The purpose of this app is to provide a gateway to
natural resources data pertaining to almost every county within the continental
United States. The current concept is to focus on water resources data – from
the U.S Geological Survey (USGS), and soils data – from the National Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS).
What kind of data is this, and what's its importance?
This data provides physical and chemical characteristics of a natural resource (soil or water) from a mapped region. If a physical geographer wanted to calculate the drainage rate, or fluid drift capacity, of soil in a certain region, they would need to know the phys-chem characteristics of this soil in order to make meaningful calculations.
and students in Earth Science fields, such as Geology and Physical Geography.
makers in earth resource organizations (e.g. the Environment and Natural
Resources Division of the U.S department of Justice).
Much of the data will be presented to the user in
conjunction with Bing maps.
Here is a quick scenario of how the app will work.
Say a user wants to request surface-water discharge records for the
Upper Wisconsin basin. The user would need to know the Lat-Long coordinates
lying within the basin region. There are 3 ways of entering said coordinates:
by travelling to the basin and letting the tablet’s GPS do the magic; by manually
entering the coordinates; or by zooming into Bing using the apps multi-touch
gestures and selecting a region from the map.
Results will be returned by way of web services that link
into the National Water Information System (NWIS) of the USGS. Returned data will
mostly include kml (Keyhole Markup Language) data, for map overlay information,
and various links for file attachments a user may download for extra
Depending on the type of request, map overlay data will
include download links, small images, data tables, and other forms of overlay
Sample surface-water discharge data overlayed in bing.
How user will request data
A user will need geographic coordinates of an area in
order to request soils/water data for that area. There are multiple ways to get
- Using the tablet’s GPS. If a user is physically
at the location whose soils/water data they need to sample, the app will
provide an option to invoke the GPS geo-placing capabilities.
- By selecting the sampling location in Bing maps,
using the multi-touch zooming gestures of the app.
- By manually entering the coordinates in the app's
Other app capabilities
The app will provide:
- Charting facilities to present soils/water data
sampled across multiple years.
- Instant snapping of a map region, and options
for tagging the snap with notes or photos taken at a sampling site. The
snapped (and tagged) region can then be stored on the device, emailed, or
shared across social networks.
- Weather data of user’s location using GPS, in
conjunction with the tablet’s data connection.
App category and platform
Education (Tablet Platform)
We are using WPF and C# for developing this app. The Bing maps API will feature prominently, alongside RESTful JSON-heavy web services. This will be a data heavy app, and we anticipate making much use of the C# caching API as well as part of the file system.
And of course Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop will be the IDE.