Wednesday, June 24, 2009

iPhone as a tool for hydrographers

So from Kurt's post on the iPhone as a tool for field geologists, and the subsequent posts he linked to, I began thinking about applications that I would like to see on an iPhone (not that I own one or anything) to help make it a handy little field tool for hydrographers. There are some pretty sweet hydro-licious applications for the iPhone that already exist (check out TideApp and iNavX), and I am sure this is only the beginning. Here are a couple of proposed apps of my own:

1) Equipment/Serial Number App:
Something like this may exist. It would be handy to have a little app that could organize lists of equipment and their serial numbers. Each entry could link to a picture of the object stored within the iPhone. Clicking on each entry would then bring up the picture, manufacturer, contact info for service/repair, a link to the website, and perhaps even a link to the online manual (or a PDF stored on the phone).

2) Ship Light App:
I am not sure if the flashlight app has this feature already or not, but having the screen emit a red light for night-safe vision on the ship instead of a bright white light would be excellent.

3) Vessel Offset App:
An app that could be used to generate a little diagram of the ship complete with vessel offsets between the transducers, IMU, etc. Perhaps it could sort of be a fill-in-the-blank type of program, so you know right away if you are missing a crucial value. This happened during my field course, and while I am sure seasoned hydrographers have much less of a chance of making this mistake, and if you always survey on the same ship it is probably not as necessary, I still think this would be pretty helpful. With this app, you could always have a copy with you that could be used for reference or could be emailed to someone else.

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