Today we interviewed Coleman McCormick, VP of Spatial Networks, about their mobile GIS app Fulcrum.
At Spatial Networks, Inc., we have a long history of successfully solving hard problems for the most demanding of customers. The single, overriding factor to this success is our collective vision of leveraging geography in everything we do. Learn more about Fulcrum by visiting their site HERE.
ANATUM: Can you give a brief description of your product and your pricing structure?
Spatial Networks: Fulcrum is a mobile data collection platform for iOS and Android mobile devices, with a web-based configuration tool for building custom survey forms, provisioning team user accounts, and setting up access permissions for your organization’s users. The pricing plans are monthly, but can also be purchased annually (for Small plans and higher). The base price for a single-user account is $29 per month. You can get started free for 30 days with access to try out all the features of the system.
Spatial Networks: Fulcrum supports fully disconnected, offline data capture. When connected to either Wi-Fi or cellular networks, devices can be synchronized with the cloud, which uploads any data, pictures, and video collected while offline. This also syncs down from the server any new forms created as well as modifications to existing collection forms by account administrators. Fulcrum also supports loading offline base map layers for use while disconnected.
ANATUM: Is User data and project features stored on your company’s server or a cloud database? What are the security features to protect the User’s data?
Spatial Networks: All Fulcrum account data is stored on a secure cloud server, with controlled password authentication for all users that you add to your organization. Fulcrum also uses SSL for all network communication between client (mobile apps) and server, and any usage of the REST API.
ANATUM: Can users sync their data from the field so office coworkers can see new data, or have the office staff feed new project data to workers in the field? Spatial
Networks: Any data synced by any coworkers in the field is available for anyone else on the team to view on their own mobile app, given that they have been granted access to those records or collection projects from the organization admin. Existing spatial data can also be loaded into Fulcrum for distribution out to field users for additional attribution or field survey.
ANATUM: Is there a native map component and what mapping service does it use?
ANATUM: Does the mapping system require “checking out” a map or does it cache imagery for use in the field and working disconnected?
Spatial Networks: Fulcrum can cache imagery for use in the field using its offline map layer functionality. This will then allow those layers to be viewed while disconnected.
ANATUM: Does your program record points, lines, and polygons with the ability to customize data collection forms based on the paper datasheets they might normally utilize?
Spatial Networks: Fulcrum records point data, with an ability to design advanced forms to be associated with geotagged points – supporting things like conditional skip logic in forms, many different form data types, and geotagged media (photos and video).
ANATUM: Does your program record photos and video for attachment to GPS records? Can the User import an existing photo from the Camera Roll?
Spatial Networks: Yes, Fulcrum can capture photos and video to records. Photos collected in Fulcrum also store rich EXIF metadata for each picture taken, and our SpatialVideo feature captures GPS tracklines that sync up with video frames – think your own version of Google StreetView. Here’s an example of how SpatialVideo works: (http://fulcrumapp.com/blog/asset-management-with-spatialvideo/)
Spatial Networks: Yes, Fulcrum has a record search feature on Android and iOS that allows users to perform full-text queries on data in their collection projects.
ANATUM: Does your program have the ability to view the history of previously recorded field entries, or GPS records from other users?
Spatial Networks: Yep, you can view the full edit history of any data collected or modified in the field in Fulcrum using our web management interface. Each record shows a full changelog of the data over time, including timestamps to show when each change was made, and attribution as to who made each change. (http://fulcrumapp.com/blog/data-history-and-versioning/)
ANATUM: Does your program have the ability to auto-generate ID numbers for records to help minimize incorrect labeling by the user?
Spatial Networks: Fulcrum generates its own system-managed GUIDs for all captured data, to ensure that each data object has its own identity, not editable by the field user.
ANATUM: Is there a desktop interface that allows the user to see their projects and edit field-collected data?
Spatial Networks: Fulcrum has a web-based management interface where managers or system administrators (any user on your Fulcrum account with granted access) can review or edit data collected in the field, either map-based or table-based data viewing. There’s also a PDF reporting tool that allows you to generate simple PDF documents of a record’s information, for easy sharing to customers, stakeholders, or anyone else that you want to share information with.
ANATUM: Are there any particular features that you want to highlight?
Spatial Networks: Also check out Fulcrum’s “data shares” functionality, and full-featured import/export tools. (http://fulcrumapp.com/blog/data-share-examples/)
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