What’s New in Global Mapper Mobile version 2.3?
Global Mapper excels at data processing and analysis but taking a desktop computer into the field for data collection can be quite cumbersome. A better solution for field data reference and collection is the Global Mapper Mobile iOS and Android app. This tool allows data managed in Global Mapper desktop to be exported to a mobile phone or tablet and easily brought into the field for reference, data editing, and data collection. Since its first release in 2016, Global Mapper Mobile has undergone many changes and updates to add new tools and to improve the overall functionality of the pocket-sized Global Mapper sidekick. And best of all, the base version of Global Mapper Mobile is available for free from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, making it a feasible solution when working with many field data collectors and devices.
In the latest release of Global Mapper Mobile, version 2.3, many updates and improvements have been added, including the option to record and save voice memos to vector features, add multiple field-captured images to a feature, and an option for autosave to prevent the loss of changes made to a map.
The capture of information is essential to GIS feature creation. Feature Notations have long existed in Global Mapper Mobile, but in this latest version of the app, long-form information recording is made easier by the option to record audio files that will be attached to the vector feature. Whether recording the sound of a specific piece of equipment or job site, spoken notes on an area or landmark location, or the song of a bird also captured in an image, Global Mapper Mobile will now record, playback, save, and export audio associated with new or existing vector features.
When editing the feature information for a new or existing feature in a map, the Edit Feature screen now offers a microphone icon in the bottom right corner. Tapping on the icon opens the attached audio allowing new audio to be recorded. Once recorded, the file will be saved in the selected format and attached to the feature as an AUDIO_LINK attribute. Multiple audio links can be recorded and saved to a feature, and tapping on an audio attribute allows the recording to be played in the app or deleted from the feature.
Picture Points – geotagged images displayed as single point features – and the ability to attach photos to vector features are not new functionality in Global Mapper Mobile. Adding an image to a feature can easily be done using the image icon found in the bottom right corner of the Edit Feature screen. New in Global Mapper Mobile version 2.3 is the ability to add, save, and export multiple images associated with a single vector feature.
Each image added to a feature will be attached as a file link attribute with the name IMAGE_LINK or FILE_LINK. The associated images will then be saved with temporary names, and tapping on any given image link attribute allows the image to be viewed in Global Mapper Mobile.
When saving the map to a Global Mapper Mobile Package file (*gmmp), the option to Embed Images should be checked in order to write the attached image files into the data package for sharing with other Global Mapper Mobile users or to Global Mapper desktop for further analysis. Conversely, Global Mapper Mobile Package files created from Global Mapper desktop can contain multiple images, and a similar package export option allows them all to be saved to the map file for viewing in Global Mapper Mobile.
The platform of a mobile application and the use of the app in the field introduces risks that are not as common when operating a desktop application. Battery life, mobile notifications, and environmental distraction can all cause a map to be accidentally closed without saving. To mitigate the risk of losing collected and edited map data in Global Mapper Mobile, version 2.3 introduces an autosave function that will periodically save the open map if recent changes are detected.
Enabled through the app Configuration options, Enable AutoSave creates a backup Global Mapper Mobile Package format file of the open map every five minutes. The backup files are named to include the date and time, and once a map is saved and closed the backup is automatically removed to optimize storage.
With improvements to feature information recording and file management Global Mapper Mobile takes great steps forward as the ideal free field data collection app. Combining these new updates with the many available manual and GPS-enabled feature creation modes and the recently implemented Mobile Data Management tool, Global Mapper Mobile version 2.3 works more seamlessly than ever with Global Mapper desktop providing users with a full suite of tools to capture data in the field and analyze it in the office.