Frequently Asked Questions
What is Field-Map and who are potential Field-Map users?
Field-Map is an integrated tool designed for computer aided field data collection.
The versatile functionality of Field-Map in combination with the newest hardware components for field
measurement and field computing makes Field-Map suitable for all kinds of field data collection.
Whether you are a forester, forest scientist, forest inventory specialist, nature conservationist, carbon sequestration certifier, landscape architect, park manager, GIS or remote sensing specialist, Field-Map is ready to meet your needs.
What tasks are covered by Field-Map?
Field-Map provides for smooth communication between field computer and external measurement devices. With Field-Map you can plan your project, build database structure and organize input forms in the office and then collect data directly into computer database in the field. This software is designed to handle complex relational database and works with industry standard data formats.
In addition to its general mapping functionality Field-Map provides user with extended forestry oriented functions.
What are Field-Map's main features?
Field-Map's key features are presented in the diagram to the right.
As you can see, Field-Map provides you with great flexibility and freedom in data collection, enabling you to perform virtually any data collection task.
Which operating systems are supported by Field-Map?
Field-Map runs on a pen-PC and standard PC using MS Windows 95/98/NT/2000/xp operating system.
Field-Map LT runs on a pocket-PC using MS Windows Pocket 2002, 2003 operating system.
What are the components of Field-Map software?
Field-Map consists of two software tools:
Field-Map Project Manager for database structure and project management and Field-Map Data Collector for field data collection.
Additionally several useful GIS tools are included. Other user-developed software packages can be linked to Field-Map and used as a Field-Map modules.
What hardware is supported by Field-Map?
For three dimensional mapping of, for example, forest ecosystems, Field-Map uses a set of devices:
A laser range finder combined with an electronic inclinometer and compass are used for distance measurement and for determining vertical and horizontal angles. Horizontal angles are expressed directly as azimuths.
An electronic calliper is used for measuring tree diameters.
A GPS (global positioning system) may be used for georeferencing the measurements. The entire set of equipment is mounted on monopod suitable for fieldwork.
What kind of data can be collected with Field-Map?
Mapped data can be categorized into one of the general types of map layers (point, line, polygon) or the user can take the advantage of specially designed forestry layers (trees, deadwood, transect). A number of different attributes can be connected to each GIS entity.
How is the Field-Map database structured?
The Field-Map database is fully relational. The “plot” identification layer is used as the root of the database to which a number of layers can be connected. Each one of these layers may in turn be the root of an additional chain of related data layers. The relationship between layers can be one-to-many or one-to-one. For polygons a many-to-one relationship can be used as well (e.g. non-continuous patches of one vegetation type with a common description). In addition, user-defined conditional relationships can selectively activate or de-activate subordinate layers based on specific values entered into the parent table.
Each layer can have a number of attributes. The attributes can be numbers, alphanumeric strings, logical variables, dates or categorical data selected from user-defined lookup lists. Lookup lists are stored in separate data tables and it is possible to reuse them in different Field-Map projects. In addition, specific attribute types are available for the remote measurement of height and diameter.
The Field Map Project Manager allows for quick and easy database development. The database structure is built using visual tools while attributes, including lookup lists, can be easily defined. Once the project is defined, the database for the Field-Map application is generated. Moreover, the database can be modified by authorized users at any moment during project execution without loss of already collected data.
How does Field-Map handle projects with multiple plots?
Any Field-Map project can contain an unlimited number of different plots. All plots in the project share the same database structure but they may differ in shape, size and location. In order to change the database structure of all the plots in the project requires only a single modificiation of the database structure, content of lookup list, etc.