What makes up a GIS data collection system?

Modern GIS technology automates the process of data collection and provides media to store tremendous amounts of data that if printed out would inundate many a brick-and-mortar library.

What makes up a GIS data collection system? The major components of a general GIS data collection system are:

Data recorder
GPS receiver
Data collection software
A person or a remote control mechanism
GIS/Mapping office software

Specialized data collection systems may incorporate additional hardware (such as depth sounders and laser guns) or software to record specific pieces of information.

The present market is filled with a wide variety of devices that could be used for GPS/GIS data collection. There are the tiny mobile phones and PDAs with or without built-in GPS, there are notebook PCs for those who prefer to work with a large screen, and in between are the tablet PCs with a medium-size screen.  While it’s nice to be given choices, the newcomer is often daunted by the many possibilities. Some of the factors to take into consideration are: GPS capability and other functionality, price, ruggedness, display size and readability under sunlight. If you already own an iPAD or an iPhone, you might consider using the iCMTGIS for iPAD or the iGPSGIS for iPhone.

Equally important is the choice of the data collection software to run on the data recorder and the software for mapping and organizing the data. Again, there are quite a few selections available. Of course, the software must be compatible with your GIS data recorder hardware. It must be able to perform the required tasks and be easy to learn and use. It will also need to fit into your budget.

At the minimum, the GIS data collection software should let you record the GPS coordinates and a description for the Features of interest. It should let you output the data to your GIS/Mapping software. Your GIS/Mapping software should let you view the collected data on a map and also store it into a file or an industry-standard database.

When looking for a powerful and affordable GIS/Mapping software to complete your GPS/GIS data collection system, please compare its functionality to that provided by the CMT PC-GIS software:


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