USING ESRI’S COLLECTOR APP TO IMPROVE UNDERGRADUATE GEOSCIENCE FIELD TRIPS
Why Collector? ArcGIS Collector is free and runs on devices that most students already own, namely smart phones with Android, iOS, or Windows operating systems. Smart phones also have the advantage of integrated GPS, which not all tablets have. In the field, students collect data in a Collector geodatabase that captures both text and photos. The instructor (and/or students) creates the geodatabase ahead of time in ArcGIS Desktop and publishes it to an ArcGIS Online account. Students download the geodatabase to their devices before going into the field. Although Collector works in conjunction with an ArcGIS Online account, devices do not need to be online in the field.
Using Collector is an outstanding way to actively engage students both in the field and in the classroom. After a field trip, the accumulated data can be viewed via ArcGIS Online and downloaded for use in ArcGIS Desktop. Field observations, photos, and movies are collected in an organized, systematic, and similar way by all students, making it easier to do field trip follow-up, discussion, and preparation for subsequent field trips.