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Tree Inventory PDA Utilities: An Introduction Data Collection Two options: Paper forms Pocket PC Paper-based Inventory UFORE, STRATUM, MCTI, SDAP Final analysis & reporting depends on quality field data Manual data entry into i-Tree Database Format Paper Advantages Low up-front cost

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Data collection l.jpg
Data Collection

  • Two options:

    • Paper forms

  • Pocket PC

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Paper-based Inventory


    • Final analysis & reporting depends on quality field data

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Paper Advantages

  • Low up-front cost

  • No technical training

  • No batteries

  • Paper doesn’t break when you drop it

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Paper Disadvantages

  • Error-prone

    • Decipherment

    • QA harder

  • Can be slower in field

  • Much slower in office

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PDA-based Inventory Utilities

  • Created keeping in mind users who have little familiarity with field data collection

  • For project managers who want to minimize time-consuming data entry, QA/QC and database formatting

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PDA-based Inventory

  • Application compatible


    • Push button data transfer

  • Two Interfaces

    • Desktop

    • Pocket PC

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PDA to Desktop

Data Transfer


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PDA to Desktop

Data Transfer


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PDA to Desktop

Data Transfer


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PDA Advantages

  • Fast data collection

  • Low error rate

  • No data entry required

  • Data transfer automated

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PDA Disadvantages

  • Up-front equipment expense

  • Training required

  • Require maintenance/care

    • Charging batteries

  • Units not protected from elements

    • Water, Dust, etc.

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  • Desktop Configuration

  • PDA synchronization

  • Using the PDA Utility

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Choosing a PDA

  • Compatible only with Pocket PCs

    • Alternative OS (Palm, BlackBerry, Psion, PocketLinux, etc.) are not compatible.

    • Windows Mobile 2002 or 2003 operating systems (OS).

    • Mobile 5.0 operating systems

  • Other considerations

    • Weatherized models

    • Back-up media slot

    • Protective slip covers or carrying cases

    • High capacity batteries

    • Cost ($200-400 or more)

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In-Field QA/QC

  • Hot Check – one team member or someone dedicated to QA/QC checks 3% of ongoing data collection

  • Cold Check – data re-measured by the QA/QC specialist, who meets with and compares data with the team

  • Blind Check – a sample unit is re-measured by another team or QA/QC specialist. Data is compared, but without the presence of the initial team.

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  • Set up a system for nightly transfer that works for your volunteers or project

  • Scan the data for errors each night

  • Reset and import from next PDA