There are situations when you need to capture data representing incidents or events quickly. For example, capturing the location and description of road defects from the passenger seat as your teammate drives along the freeway at 30 mph. Doing so with traditional data collection apps would require a workflow that would look something like this: You see the defect, you capture its location, populate some attribute information, then take a photo, then click send, then confirm that you want to send, and then you successfully submit your record. By the time you have done this, you have passed another 10 defects and need to do a U-turn!
QuickCapture is a rapid data collection app that lets you capture GIS features with the push of a button. The following example shows a QuickCapture project configured to collect guardrail end treatments. Each button represents a different guardrail treatment end type. All it would take for the QuickCapture user to capture the location and type of treatment end is to push the corresponding button as the car passes by it.
At the same time, the user can capture the changing condition of the road surface as they go. Pressing the Good Condition button to start collecting a line feature of that type while driving along a good quality road. Then pressing the Degraded Condition button to automatically switch to collecting this feature type.
The example above focuses on transport. But such rapid data collection requirement is common in many industries and applications. These may be simple projects that require big button data capture, initiated by the driver or pilot. Or more complex ones with many feature types that need to be completed by a dedicated passenger. Here are a few examples to demonstrate the potential applications of the app.
- Windshield damage assessments - These post-disaster assessments are conducted from the front seat of a vehicle.
- Airborne Oil and gas pipeline inspections looking to capture the location of incidents or defects on the ground.
- Vineyard inspections looking to record the location of diseased vines and where treatments have been applied.
- Capturing the coverage of snowplow operations – i.e. which road sections they have cleared or salted.
Mapping the extent of pollution spills, their extent and the location and type of floating debris.
Of course, there are many, many more applications…….
Beyond the rapid collection of location and attribute information, QuickCapture has several features that aim to enhance the data collection process and enrich the data:
- Offline data collection: Data captured using QuickCapture is stored locally, so you can work offline. You can also choose when you synchronize your data back to the server.
- Camera support: Buttons can be configured to capture of photos.
- Sensor information: It is also possible to capture information about the user (such as their name) and information coming from the device’s sensors such as location, speed, and direction of travel.
- Background data capture: As well as points, QuickCapture can be used to collect line and polygon features. These features can be collected with the app running in the background or when the is screen locked.
- Configurable projects: Projects can be configured to display the buttons you need, and collect the attributes you require. No coding required.
QuickCapture projects are based on feature layers (or views). Each feature template within the layer is represented in the app with a single button. Symbology, default attributes and geometry types from your template define the GIS feature that is created when a button is pushed. To learn more about how to author capture projects refer to this document: QuickCapture for ArcGIS Documentation.docx - Box
To summarize, QuickCapture provides a highly configurable rapid data capture solution. It is available through Esri Labs and you can download it from the iOS and Android stores. Try it out and please share any feedback you have.