Can we use smartphones in the field to collect data?

If you have questions, comments, and suggestions specific to one or more of the components of the i-Tree Software Suite, this is the place for them! Again, please check the i-Tree website and the FAQs before posting. Relevant topics include UFORE, STRATUM, and the utilities such as MCTI or Storm Damage Assessment Protocol.

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eboni
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:00 am

Can we use smartphones in the field to collect data?

Post by eboni » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:09 am

Does this require downloading the itree- streets software to a hone? Which phones are applicable. Lots of info on PDAs but can't find info on phones. The general manual said pdas and smartphones could be used.
Jason.Henning
i-Tree Team
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:45 am

smart phones for field data collect

Post by Jason.Henning » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:35 pm

You can indeed use smart phones for field data collection. Here is a link to the required specification sheet http://itreetools.org/resources/content ... ements.pdf. The mobile data collection uses a web form. When you create a project and enable the mobile data collection you will be emailed a link to collect data for your project. You can even have multiple crews collecting data simultaneously. See the manual for the specific i-Tree tool you are using for more details.

-Jason
Last edited by Jason.Henning on Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jerry
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:11 pm

Post by Jerry » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:25 pm

I've not looked at this yet, but does that mean the phone needs constant web connectivity?
Jason.Henning
i-Tree Team
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:45 am

Does mobile device/phone need web connectivity?

Post by Jason.Henning » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:55 am

Here is the text from that spec sheet on this topic

"Newer iPhones, iPads, Android and other devices are HTML-5 compatible and have data caching capabilities that allow for data collection to continue if internet connectivity is disrupted in the field. Some devices such as Windows Phone 7 smartphones and older devices are limited and will require continuous connectivity to advance through the online web forms.

You can also test your devices’ capability for data collection and data caching by creating a test project and using the device in "airplane mode" to see how it will function when connectivity is lost."

Essentially, with most newer devices you don't need constant connectivity but you will be limited by the size of your mobile device's browser cache. This is why it is good to test how much data you can collect and how long you can go without connectivity before data is lost. For most devices a momentary loss in connectivity won't even be noticeable.

-Jason
Jerry
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:11 pm

Post by Jerry » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:07 am

Thanks, I should have looked at the linked document.

Personally, I feel more secure with a setup that caches the data on the sdcard, and use ODK Collect in a local config (without need for a server) for that reason. If anyone else wants to explore that option, I have posted directions on my website.
Jason.Henning
i-Tree Team
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:45 am

Post by Jason.Henning » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:13 am

Thanks for the link.

I think on this front the more options the better. No matter what method you ultimately choose you should make sure you're comfortable with how it works and its limitations before you employ it in a project.

-Jason
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