ArcCollector and STAR: Victorian Biodiversity (Offline) Mobile Data Capture

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) engaged Spatial Vision to produce a mobile application in Esri ArcCollector to be the field data capture tool for the DELWP web mapping application STAR.

The Spatial Temporal Activity Recorder (STAR) is designed to provide DELWP field officers with a portal to support project planning and design and record spatial features associated with flora and fauna observation, assessment and control.

As an established application encompassing .net, SQL Server and Geocortex elements, the challenge was to integrate a mobile data capture solution to fit in with the existing data and structures while providing flexibility for offline capture. The best solution for this situation is an ArcCollector application supported by ArcOnline. ArcCollector is capable of capturing point, line and polygon features on a range of mobile devices and ArcOnline integrates with Esri tools which are used to design the data-structure and load data as a hosted feature layer.

The complexity was handled by custom python scripting. By creating a replica of the ArcOnline layer the data can be transformed into the feature classes, related tables and views of STAR and synchronised after transfer. This technology stack allows permissions to be set for individuals and regional reporting areas (improving security), to maintain their internal reporting requirements (accommodating legacy), to take their work offline (collection coverage) and automatically have their work synced into STAR (time saving).

The benefit of this solution gives DELWP the capability of capturing data from every inch of the state on any mobile device as a standard output. This can be used to produce a condition of the environment report which is comparable across work type, regions and time frames thereby achieving the most important aim of the STAR platform. This solution completes the original design for STAR, enabling eyes and ears in the far corners of the state to ground truth the condition of Victoria’s biodiversity.

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