Inputting data in the field - quickly and efficiently

Our organisation would like to input our borehole logs in the field using gINT.  We currently use an excel spread sheet and import the data into gINT. the data inputting is longhand and can take a while.

Is there a quick method to input data using a tablet , preferably using hand writing recognition or similar that other people use.  Any suggestions would be welcome.

  • Hi Mark,

    The current options are to install gINT on a "tablet" that runs on a full windows OS. IE Microsoft Surface Pro. Some Panasonic Tablets use full OS. The other option is to do something like you are doing. Enter data into another App that can export a file that can then be imported into gINT.

    There is a new Mobile workflow being developed so stay tuned for future news in this regard. You could continue with excel until this workflow is released.

    Here is a thread that some users describe what they currently do.

    gint mobile ipad or tablet

  • We have been using an excel spreadsheet for field input for over 10 years.  The spreadsheet is very carefully crafted such that each input cell contains a drop down list of preformatted selections so there is no need to bring up a soft keyboard on a tablet or handheld device.  This makes for consistent wording in descriptions.  The choices can be placed in order of frequency of use (most commonly used choices first) rather than alphabetical as in gINT.  The choices can be made smart using excel formulas; for instance showing the current date and time, showing the previously input bottom depth as a top depth, showing a reduced number of choices in subsequent fields based on entries in a previous field.  Obviously this works best using component descriptions but even if your data structure does not use component descriptions you can build a spreadsheet that uses component descriptions and then concatenates them into a single description for import into gINT (this is the approach I have used for 10 years).  The spreadsheet can also look information such as graphic symbol names based on entries.  A simple example of a smart pick list is choices for sample recovery can be calculated based on the difference between the top and bottom depth of the sample (ie the sample length) and then display choices for recovery of the sample length, the sample length -0.1, the sample length - 0.2, etc.  This prevents you from inputting a recovery greater than the sample length.  You can get as fancy as your excel skills allow.

    Some of the advantages of this system are:

    1. Automatic cross platform compatibility.  As long as the device supports excel (or an excel work alike) it will work.  I have used the same spread sheet on WinMobile devices, windows tablet, android tablets and even iOS devices.  You can even log a hole using your phone if you want. Microsoft takes care of adapting to changing operating systems.  Excel 365 is now available on Windows, android, and iOS.

    2. Easy modification to suit various client demands.  I have spreadsheets that are matched to data structures and description preferences required by various clients.

    3. Automatic QA/QC checking.  the spreadsheet can be set up with real time QA/QC checks that will check for missing sample recoveries, overlapping lithology descriptions, missing gaps in lithology descriptions, missing information, etc.

    4. Easier field data control.  Each spreadsheet contains data for one, and only one, hole.  You can have multiple loggers in the field and not worry about maintaining the project database.  When a hole is finished; the logger simply e-mails the file to the office just as you would a paper log. If staff needs to change on a partially completed hole; e-mail the excel file to the replacement logger and he/she can pick up where you left off just like with paper logs.  Once the file goes to the office it is imported directly into the project database by the project geologist.

    5. Modifiable by anyone.  Want to add the color "dusky fuchsia" as a choice? Then anyone can add it if they know excel and the structure of your spreadsheet.  No need to call a software supplier or hire a computer engineer to get a change made.

    6. Excel already supports handwriting recognition and voice recognition on some devices and operating systems.  You mentioned a desire to use this but I have not found it to be useful given the precise nature of required inputs and the current state of the software ("shale" can auto correct to "hail" or something worse).  Maybe in a few years...

    Anyhow lots of possibilities.