2007 Volume 116 Issue 6 Pages 749-758
In this study, a rapid digital mapping system was developed using a tablet PC. Usually, digital maps are more compact and handy than hard-copy maps. GPS receivers are convenient devices for real-time positioning in outdoor fields. A digital pen provides the useful interface for a tablet PC. GIS application (ESRI ArcGIS) can enlink these devices and technologies.
The distributions of snow-covered and forested areas were visually confirmed from a moving vehicle, and were input into digital maps through a tablet PC. In this system, the GPS receiver displays the current location on the digital maps. The digital maps are seamless, and can be scrolled automatically incorporating information from the GPS receiver. This mapping system, therefore, can obtain and record ground truth data quickly at a speed comparable to that of a moving vehicle, even if the operator does not have any experience of computer mapping.
In comparison with mapping using hard-copy maps, 60% of the time necessary for in situ mapping is saved using this system. On the other hand, only 20% of the time necessary for editing the map is saved, due to the difficulty of making a clean copy of an in situ map. In conclusion, 30% of the total time for obtaining ground truth data is saved using this mapping system, which certainly contributes to field surveys in general.