CartoMobile user experience enhancements
I am an exploration geologist and have recently been using CartoMobile for the first time on my iPad 2 to register field data while mapping & prospecting in Africa. I had a choice of satellite images in the background and had created a data entry layer with the required data fields. I also used a plug-in Bad Elf GPS receiver for enhanced positional accuracy. I'm glad to say it's been a great experience, with both the iPad (well protected in its Otterbox) and the app performing perfectly. It certainly beats typing handwritten notes in the computer after a hard day's work trampling up & down hills in the heat.
However, nothing's ever perfect and I have a few ideas to enhance the user experience of the app. Don't know if all can be implemented, but here goes:
It would be great to have a scale bar on-screen (with an option to switch it on & off), that would - obviously - scale up & down with in & out zooms.
Idem for having live coordinates displayed, while the GPS is tracking (again with option to switch on or off).
3. Re data entry forms: Data entry could be speeded up if there was an option to set default values for specific fields when creating or editing a form. An autocomplete function, using data previously entered in the same field, would also be useful.
As it is now, during data entry, a window with a box to be filled out slides in from the right when clicking the little arrow, next to the field to edit. To go back to the window with the list of editable fields, one has to click the button 'Back'. The latter quickly becomes a chore when one has a long list to fill out (one click too many per field). Why not open a window or table that contains the field names on the left and open boxes to be filled out on the right, eventually with default values (see 3) already displayed?
I understand and appreciate the concern about iPad battery life that has led to the decision to switch off live GPS tracking after a while. However, as long as the user is aware of the issue and takes the necessary steps (recharging in vehicle or from auxiliary batteries), why not give him/her the option to keep the GPS on & tracking permanently?
It would also be great if the GPS track could be registered (e.g. to a gpx-file) and the track displayed live on-screen. Currently, I'm still using my Garmin Oregon for that.
On first satellite signal acquisition or after the iPad has put itself in standby, there is no way of knowing in CartoMobile how fast and how far the signal acquisition process has progressed. The option to display a satellite acquisition window, such as one finds in handheld GPS units, would be very welcome.
I understand that the above list is quite long and that it is far easier to draft it than to implement the proposed features. Up to you to evaluate the latter and to see how much of this is feasible in a reasonable amount of time. Looking forward to your reply. Feel free to contact me if some or other of the above requires further explanation.
Please sign in to leave a comment.