CyberTracker is the most efficient method of field data collection. You can use CyberTracker on a Smartphone or handheld computer to record any type of observation. CyberTracker, which requires no programming skills, allows you to customize an Application for your own data collection needs.
CyberTracker Screen Designs
CyberTracker is the most efficient way to gather large quantities of geo-referenced data for field observations at a speed and level of detail not possible before. Observations can be entered with a simple Radio List or a Check List.
Number and text fields can also be entered by means of conventional key pads or keyboards.
The CyberTracker icon interface was originally designed for trackers who cannot read or write. However, scientists and conservationists benefit from the icon interface enabling significantly faster data collection than text interfaces or written methods.
Screen designs can combine text and icons for the optimum efficiency. Icons can be designed and customized for the user’s specific needs and imported into CyberTracker.
CyberTracker Electronic Field Guide
The CyberTracker Screen Designer makes it possible for users to design their own Electronic Field Guides with Species Identification Filters.
The Species Identification Filter consists of a sequence of screens each with a checklist of characteristic features of a species. For each subsequent screen, the Filter gives an indication of the number of possible species. When the possible species have been reduced to a small number, the user can skip to the Result Screen to visually compare the species.
The Electronic Field Guide makes it possible to imbed definitions, descriptions and images into the data capture Screen Sequence, providing an immediate reference for easy validation of field observations.
Designing an Application
Designing a Database with a CyberTracker Application (Screen Sequence) requires no programming skills. Creating data Elements for each Screen automatically creates a structured database.
To create an Application, selection of Screen Templates make it easy to link screens together into a Sequence of Screens for the Handheld Computer interface.
To create a Filter for species identification, each species is defined by a check list of characteristics.
Screen Designs can also be customized by adding and modifying Screen Components for Static Controls, Data Controls and various Actions.
Field Map and GPS GoTo feature for Navigation
The CyberTracker Field Map features makes it possible to navigate using the PDA/GPS to track the path of the user in real time. A green cross-hair shows the user’s position while a yellow line shows the path followed. The GPS GoTo feature allows you to define GPS waypoints to guide you towards a specific destination in the field.
CyberTracker provides a conversion feature to convert any map to the ECW file format. For example, a TIFF image that is already geo-referenced will automatically be converted to a geo-referenced ECW file. Maps can also be geo-referenced in CyberTracker.
The Field Map on the PDA/GPS also makes it possible to use the stylus to pinpoint the position of an observation on the map if a GPS fix cannot be obtained (under thick canopy or in a deep gully), or if an animal is some distance away from the observer.
Viewing Data in CyberTracker
In CyberTracker data can be viewed in Tables, Maps and Graphs. Map views include Microsoft Virtual Earth, Google Earth, ESRI Shape File map layers or Image maps. The Photo views allow you to attach photos to specific data points.
The Table view allows you to query your data using filters or the advanced query filter builder.
It is easy to filter data in the CyberTracker Table View. Queries can be saved in Reports, which are updated when new data is collected.
Once data has been filtered it can be Exported to Microsoft Excel, Comma Seperated Values, XML or HTML formats. The Map View can also be exported as ESRI Shape Files.
Effort of Patrol
The automatic GPS Timer Points records the path followed by the observer and makes it possible to measure the Effort of data gathering.
Patrol paths shown on a map makes it possible to ensure the area integrity of a park. Efficiency Graphs show the number of observations, the distance covered and the time spent on patrol each day.
A Grid View of the map calculates the Cell Count as well as a spatial visualization of the Effort.
Index of Abundance
The Cell Count and Effort of Patrol is used to automatically calculate an Index of Abundance. The Grid View for the Index of Abundance provides an indication of the spatial distribution of animals.
CyberTracker makes it possible to define a Minimum Effort Required for the Index of Abundance to represent a reasonable representation of the true abundance of animals. Cells that do not have the Minimum Effort Required (shown with arrows above), will not be shown in the Grid View.
A graph plotting the Index of Abundance against the Effort of Patrol is used to estimate the Minimum Effort Required. A negative correlation indicates that some cells should be removed from the Grid View. The linear correlation should be zero, unless an increase in Effort has a direct impact on the Index of Abundance.
The graph showing the calf mortality of the endangered Bontebok in the De Hoop nature reserve in South Africa shows that an Index of Abundance is sufficient to detect a catastrophic decline in a population.