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Monday, February 28, 2011

Cool Technology

Today I tested a new setup for map display and possible mapping in the field.  We were able to acquire a Sony Toughbook last fall to possibly use in the field.  Today I loaded up all our data on it and installed Global Mapper to test GPS capabilities.  I took a few minutes to figure out the setup, but it was less than a half hour.  I used a Garmin 10 for a receiver.  The Garmin is connected by bluetooth.  Once I got it set up I loaded photos and maps and took it to a nearby field.  The display worked well.  Not sure about battery life.  It looks like we can get a lighter plug-in to work.  The display was good on a  cloudy day.  I need to get a screen protector.  This thing can display aerials, soil maps, USGS maps.  Zone maps, prescription maps or anything else you can think of.  The ruggedized tablet is the expensive part, but if you do not need ruggedized equipment in the cab or truck, this would work fine on any laptop.  Data is free or make it yourself.  This looks like good potential for record keeping to me.   I did not check the mapping capabilities today, but it looks like it can be done.  I am looking forward to using this equipment.  It is very inexpensive except for the Toughbook.  A standard laptop brings down the cost considerably.   

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