using different attribute lists from within the same project. For example you may have a report for a construction site that includes some plumbing and some wiring photos and each has their own attribute list. The initial report will include all photos with the appropriate attribute data showing on the table associated with each photo. However now you want to create a report with only the plumbing photos. How can you filter out the wiring photos?

The key is to specify a common memo field across attribute lists (memo 1 is a good idea). Make this memo the list name (e.g. Plumbing or Wiring). All the attributes after that can be specific to the list.

In GeoJot+ Core you will able to use the Group By function to select memo 1 and enter in either “Plumbing” or “Wiring” to display only those photos. If you wanted a report that only included “Plumbing” you could sort by memo 1, “select all” the “Wiring” pictures and then select Exclude from the toolbar. Now when you run your report it will only include Plumbing pictures. Reverse the process to create reports with only Wiring pictures.

Be sure to go to the output folder (you can click on the red toolbox to the right of your reports from within the project manager) and rename or copy your reports to a new location after you run each individual report. If you don’t move or rename them GeoJot+ will overwrite the previous report when you attempt to run a new one.

Understand the link between photos and attribute data

  • GeoJot+ is a photo-centric field data collection system. The data collected in the field is written into the EXIF header of each photo; this means that the data can never be separated from the photo. When data is only output to a database, the connection between the photos and data are easily lost when the files are moved. With GeoJot+, if you have the photos, you will always have everything you need.

Download the GeoJot+ app for Windows Mobile 6.x handheld GPS devices

  • GeoJot+ now runs on most Trimble and Juniper handheld GPS units! If you already have a GeoJot+ license or active trial, just click here to download the app for Windows Mobile. When you open the app, type in your serial number and give it a try.

Automatically upload data to your backend database or the cloud

Managing large numbers of photos

50 inspectors x 100s of photos x 365 days a year = a lot of data. Have GeoJot+ rename your files and then automatically organize your data using static or dynamic names as they are transferred through the cloud. On your mobile device, go to the settings screen in GeoJot and select Cloud.

  • Renaming photos
    • To add a static prefix to all of your photos, go to Cloud > Filename Prefix and then type in the prefix you want to append to the beginning of each filename such as GeoJot or an inspectors name, etc. Select Ok. Your files will be called GeoJot_0001.jpg or Jeff_0001.jpg.
    • To add a dynamic prefix to the photo names, go to Cloud>Filename Field and select the field that you want appended to the beginning of each photo name. For example, if you chose the field called sign type, all stop sign photos would be named Stop sign_0001.jpg.
  • Organizing photos
    • You can choose a folder or entire path where data from a particular device will be stored. If I have 50 people in the field collecting data for different projects, I might create a folder structure in the cloud that is project/field person. My data will go up to Trail Assessment/Stephanie. Someone else’s data might be stored in property audit/John.
    • You can also choose to have the data placed in a folder based on the value of an field (attribute) in your list. If I am dong a sign inventory and I might rate the condition of the signs good-average-replace. As I collect the data, all the photos of signs that need to be replace into the Signs/Stephanie/replace

Use Windows Search to locate your photos more easily

If you set up your forms properly, you will be able to use a basic windows search to find photos based on certain data collected in the field. No more hunting & pecking for that one photo.

  • There are 5 fields that are searchable using the Windows Search function, these are Subject, Title, Comments, Author, and Copyright. The generic fields 1-80 are not searchable. To utilize this functionality, do the following when creating a form:
    • When you create a field in your form, you set the name and then next you set the Type. When you are setting the type, scroll all the way to the bottom of the list and you will find the window searchable fields. Select one of them as your Type. It is that simple.
    • Please note that unlike the generic numbered fields, when you select one of the set fields such as Subject, then Subject will appear as the name of the field in your form.
  • After data is collected in the app and processed using GeoJot+ Core, you can go into a Windows Document Library Window to search for your photos based on the data you collected in those special fields in your form. For example, if you want to find all the photos where eagles was your subject, you just type Eagles into the search menu item and then select the type as .jpg. Windows will pull up all your photos where Eagles was entered into the Subject, Title, Comments, Author, and Copyright field using the GeoJot+ app.

Move a point (adjust the GPS location) in the field

  • After collecting data, you can use the Camera Roll on your mobile device to review your data while you are still out in the field. To adjust the GPS location, from the GeoJot+ home screen, click on Camera Roll > click on the photo of interest. A new screen will appear with a thumbnail of the photo and GPS information above a small map. On the map you will see your photo GPS point. Click on the point and hold, then drag the point to the desired location. When you take your finger off the screen, GeoJot+ will ask if you would like to move the photo to the new location. Select OK and the new GPS coordinates will be associated with that photo.
  • At the bottom of the map screen is a “Form” tab. If you select that tab you can updated the values in your data collection form for that photo.

Cloud transfer features to improve efficiency & minimize data plan usage

  • Does this sound familiar…. Our inspectors (or installers) are collecting data using GeoJot+ on their personal phones and they don’t have an unlimited data plan. They would rather wait until they get back to their hotel to upload all their data using the hotel WiFi, however the WiFi is often low speed and spotty causing DropBox problems when uploading hundreds of files.

GeoSpatial Experts has engineered a new solution to avoid DropBox problems when uploading high volumes of photos. In addition, we have added a feature on the app in the camera roll called "Cloud Upload Unsent" to look through all the GeoJot+ photos on a phone and send up only the photos that had not already been sent to the cloud.

 

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