Delivery of quality field data to forest planning tools
ATLAS FieldMan enables the forest manager to efficiently manage complex field measurement programmes to ensure that high quality data is delivered for forest planning purposes. Contractors who are managing field measurement programmes can use ATLAS FieldMan to ensure that they provide high quality data to their clients and that their field crews area working efficiently.
ATLAS FieldMan at a glance
|Centralised management of all jobs||Details of all jobs, crews assigned, data collected etc can all be viewed at once.|
|Correct data format for ATLAS applications||The program is tailored to the data needs of the ATLAS application in mind, making the time spent in the field as effective as possible.|
|Accurate and complete data collected||All data collected is checked in the field and the operator is notified of inconsistencies and missing measurements for immediate remedy.|
|Flexible crew assignment to jobs||A job can be assigned to a number of crews; all data is recombined when the job is complete. Check on job progress in one convenient desktop manager view.|
|Efficient crew deployment||Forest managers or contractors can check on crew locations and job progress, reassigning unfinished parts of jobs as necessary.|
|For contractors: keep track of clients jobs and all crews||The FieldMan desktop manager provides contractors a check on job progress for each client by all the crews in one easy-to-read view.|
|No time/money wasted in collecting too much or too little data||Specialist reports can be generated on the data while still in the field, such as PLE so that only the required amount of data is collected.|
|Easy-to-use data capture||Largely keyboard data entry using easy-to-follow grid-style format.|
|Disabling touch screen function as required||In demanding field conditions it is more practical to use just the keyboard|
|Ad-hoc jobs added in the field||Jobs can be conveniently added while in the field by using the appropriate dictionaries or user-variables loaded on the handheld computer.|
|The same system can be used for a range of ATLAS applications||The modular design of ATLAS means that the crews can use the same system and equipment without retraining|
ATLAS FieldMan is designed to cater for complex sampling regimes, applied over large forest estate areas. Planning the field assessment operations is simplified by using the desktop manager. Jobs can then be assigned directly to field crews or to contractors who will organise their own field crews and data collection. ATLAS FieldMan allows the manager to easily check the progress of the measurement programme. The desktop manager quickly provides all the details of which field crews are assigned to any job and the work progress made.
ATLAS FieldMan provides the tools for contractors to conveniently manage all their client contracts for field measurement. It also enables them to make the best use of their field crews in order to get the field measurements completed efficiently. By using the desktop manager they can monitor progress of crews and reassign measurement tasks thus minimising down time and unnecessary crew movements. Administration is easy, as field assessments are managed through jobs that keep track of client details at all times.
ATLAS Fieldman has been designed to handle all the conditions that are encountered in the forest. The touch screen can be disabled so that data entry can be entirely by keyboard. This is a great advantage if conditions are wet or cold, as there is no need to try to read a touch screen under a film of water or to fumble with a pointer when wearing gloves. This helps to avoid costly mistakes caused by operators slipping in rough terrain and accidentally knocking the touch screen. The added advantage of using keyboard control is that, once learnt, it can often be a much faster way of entering data than graphical methods. FieldMan uses a grid-style data entry system similar to a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel®.
While the data is being collected in the field, checks are made for consistency with the expected range of values and, where appropriate, previous measurements. Checks are also made to ensure that all the expected measurements have been collected. Any errors or omissions can then be corrected immediately with minimal cost and time. This ensures that the crew collect high quality data that can be put to use immediately by forest planners. Experienced crews can use the field reports to make further efficiency gains. A check on PLE for example will enable them to measure the correct number of plots, so that they don’t spend time either measuring plots unnecessarily or going back to add more plots.
If a crew is called up for an urgent new job the facility to have pre-loaded context libraries with client specific dictionaries and variables ensures that the data is collected to the correct specifications.
Integration with the ATLAS suite of Forest Management Tools
Integration between ATLAS modules enables information from one application to be accessed or presented within another which greatly increases the power of each individual module, and the suite as a whole. For example, FieldMan provides data in formats suitable for use in other ATLAS applications such as Cruiser or SilviQC.