Tag Archives: iPhone

Fulcrum Mobile Data Collection

2 Apr

I recently posted on Mapping a Graveyard with Field Assets App. In this post, I am going to show how I collect GIS data in the field using my iPhone and the free Fulcrum App.

I created a free account on the Fulcrum website. After creating the account I started a new project and created a form.

Use the tools available on the left to create any type of form. Load the form in to your project and it’s ready to use.


Now I have a project and a form to capture my field data.

Using TileMill – a tool for creating maps and exporting as mbtiles – I added some data – Census Blocks for Albuquerque – and exported the map as a mbtile.

Next, upload the map to Fulcrum.

With the map loaded, you now have a project,  a form, and a map – so let’s get started.


Open up the iPhone App and select your project. You will see your project and current location in a basemap.

Click the maps button on the bottom of the screen, you will see which basemap you are using and an option to upload your own. Upload your own and select your mbtile map.

My tile is not the best, I just loaded up a very small file with almost no zoom. You should, and can, do much better.

Now that I have my Census Blocks in an mbtile, I can collect data using my own basemap. What I like even more than having my own basemap is that I can download it and use it without having internet access.

now you can add a data point.






And, see the accuracy of the point by swiping the top of the screen.

I have been told that you will be able to manually place points – instead of using current location – in future updates of the App.

What I like about this App is the ability to customize my data collection forms with ease, add my own basemaps, and use my maps offline. Also, with the free version I can export my data as CSV and KML – without photos.

Yes, Spatial Networks sells a monthly service with this app. for $9 a month you get 20 forms for a single user and CSV and KML export with photos. For $20 a month you get unlimited forms and users and you can export to CSV, KML, SHP, and GeoJSON. — all with photos.

There are an increasing number of GIS services becoming available online but I am sticking to the ones that allow me to export my data out in the formats I need. Fulcrum lets you export out as GeoJson – I think this is cool for being able to incorporate my data in to my Leaflet.js maps and other applications I build myself.If you use JavaScript, then JSON is an easy way to transfer data.







AutoCAD WS: Geolocation

31 Mar

In the new AutocAD WS update for iPhone there is now a set location, my location, and mark toolbar. I was hoping that I could add my location and then press “my location” and as I walked around the building the blue dot would move. This seems pretty easy using the geolocation features built in to the phone – I have a map that does it and it’s not even a full blown app. What the app did do was allow me to select my location and then I could view the drawing in Google Earth. My drawing is not properly scaled so it’s huge but I will post the pictures below. As someone who likes to place CAD drawings in GIS, it annoys me when I open a drawing and see it being drawn in the ocean. I hate 0,0. I always end up opening drawings and moving them to the correct position. So being able to just stand at the corner of a building and select my current location saves me some time.

Autodesk is really improving AutoCAD WS and I am enjoying it – they added 3D views as well! Let me walk the building or site and update my location in the drawing and I will be an even happier user.

Here are the pictures showing setting location, my location, and mark. Lastly, on Google Earth in the desktop browser app.


Revit Editor iPhone App

14 Mar

In a previous post I showed how to Edit Revit Data Through the Web using Apache, PHP, and MySQL. The webpage ran on mobile devices, but I have thrown together an iPhone specific version of the webpage for mobile field data collection.

After editing the model through the web, you can see your changes on the full site.

The address for the iPhone App is HERE.

Here is what the app looks like. One note, after clicking submit in the app you will see a screen that says “undefined.” This is because I am still missing a final page. I am thinking to either take you back to the form or show the results of your edit. I haven’t modified the page because it is built of the same script as my full website. For these examples I piggy back on other apps I have built to make for a rapid development.

Link 3D Model to QR Code

3 Feb

I have been bouncing ideas off the wall trying to think of a way to link a QR Code to a 3D model – from Revit. The from Revit part is important. I do not want just a bunch of geometry, but I want to have all the data in the model as well. The hardest part was trying to find a way to get the 3D model on a mobile device. I finally remembered how I used Inventor Publisher Mobile for iPhone to display my 3D Revit models. So now all I had to do was bridge the gap from a QR Code to the application.You must have IPM Viewer on your phone for this to work. It is free.

PHP to the rescue, yet again! Architects, this is why you need to understand code. You do not need to be a code monkey but need to know how to read, modify, and copy code from other places.

So here is the code. Put this in a file on your webserver. Mine is called ipm.php.


Here is the QR Code that links to the PHP file:


When you scan this code, you should see a page that looks like this:





Select the Open in IPM Viewer and the file will be loaded in the application. You will then have a full Revit model, in 3D, with all the data, on your phone.

Notice the popup saying “basic roof?” I double tapped an object and got the popup. Click the  arrow to see all the properties associated with it.



Hey, Pico Iyer, Welcome to 2012

5 Jan

Dear Pico,

I was like you. I didn’t want a cell phone. I held out for years, and when I finally broke down, I resisted getting a smart phone. It was, afterall, just for making calls. I fought the good fight against joining Facebook, but my mother wanted me to join so we could keep in touch. My mother, Pico. She uses the internet. Twitter? A dumbed down version of RSS. Screw that noise — for a few more months. Let’s face it, technology and the internet are here, and are becoming more and more ubiquitous. But we can excercise a little self control without spending “$2,285 a night to stay in a cliff-top room at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur pay partly… because you can’t get online in their rooms.” And, without paying “good money” for a program that blocks our internet access. Shit, Pico, I will save you a few bucks and let you in on a secret, you don’t have to launch Firefox. You can even unplug your CAT 5 cable or switch off the Wi-Fi .

After reading your article, The Joy Of Quiet, I went out and bought an iPhone 4S. Reading about how you and your friends can’t manage to spend time with your families or go for walks without intentionally leaving your phone at home or turning it off actually drove me to get more technology. I even considered letting Siri write this letter, but thought I would go old skool and type it. You left Manhattan for Rural Japan so you could “more easily survive for long stretches entirely on foot?” Have you ever heard of upstate NY? How about the Dakotas? We have plenty of podunk places in America where you could have accomplished the same thing. Guess what Pico? My new iPhone works in Japan. I have heard that in Tokyo you are never more than 100 yards from a cell phone tower. Want to talk about a people that are wired. The Japanese are probably the most turned-on people in the world.

Look, Pico. I love technology. I get more information in minutes from Twitter than from a day of print or television news. I can freely choose which stories I would like to read more. Not like television news where I am stuck listening to how some cross country bicyclist lost his cat Pikachu in the Rio Grande for 20 minutes. I can disconnect whenever I want. I do not have to think about turning off my phone so that I can talk to my wife. I don’t have to intentionally leave it at home when I go for a walk. And, I can sleep in on weekends, make my coffee, and sit on my ass for hours, all without even thinking about my phone or the internet. If you can’t, you need some serious help. You probably have Inability to Switch Off Syndrom(ITSO) – your colleague Roger Cohen should be CC’d.

Man up, Pico. Get some self control. Slap every one of your friends who spent money to NOT use the internet. And stop trying to make me feel bad for playing Angry Birds in the bathroom.


– A Happy Addict.