Mapping in a connected world

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SRK News | Issue 57Exploration Geology: Keys to success

Jason Beltran, GIS data management (SRK Australia)


Traditional paper maps are static and limited to the size of the paper on which they are printed. There is also the difficulty in viewing the detail when maps portray a lot of information. The solution is either to split the map into separate sheets, or to remove some of the features, which lessens the map’s value or usefulness.

But in a digitally connected world, we can use smart devices – mobile phones and tablets – for collecting and sharing mapping data. Doing so means we can produce accurate digital maps collaboratively more quickly, and without the limitations of size and scale. SRK has leveraged a customised in-house mapping portal using ArcGIS technology initially developed by ESRI – using ‘IS’ for ‘information system’, it’s called SRK.IS (pronounced ‘circus’). SRK.IS works with web apps that are customised for a particular client or project. Essentially, SRK.IS integrates digital data collection in the field with a centralised database, making it possible to access maps and other geographical information in real time and viewed by a variety of users simultaneously.

The advantage of SRK.IS is that it provides different connection options, whether the data is collected in the field, or viewed and/or edited in a client’s office. Using ESRI’s ArcMap or ArcPro, the data is transferred to maps in the SRK.IS web app and published as a map service to SRK.IS, so users can interact with the map service. The level of accessibility is subject to the map service requirements and user permission settings.

For collecting data, SRK.IS connects to a dedicated ESRI application called Collector for ArcGIS, which works on Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices. The data is customised according to the requirements of the mapping task, and data pre-filling options can be activated to save time and reduce exposure to human error in data entry. Digital photos can be attached to a datapoint to automatically georeference the location of each photo.

Users can download maps beforehand, so data can be collected in remote locations with no internet or mobile connection. Later, when internet connection is available, the offline data can be synced to SRK.IS and integrated with existing data.

The data on SRK.IS is accessed via a portal, https://gis.srk.com.au, using a web browser, or by a direct WebApp URL. The web browser interface works like the Google Earth application – by toggling between different map layer options, users can control the geospatial information to view.  

Office-based ArcGIS administrators can log in to the SRK.IS portal to view mapping progress in real time. The data can be edited, and synced back to the SRK.IS user in the field – reducing the time lag involved in waiting until the map is produced before processing any edits, enabling faster map creation than previously possible.

Jason Beltran: jbeltran@srk.com.au

 

 

SRK North America