SHIMobile is a new application for mobile devices that allows users to collect important natural resource information in the field. SHIMobile makes field data collection easy and will help users collect and update sensitive habitat inventory using standardized SHIM methods. The application is suitable for use on mobile devices equipped with GPS and a camera and can be used offline. SHIMobile enables practitioners to record important attributes about stream and riparian features using a common data dictionary. After field data is collected it can be added to a structured on-line data base and web mapping application, the SHIM Atlas on the Community Mapping Network.
SHIMobile can be used to compliment existing SHIM data, enabling more efficient and cost effective field observations of stream features. Accurate stream centre line mapping still requires a high end GPS capable of +or- 5m accuracy but stream attributes can be recorded using the less accurate GPS in modern mobile devices.
Users have the choice of using the published iOS compatible data forms (follow links below in the "Web Links" section - for SHIMobile Forms - HanDBase version) or adapting the published forms to other mobile devices. CMN plans to also publish the same data forms in an Android compatible format. The structure of SHIMobile data forms is also avaialble as an Excel woorkbook in the "Atlas Documents" section below. The field names, data types and menu options can be copied from that "SHIMobile structure.xls" file to construct data forms on other portable devices.
SHIMobile has been made possible by funding from the MEC Capacity Building Grant.
Limitations of GPS on a mobile devices: Most mobile devices ( phones & tablets) have GPS receivers and the newer ones receive location data from the US and Russian GPS satellites. The more satellites that are in view means the device will determine a location more quickly and drop out less often but the spatial accuracy is basically +or- 10 meters under ideal receiving conditions. When you are under forest canopy or in ravines the location accuracy can be much less. That is why we say above that the stream centre line requires a "high end" or survey grade GPS receiver. Since SHIM started (pre 2000) Trimble GPS receivers combined with post processing have been used to locate stream centre lines to +/- 5 meters.
After a stream centre line is mapped to +/- 5m the various stream & riparian features can be located by a less accurate GPS because all those features are associated with that stream in the SHIM database and their location along or near the stream centre line can be less accurate.
Adapting SHIMobile data forms for various mobile devices: CMN has developed a set of forms to use on an iOS (Apple) device (iPhone or iPad with GPS) and we will be making an identical set of forms to use on an Android device in the near future.
But if you would like to build your own SHIMobile data forms for other devices (Trimble, Juniper Systems) the structure of those forms is availablbe in the SHIMobile structure
.xls file. That Excel woorkbook has 13 sheets, each with fields for a SHIM feature in the first row and an explination of field type or dropdown menu choices in the second row.
If you do build your own data forms it is critiacal that you use the SHIMobile forms as designed, without any changes or different menu choices, so that submitted field data is compatible with the SHIM on-line data base.
SHIM Methods (2002)
can be referenced for all field methods that apply to using SHIMobile, specificly Module 3 "Watercourse Centerline and Habitat Feature Mapping"
Why was HanDBase was chosen for SHIMobile? HanDBase
is a database authoring application with versions that work on many different mobile devices and Mac or PC desktop computers. This makes data forms sharable across devices and all versions export data in one standard format. This also means data form design can be done once and used on different mobile devices. Data form design (scripting) is done on the mobile device using HanDBase and then the forms are "run" using HandBase. Once HanDBase is installed on a device that one app can be used for many different forms and many, many different inventory methods, SHIM, Wetlands - the list is long if not endless.
Those are the pros for using HanDBase and on the cons side: HanDBase only captures point locations (currently), and the photos taken using data forms have to be uploaded seperate from the attribute data. There are some other limitations but those are the main ones and there are ways to "work around" those limitations (discussed later on).