Below are all the questions from the Q&A session during the January 16th GeoJot+ webinar. There were a large number of questions and we have listed them by topic: Data Transfer – GPS accuracy – Pricing – Solutions and Industries – Field Data Collection – Device Specific Questions – Mapping & Reporting & Other Output – Misc..
We have also started a blog to share information about smartphone/tablet technology, GPS, cameras, field data collection, and photo mapping. The latest post highlights ways to extend battery life for Apple devices. Check it out!
Data transfer (including upload folders)
Q: What if you are working somewhere that does not have connectivity/cell phone signal or you lose signal while capturing data? Can “dropbox” work in a situation where access to the cloud would be delayed (remote / rugged terrain)?
A: GeoJot+ will still capture photos, data, and GPS location without cell service / internet connection / WiFi. If you have chosen to use the cloud data transfer, GeoJot+ will queue the data and send it as soon as there is connectivity. One notable exception is iPad without WiFi. Check out our blog post on the GPS in iPads and iPhones.
Q: It is possible from some Androids phones and Iphone’s to connect a USB with a USB OTG adapter and upload the data onto it, is this possible alternative to the cloud for data from GeoJot applications?
Q; Is there a Bluetooth option to transfer data?
A: Yes, you can transfer GeoJot+ on Android devices using one of several 3rd party apps.
Q: Can photos be directed to an FTP? If not now, is there future plans to offer this?
A: FTP data transfer could be implemented for a customer through GeoSpatial Experts professional services offerings.
Q: Is there an alternative to the cloud to back up data? Some government systems do not allow dropping data to the cloud.
A: Yes, use an USB connection to copy or move the data from the phone to a laptop or office PC or networked computer.
Q: is there any type of security due to using public devices
A: GeoJot+ does not enhance the security available on the smartphone or tablet. If this is requirement, it could be implemented through GeoSpatial Experts professional services.
Q: There is no auto upload to Core from the app?
A: There is auto upload from the GeoJot+ app into the cloud and back down onto the desktop for use in Core. Auto upload from the app to the cloud is set in the app itself. Having the data go from the cloud directly to a directory on your desktop for processing in Core is a parameter you would set in DropBox. You will need to manually select your photos from that directory. Moving the data automatically from the cloud to the desktop lessens security concerns for some organizations.
Q: explain the folders again? Explain what attribute controls folder creation in the cloud?
A: When you choose to use the cloud data transfer functionality in the GeoJot+ app, you have options on how to organize the photos/data you are sending up into the cloud.
• You can choose a folder or entire path where data from a particular device will be stored. So 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. So if I am working on the trail assessment, 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 attribute in your list. So if I am dong a trail inventory and I rate the condition of the trail good-average-poor. Then as I collect the data, all the photos of trail that are in good condition go into the Trail Assessment/Stephanie/Good. All the photos that for trail in poor condition would go to Trail Assessment/Stephanie/Poor/. Or you can choose not to use a path and just use an attribute so all my data for trails in good condition would just go into a folder under the root directory in the cloud called good/.
• Third, the GeoJot+ app can rename the photo when it is pushed up into the cloud. So instead of a photo being called IMG_0001, you can rename the photo based on attribute data. You can use a prefix so all your photos can be GeoJot_0001, so you don’t get them mixed in with your personal photos. You can also use an attribute. So I could have GeoJot+ automatically rename my photo to be named GeoJot_NomadTrail if trail name was one of the attributes I collected in the field.
• As your photos start to number in the hundreds or thousands and come from many different people, this file management functionality can prove to be extremely useful.
Q: Do you have to have a Drop Box account in order to upload the photos?
A: You do need to have a Dropbox account to use the cloud functionality. It is free to create a Dropbox account with 2GB of storage. You can set up Dropbox account to automatically push data down to your desktop as soon as it arrives in your DropBox account. If you do that, you shouldn’t exceed the 2MB limit. Plans for 100MB start at $9.99/month. We have detailed instructions on the GeoJot-DropBox workflow.
Q: How are things handled with Dropbox when storage exceeds their 2GB threshold?
A: If your DropBox account was full, the upload would fail. However, you would still have all the data on your mobile device and could use a USB to get that data to your computer for processing. **Please note: you can set up Dropbox account to automatically push data down to your desktop as soon as it arrives in your DropBox account. If you do that, you shouldn’t exceed the 2MB limit.
Q: Other options for the cloud?
A: We can configure the cloud settings for additional cloud services through our professional service offerings. Please contact John Clark for more information.
Q: Can you take multiple photos for a single point?
A: In GeoJot you can select GPS lock to lock in the GPS coordinates and then take multiple photos which will use those same GPS coordinates.
Q: How would we map a line or polygon object?
A: GeoJot+ does not collect lines or polygons.
Q: Can you use an separate GPS receiver to improve accuracy, like a high end Trimble?
A: Yes, there are 2 ways that GeoJot+ can work with other GPS receivers. Out in the field, the GeoJot+ app can accept data from a more accurate unit like the Geo6000 if Bluetooth is available on the GPS unit. The GeoJot+ app will use the coordinates from the GPS receiver instead of the internal GPS reading…..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.
Q: Can you increase accuracy with an external antenna?
A: Not with an external antenna, but with an external GPS like BadElf or Trimble, see question above.
Q: is there a way to improve location accuracy in remote locations?
A: Yes with external GPS, see questions above.
Q: can you sync location info using GPS handheld tracking to pictures with no position info?
A: GeoJot+ will work with standalone GPS units, please see the questions above. And GeoJot+ Core does work with track logs to link photos with GPS coordinates.
Q: Do you have any plans for being able to integrate track files into your system? My projects require photo waypoints and track files.
A: The ability to store track logs on the mobile device is on our longer term list for development but there is not a specific timeline associated with that at this point. If required by your organization in the short term, contact John Clark at GeoSpatial Experts.
Q: Can you sync location info using GPS handheld tracking to pictures with no position info?
A: Yes, use the GeoTagging tab in GeoJot+ Core.
Q: Are GPS locations taken from the camera’s location and not the asset being captured?
A: Yes, GPS locations are taken from the location of the camera and not the item being photographed. There are 3 different way to capture the location of the subject instead of the location of the photographer. The most simple way is to use the GPS lock feature to walk up to the subject, lock the GPS at that location, then step back and take the photo using the GeoJot+ app. You can also link the GeoJot+ app running on Android devices to laser rangefinders in order to capture the exact location of the item being photographed. Last, you can input an offset distance and direction when processing the photos in GeoJot+ Core. To do this, you would need to have a consistent data collection routine where you always stood a certain direction and distance from the objects photographed.
Q: How accurate is the GPS when there is no carrier service?
A: GeoJot+ uses the GPS chip in the device as the primary source of GPS information, the chip is not dependent on cell service, so photos collected and processed with GeoJot+ should have a 3 to 5 meter accuracy. Actually, GeoJot+ is able to collect data on devices with no data plans, however, cloud data transfer will not work without connectivity.
Q: Can you collect an average GPS position (maybe 10 locations over 10 seconds) to increase GPS accuracy?
A: If this is requirement, it could be implemented through GeoSpatial Experts professional services.
Q: can you link the Ricoh G700SE to your portable device and then use these images in GEOJOT. these photos would be more accurate that those captured with the device right?
A: It is device dependent but in general we are not seeing greater accuracy from a Ricoh G700SE camera than the average smartphone or tablet running GeoJot+ (3-5 meters). The photos would be higher quality from the Ricoh GPS cameras.
Q: can you adjust the GPS coordinates on the report to adjust for accuracy of iphone?
A: Absolutely, using GeoJot+ Core on the desktop you can adjust the GPS coordinates for any point. The easiest way is by moving the point on the map in the Attribute Editor tab.
Q: If you are shooting photos inside a building. Will the attributes still function and can you assign the Geo location later?
A: Yes, the attributes will still function if you do not have a good GPS location. You can later adjust the GPS coordinates using GeoJot+ Core on the desktop.
Q: How much does the Laser Rangefinder cost?
A: We sell two Bluetooth laser rangefinder from LTI. The TruPulse 360B Laser Rangefinder for $1595 and theTruPulse 200B Laser Rangefinder for $799. In order to work with GeoJot+, the laser rangefinder must have Bluetooth capability.
Q: Is a “user” a field hand with a hand-held device or the programmer / admin with the GeoJot+ Core?
A: Everyone with a field app also has access to the GeoJot+ Core functionality and the administrator’s dashboard (if they are given the password). We have found that the number of activations needed by an organization is almost always set by the number of people in the field.
Q: Can you provide your package pricing tiers?
A: Yes. GeoJot+ is an annual subscription available in three tiers: Essentials, Team, and Enterprise.
A license for GeoJot+ Team (demonstrated in the webinar is priced at $329/user/year. A license for GeoJot+ Essentials is priced at $219/user /year. Each license provides activations for the mobile app, the PC-based Core data processing and mapping application, and the web-based Administrator’s Dashboard. GeoJot+ licenses require an annual commitment but can be paid monthly. Paid monthly, Essentials costs $9.99 per month and GeoJot+ Team costs $29.99/month – That is less than $1/user/day.
GeoJot+ Enterprise includes quantity discounts for larger teams and the GeoJot 360 Implementation Blueprint. The implementation blueprint is delivered by GeoSpatial Experts Professional Services to organizations that want assistance with GeoJot+ processes, procedures, list authoring, training, workflow modification and design, database integration, or customized GeoJot+ functionality. Pricing for GeoJot+ Enterprise depends on the requirements of your organization. Please contact John Clark for more information.
Q: I’m not sure I fully understand the benefits of going to the GeoJot+ subscription versus the current app. How does GeoJot+ differ from using GeoJot and GPS Photolink?
A: One of the biggest changes is that GeoJot+ provides organizations the ability to use the Administrator’s Dashboard to purchase, manage and monitor app usage. Organizations no longer have to purchase individual apps for each of the field employees in one of the app stores. And the app is no longer tied to one device or one user account. An activation can be moved from one device to another at any time. Second, there are constant upgrades being made to both the GeoJot+ app and GeoJot+ Core particularly barcode reading of attributes on the iPhone and iPad, the ability to move points and change attribute data on Android devices, the ability to save data to an SD card on Android.
Q: Can I upgrade my old GeoJot+ license to GeoJot+?
A: Yes, you can easily migrate your existing licenses to GeoJot+. Please contact Linda Bobbitt at Linda@GeoSpatialExperts.com or 303.255.2908 for more information.
Q: Can existing GPS PhotoLink licenses be converted to GeoJot+?
A: Yes, you can easily migrate your existing licenses to GeoJot+. Please contact Linda Bobbitt at Linda@GeoSpatialExperts.com or 303.255.2908.
Q: How do I schedule a demo on site?
A: Please contact John Clark at John.Clark@GeoSpatialExperts.com or 303.255.2908.
Solutions and Industries
Q: Is this software used for more than inventories? Can you give some examples of the types of work performed using this product?
A: Yes GeoJot+ is used for many different applications in many different industries. There are a wide range of markets for photo mapping – some of the markets are vertical and some are more horizontal. Across different industries we are seeing a large number of asset inventories, site assessments and most recently proof of performance.
In terms of federal government we have many organizations like the Army Corp and Coast Guard who are complying with the federal mandates started in the 90s for real property audits. Many municipalities are starting to deal with new mandates for road sign reflectivity and ADA compliance. Photo mapping is widely used for disaster response. Cities & counties collect information for FEMA disaster declaration. The photos are also used for hazard mitigation, to guide emergency work, for funding requests and validate permanent work and post-disaster preventative measures.
The oil & gas industry is using it for energy exploration, as well as oil spill response. It is being used to catalogue items on archaeological excavations, invasive weed management, crime scene mapping, situational awareness before major events, graffiti, critical infrastructure protection, beach erosion surveys, wildlife surveys, agriculture, insurance, mineral exploration. It is a long list…
Please check our website to see detailed use cases
Q: Is there a way to keep multiple teams or departments separate in one account?
A: Yes, most organizations purchase one serial number and have all their activations under that serial number. However, you can purchase multiple serial numbers all contained within one GeoJot+ account for your organization.
Field Data Collection
Q: Will GeoJot be limited by the no. of photos the phone (device) can hold?
A: No, GeoJot will not limit the number of photos the device can hold, that would just be limited by the amount of storage on the device.
Q: can you amend fields / dropdowns on mobile device when out in the field?
A: Generally yes, the user will be able to add or remove items in a drop down list of values. Users are also able to add or remove attributes from a list. This is true unless the list has been locked by your administrator. When a list is locked, it cannot be edited in the field.
Q: can the field based tool be locked down so a user cannot make changes?
A: Yes the attribute lists can be locked so they cannot be edited in the field. You can also make certain fields required so that a user must enter information before the photo can be saved.
Q: Do you have to have special barcode software reader or do you just take a photo?
A: The barcode reader is built into GeoJot+, and it does not take a photo, you just hold the device up to the barcode, and the app reads it from the camera.
Q: We are in New Zealand. Will our photos be upside down?
A: Very funny. We actually have huge amount of interest coming from Australia and New Zealand right now. Our products have been working all over the world since 2001.
Q:Are text fields possible or are pick-lists the only possible input type
A:Yes, you can create a pick list of items for field data collection or you can type in data for a particular attribute. When you create your list you can specify if users must use the drop down list or if they can have the option of typing in data for each attribute.
Q: Are “sketch” fields possible?
A: No, GeoJot+ cannot accept attachments.
Q: Can we import schema from existing Geodatabase schema?
A: Not at this moment, although we are looking to add that feature.
Device specific questions
Q: When do you expect the QA QC portion of the app to be ready for use on iPhones and iPads?
A: The functionality has not been implemented due to restrictions imposed by Apple on modifying data. We have found ways around those restrictions and are currently working to add the ability to edit the GPS location and attribute information from within the app. We expect those features to be complete and tested within the next few months.
Q: will the laser range finder capability be built for the iOS devices?
A: The laser cannot be built into Apple unless Apple opens up their Bluetooth capabilities. We have not seen any forward progress on this so far.
Q: What pixel resolution would GeoSpatial Experts recommend if purchasing a new android tablet?
A: We recommend 3-5MP resolution for the camera, but it depends on your data collection requirements.
Q: Hi ! Does Geojot+ runs on GPS receivers using Windows mobile, for example Trimble Juno or Nomad?
A: No GeoJot+ will not run on GPS receivers using Windows mobile. However, the new Trimble Juno 5 will run on Android and SDG systems has already ported some Nomad receivers over to Android. GeoJot+ will run on those machines. Please contact John Clark for more information.
Q: Any plans for Windows 8 devices such as the MS Surface
A: It is on the long list but we do not see it coming out in 2013 unless we found greatly increased demand.
Q: could you recommend a good android tablet to use with the program?
A: We like the Samsung Galaxy tablets which come in 7 and 10” varieties. We are planning to put this question out to all our users on the blog. We are frequently asked this question. Please let us know if you have found devices that you do or do not like.
Q: Can you recommend any particular smartphones?
A: We have had good results with the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy 3, HTC One X, We have received customer feedback on the following phones: Sprint’s Motorola Photon 4G – good GPS, good photos but no optical zoom. Samsung Galaxy Nexus 5 – mediocre photos and poor GPS. HTC EVO 4G Android 2.3.5 has good GPS but the compass in unreliable. The ZTE Optik – great size, good GPS but only 3G which means slower upload to the cloud. Please let us know if you have found devices that you do or do not like.
Q: Will GeoJot+ work with all iPhones and iPads?
A: GeoJot will run on iPhone 3GS and above and the iPhone 4 with software version 4.2 or above, It will run on the iPad2 or newer but it must have the 3G option because the iPad with the 3G option has an embedded GPS chip, while the WiFi only iPad2 does not have a GPS chip. Check out our blog for more information.
Q: How do you get increased accuracy for the iPhone and iPad? What is the accuracy?
A: We are able to capture additional GPS information while you are taking your photos that is generally not collected/saved by the IOS operating system. We use that additional data to increase the accuracy of the GPS reading. The accuracy of GeoJot data is generally 3-5 meters as opposed to 100 feet (~30 meters).
Q: What is the power consumption for the app. AKA how long can we run the app without loss of power.or does it depend on phone
A: That does depend on the device. GeoJot+ doesn’t use the GPS when not need which saves energy. Battery charge life span is also determined by how many photos are being taken, etc. However, there are several ways that you can increase your battery life. Check out this posting in our blog that discusses ways to increase battery life on an iPhone or iPad. There are also cases that include a second battery, good vehicle-based battery charging systems, and we are testing some solar chargers.
Mapping & Reporting & other output
Q: How does GeoJot+ integrate with ArcGIS?
A: 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. 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.
Q: Can we adjust the direction of the arrow in the photo when it is displayed on the map?
A: Yes, there is an option on the Shared Output Settings Tab under static maps called rotate icon based on heading. You can set it separately for the Google Earth output in the Select Output tab under Google Earth.
Q: will I be able to export to NPS Maximo for asset record creation?
A: Yes by creating .csv output.
Q: Can data be exported with projected coordinates ie) UTM NAD 83 or WGS84 ?
A: Yes, GeoJot+ Core on the desktop has integrated Blue Marble Conversion tools enabling GeoJot+ Core users to convert coordinate points to and from any map projection and datum.
Q: We have 5 Ricoh G700 cameras and two Trimble Junos, can I use that data and data from the app on the same project?
A: Yes, when you select your data for processing in GeoJot+ Core, you can select data from the app, a GPS camera or even from any other digital camera couple with a standalone GPS in one project. Note: for the separate camera and GPS – you would sync the data using the Geotag tab.
Q: Can geo jot+ be used with mapinfo?
A: Yes, from GeoJot+ Core you can create the following file types which can be directly imported into MapInfo: Esri shapefiles, Microsoft Access files (*.mdb), or delimited ASCII files (*.txt).
Q: when you used the google map can you move it edit the location on the map
A: Using GeoJot+ Core on the desktop, you can easily edit locations using the Attribute Editor tab. If you are collecting data with an Android device, you can also edit the data in the field on the device.
Q: Are there limits to the amount of photos that can be processed for a report?
Q: We have very specific compliance reports we need to produce from our field data. Can we customize the GeoJot reports?
A: GeoJot+ Core can create a wide array of reports in .pdf, word, or html format. There is a great deal of customization that can be done for these reports. But if you have needs above and beyond what GeoJot+ offers, we can provide professional services to further customize the product to meet your specific needs.
Q: The mapping that was demoed was bing maps, can we use our own maps in the map panel in GeoJot + Core?
A: You can choose from a wide array of maps we provide or from your own custom maps when you are creating your report output. However, in the attribute editor tab where you can adjust the location of your points, Bing maps are always displayed as the background maps.
Q: how does geojot+ handle multiple photos taken on the same spot?
A: In Google Earth, when you click on a point with multiple photos, Google Earth will “explode” the photos so you can select the one you are interested in. When you hover over a point with multiple photos in ArcGIS, you get a popup window that allows you to scroll through the photos at that spot.
Q: can you dictate what you want to use as your map view? I.e. Arc-Online map/google map/geo pdf etc? can you add attitional layers to the map view? I.e. shapefiles created in the office
A: That could be implemented through GeoSpatial Experts professional service offerings. Please contact John Clark for more information.
Q: We need to integrate all the field data into our backend database. How can I do that with GeoJot?
A: GeoJot+ Core is able to output geodatabases as well as .csv files and MS access files. GeoSpatial Experts offers professional services that can assist your organization with any additional needs you may have around customized database integration or customized reporting needs.
Q: Are there plans to adjust the attribute name from Memo01 to the new Attribute’s name, such as Color?
A: Yes, there are plans, but there are complications involved because some users will import photos taken with different lists into the same project. In that case Memo1 is not always the same thing in a project. We are looking at ways to overcome this issue.
Q: what kind of training materials are available for GeoJot?
A: We currently have a quickstart guide for the app and another for Core. We will be posting a training video on our website in the next month. There is also context sensitive help throughout the program. Specialized or onsite training is available in the 360 Implementation Blueprint.
Q: can point location data be pushed from the cloud to individual devices?
A: Data can be pushed from devices to the cloud but not the other way around.
Q: can you take video clips for use in the program?
A: GeoJot+ does not currently work with video clips. If this is critical for your organization, please contact John Clark to discuss how that could be implemented through our professional services.
Q: are you interested in having other companies incorporate GeoJot+ into their product lines?
A: Yes, we have a model in place for OEM agreements and solution specific resellers, please contact John Clark at John.Clark@GeoSpatialExperts.com or at 303.255.2908 for more information.
Q: can i use this version of list editor to import into a Ricoh as an mta file?
A: Yes, you can use the list editor in GeoJot+ Core to create and export a Ricoh mta file.
Watch the recorded webinar from January 16th, 2013.
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Read our case studies to see how people across the globe are photo mapping to solve business problems