Is there a mobile (iPad) application planned for gINT in a near future?
I can't speak to what Bentley plans to develop. I hear about a lot of people using gINT Logs on a Rugged tablet PC, consider the following for a successful implementation: * Hide fields and tables you don't need for field logging. The DGD Tool has a Hide Scenario function that programmatically hides groups/tables/fields you don't want to see based on selection from a field on the Project table. * Use graphical data input, and see the log report as you enter data * Use a component description - description broken up into many fields, mostly with lookup lists * At the end of each day zip the gpj and email it to your office * By working in the same software you want the data to ultimately reside in data transfer problems are minimized PDF log reports while in the field * When using field devices one must consider automatic backup of data. There are 3rd party apps that can upload automatic backups of gpj files to a webserver.
Phil WadeDatgelBentley Channel Partner and Developer PartnerE: email@example.com | T: +61 2 8202 8600 & +65 6631 9780
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We used to run pocket SI (from Keynetix) on a Trimble Nomad. This was a great product running on an almost perfect device for field use (bombproof, small enough to fit in a pocket, resistive screen so worked in the rain, all-day battery life, near perfect handwriting recognition and reasonably affordable). It spits out AGS3 format data which we pulled into gINT. However, Keynetix has retired Pocket SI, which has left us in a bit of a fix as we're moving over to AGS4. So, we've recently bought a bunch of so-called fully rugged Panasonic ToughPad tablets (I say so-called because they have capacitive screens which don't work when it rains so are only really any good on dry days and the Wacom digitizer pens are junk plastic). However, setting aside these issues, if you have a suitable tablet with Windows 10 installed, my experience is that you can input the data directly into gINT in the field. In my opinion, you do need to be running Windows 10 as the handwriting mode of data input (which was hopeless with Windows 7 and 8) has been brought back to something approaching what it was like on the Trimble Nomad which ran Windows Mobile 6. Keyboard input is also pretty good. Both input modes have a predictive text option. Which quickly learns the words and sequence of words commonly used, throwing up a dynamically changing pick-list - this makes for pretty fast data input. I'm trialing Dragon Naturally Speaking for strata descriptions (which is where most of the input time is consumed). This works well in the office environment. Have yet to try it in the field - my guess, however, is that it'll be hopeless once there's any wind/plant noise.
I'm also toying with the idea of writing a bit of code to translate free-form data input into AGS format data for subsequent import into gINT. The basic idea being that data is entered in simple text format using standard pre-defined keywords to indicate what type of data is coming next (e.g. @stratum to indicate stratum descriptions). The big advantage I see with this type of approach for field use is that you could use your favourite mobile device pretty much as you use a traditional paper notepad. Any device could be used. And data could be input either using an on-screen keyboard or by handwriting using a note taking app such as OneNote (on a Windows tablet) or GoodNotes (on an iPad/iPhone), both of which are able to translate handwritten text into typed text. I'd be interested to hear whether anyone thinks this would be a useable solution.
It's a long-standing frustration that none of the major players in the business appear to recognise that field data input is the biggest single area where real commercial advantage can be gained and, setting aside Keynetix now retired Pocket SI and Dataforensics PLog (which didn't work for us), haven't focussed any major development effort in this area. If it could be cracked and made acessible on a wide range of platforms and devices I suspect the uptake would be high as it'd save masses of time copy typing logs from handwritten field notebooks into whatever database/log producing software you use and would surely be a no-brainer purchase for any SI company. At the end of the day we can now produce good looking logs, sections, etc. with a host of products including gINT, Holebase and Golden Software's Strater 4 (which is a great product at a fraction of the cost of gINT and Holebase, but unfortunately doesn't yet do AGS format). The challenge now must surely be to come up with an effective way of cutting out the time wasted in duplicating the task of field data entry. Whilst so-called rugged Windows tablets do work and might be a way forward (at least in some circumstances) they are far from ideal and suffer from the disadvantages of being very expensive to buy, are generally too big for easy field use and most have capacitive screens so only work when it's not raining.
Not sure where Bentley is going in this area (if anywhere), but would be interested to hear.
We just announced a mobile application for gINT : https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6458293185595658240