Geo-spatial Camera Evaluation
Rey Farve, Project Leader
This evaluation was prepared in response to a proposal which requested the Technology & Development's Inventory and Monitoring Program to develop or identify equipment that combined existing technologies such as: digital camera, pocket computer, GPS receiver, digital compass, and laser range finder into one field unit.
A device that could combine all (or most) of these separate pieces of equipment into a more compact and wireless arrangement would greatly enhance many applications and likely be of great benefit to Forest Service employees engaged in inventory and monitoring.
A brief search of products and manufactures revealed that a product existed which combined these technologies and is manufactured by a New Zealand Company, Surveylab, Ltd., (http://www.surveylab.co.nz/) under the name "ike™ ." (see links at: ike 304 and Using ike 304.)
In the fall of 2005, SDTDC purchased an ike, and over the next year we coordinated the beta testing of the device by Forest Service personnel. The ike™ was beta tested by the Heritage Program for TEAMS (Louisville, CO) and foresters with the Osceola National Forest. Their assessments of the device are at: "Beta test by Forest Service Personnel"
Also provided in this report is a brief review of assessments made by other federal agencies who have used the ike (see: Use of ike by others)
The Missoula Technology Development Center's GPS Program tested the GPS accuracy of the ike. The results of that test are at: "GPS Performance Test"
SDTDC performed its standard test of equipment per the manufacture's specifications (see: "Test per Manufacture's Specifications")
Note: During that time period of beta testing, Surveylab was continually improving the capabilities of the device. We upgraded our original ike 300 to the newer ike 304, and subsequently to the ike 304, 3.2 MP (i.e., 3.2 Mega pixel digital camera). Recently Surveylab has introduced an ike 305 model.
A review of some products similar to the ike (see: Similar devices) is provided.
Lastly, a Summary of the beta testing is provided at the end of the report.