Poros Ventures has been working on a smart phone web service/app that is looking very useful. I can imagine lots of ways this might help anyone in the field (ie, wherever you can get cell service). Using the GPS capability included in many new phones, Point Recorder allows you to capture your coordinates and record a description and a few tidbits such as a category (which you determine), who submitted the point, etc. All of the points you or others enter are immediately available from a webpage. Poros Ventures now has a solid beta version up and running, and they are preparing a full roll out.
In this beta version you can set up an account for free, create a pick list and begin tracking points and adding descriptions. You can get up and running in minutes. We’ve tested it on iPhones and blackberries and it should also work on other GPS enabled phones. At this point you can gain access to the on-line CSV file that lists your points and data in a format that is easily imported to ESRI-Arc toolset or which can be linked as a live source in the ArcGIS.com on-line mapping service.
If you want to create an app of your own:
Go to http://pointrecorder.com and set up an account.
Or, if you want, you can try one of my apps by entering - http://pointrecorder.com/m/g44n on your phone.
Then you can see all points entered in that app by going to http://pointrecorder.com/a/g44n on your PC.
There is an-easy-to-follow introduction video at: http://pointrecorder.com/general/videos
Or you can go to http://pointrecorder.com/ and you’ll see tabs where you look at other apps that are nearby or popular or recently added.
We’ve had fun thinking of the many ways this could be used by our own organizations, and I’m betting that there are hundreds of others that could use sharable location-based information. It’s a pretty slick system. If you have a moment, give it a try.