Park Information Northern Territory (PINT)

By Robert Driessen

For the past 10 years Rangers at the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Service have been capturing data for their geographic information system (GIS) using a variety of methods and software packages.  New technology had recently become available which could improve the ease and reliability of data capture.

The NT Parks and Wildlife Service wished to develop a customised data capture system to allow staff to easily capture and manage new data to be entered into their geographic information system (GIS) to support park management.  The new system was to be based on modern mobile GIS technology and the new ESRI ArcGIS desktop software.  For budgeting reasons the project was broken into two stages.  The first stages involved the purchase of more modern technologies including hardware and commercial-off-the-shelf software.  Stage 2 focused on the customisation of these products into a single system that was easy to use for Park Rangers.

The following requirements of the new system were identified

    – Customised interface for field data entry.
    – Process to check in and out data to and from the central database and the field computers that reqyired little interaction and process for the user
    – Customise the forms for entering descriptive data on the mobile computers
    – Download and store data from Garmin handheld GPS into the core Parks GIS databases.  Also allowing for selected points/lines data to upload to the GPS from GIS.
    – Capture descriptive data associated with features collected on GPS
    – Creating features and adding descriptive information against spatial data in GIS (office based, field sheets)
    – Manual entry of spatial data and the associated descriptive information
    – Easily search, display and edit the Parks standard databases within GIS

The system was required to support at least 30 separate data sets grouped into 6 broad categories of flora, infrastructure, erosion, heritage, fauna and fire.

RIA Mobile GIS developed an integrated system that was centred on the mains Park database. All field data entered the Parks data base via a staging database which was used for managing, editing and verifying the field captured data..  ArcGIS and specifically developed tools were used to review any data in the staging database, assign attributes and make adjustments to ensure the field data was suitable for being loaded into the main Parks DB.  Once data was verified in the staging database an upload tool was developed to add the data to the main Parks database.

ArcPad tools and forms were developed to support the capture of new data in the field.  ArcGIS checkout functionality was used to checkout the schema for the relevant data and check in was used to upload the collected data into the staging database.

ArcGIS tools and forms were developed to support the entry of new data from field sheets.  These tools added the data to the staging database, attributes were assigned using special forms created for ArcGIS.  ArcGIS tools and forms were also developed to import Garmin GPS data into the staging database.


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  • Client: Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Service
  • Tasks: Mobile and Desktop GIS design and development
  • Categories: Environmental Management, Software Development