This article was featured in the 2021 Autumn Newsletter by Frank Williams- SLELO Volunteer
As a member of the SLELO Volunteer Surveillance Network, I conduct seasonal field surveys. There are three apps I’ve found that really help me in planning out and recording fieldwork, GPS Camera 55, Layout, and GAIA GPS.
These apps are great field surveys and hiking aids. You can do a lot with the free versions of all three of these apps, but if you can afford the premium subscriptions I highly recommend it.
GPS Camera 55 Field Survey: This is an app for your mobile phone that puts the GPS coordinates, date, time, and other location data into the borders of the photograph. You can control what information is displayed in the app settings. This helps me keep a good record when I take many photographs in a day or when I need to sort out my photos by location. This information is also helpful when you want to upload more photos for iMapInvasives observations.
You can do a lot with the free version, but I found the premium version gives you lots more versatility. Screenshot pictured top right.
Layout Collage by Instagram: One of the limitations currently with the iMap app is that you can only upload one photo per observation. Some observations may need more photos to give the observation the proper detail. I take my photos with GPS Camera 55 Field Survey, and then make a collage using the Layout app by Instagram.
The photo shown here was of a heavy Gypsy Moth infestation on a tagged tree in a park. This collage helped put all the information in one photo. Screenshot pictured middle right.
GAIA GPS Hiking App: You can plan out routes, record your hikes and leave markers where you find invasive species, or set markers on places to visit. The example shown is a route I made with GAIA GPS as I hiked a trail looking for Hemlock stands at the Lake Julia Preserve. I left markers where I found the Hemlock stands. You can also add photos to these markers. As you zoom in on the markers you will see all the GPS coordinates. Screenshot pictured bottom right.