Eyre Peninsula NRM Board

By Chris Walsham

All environmental management agencies in Australia today are challenged by the need to manage large geographically dispersed natural resources with very few people. The Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board covers an area of 80,000 square kilometres in South Australia with approximately 20 field officers spread across 7 regional offices. The officers in each region need to manage issues as diverse as groundwater, pests, weeds, flora, fauna, water quality, rehabilitation and on ground works. The board has turned to mobile computers and geographic information systems (GIS) to help them to increase the effectiveness of their field officers.

Field officers at Eyre Peninsula NRMB had been using a paper based system to gather data and manage projects. The paper based system made it difficult to coordinate activities and the board had difficulty maintaining an overall picture. It was clear that a GIS was required as this would provide a consistent framework and an overall and detailed picture of the projects.

The role of RIA Mobile GIS in the project

RIA Mobile GIS worked collaboratively with the field officers at Eyre Peninsula NRMB to develop a solution.

Once the board had agreed on the final design the first stage of the solution was developed over two months. The development consisted of a data schema, applications for the mobile devices and ArcGIS process models to handle the data flows.

Development was basically a 3 step process. The first step was to implement the data schema which was designed after extensive consultation with the field officers. The schema included both server and field components and the interaction between them. The second step was to develop the process models which handled the checking in and checking out of data between the field applications and the server database. The third step was to develop the applications for the mobile devices, which made use of the data stored on the server and enabled the capture of new data to be uploaded onto the server.

The potential benefits from the system are

– Field officers are able to focus on their projects rather than the technology.
– The technology helps them to complete their work productively.
– Work processes have been standardised so that all field officers are working in a more consistent way.
– Field officers get a clear picture of their rehabilitation site, relevant issues that affect their site and the impact of nearby sites.
– The process of obtaining data from the sites, and producing maps for sites, has been simplified.
– Data capture is now centralised and consolidated, the data now ends up in a single repository that everyone in the organisation can access
– The reporting on the activities undertaken by the board can be standardized and improved.

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  • Client: Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board
  • Tasks: Design and develop a mobile field service management system
  • Categories: Environmental Management, Mobile GIS