Field Data Collection Using iOS Technology
Omkar B. Dangat
Oral Defence Date:
Professors Murphy and Petkovic
The Field Data Collection Application for iOS is intended for biology researchers and botany enthusiasts in their field studies where Internet connectivity might not be present and carrying a laptop and/or Paper Field Guides is not always possible. Hence a small device, such as an iPhone or iPod Touch, containing information about specific species in a structured format would be useful. The Field Data Collection Application for iOS represents information about species in specialized kind of a binary decision tree known as a "Dichotomous Key". Dichotomous Keys are structured so that users can formally identify an individual by examining its physical/morphological characteristics and selecting appropriate alternatives from the choices presented by the key. The Field Data Collection application for iOS supports multiple Dichotomous Keys as well as a field data collection option. The field data collection option allows users to collect information about an observed individual, edit the observation data (including GPS coordinates, date, observer, scientific and common names), add additional annotations, and collect multiple photos. A survey based usability study was done with 20 Computer Science students. Almost all these students strongly agreed or agreed that this application is easy to use, it is easy to identify species and it is easy to collect multiple observations; hence we conclude that the application is useful for identifying individuals and collecting field data. All code was tested thoroughly to ensure bug free implementation; future work includes submitting our Application to Apple's App store for open distribution to iOS devices.
Dichotomous Key, Field Data Collection, Dichotomous Key Viewer, XML (Extensible Markup Language)
Omkar B. Dangat