GIS application to Irrigation Mobile Survey System for Farmland Irrigation Association

June 12, 2009 -- SuperGeo develops ‘Irrigation Mobile Survey System’ for Farmland Irrigation Association, Taiwan. The system uses SuperGIS Mobile Engine as the core and facilitates the management of irrigation facilities.

The vital mission of Farmland Irrigation Association (abbreviated as IA) is to maintain the supply and drainage of farmland water resource. The irrigation and drainage canals are the main facilities and IA is in charge of maintaining. The main business of IA (Irrigation Association) is to manage and operate the irrigation affairs, such as water distribution arrangement, water quality monitoring, water pollution inspection, engineering management and more. Since the jurisdictional district is too wide, the surveyors need to spend plenty of time searching and monitoring spots during field survey.

In order to effectively improve the surveying efficiency and reduce the time that surveyors spend in searching monitor spots and data query, IA especially plans to construct a set of GIS system with GPS functions to effectively assist the surveyors on field survey.

Between Wu River and Jhuoshuei River is the jurisdictional district of IA, and the administrative area covers the twenty-six townships of ChangHua county and Nantou county, Nantou city as well as Mingjian township. The covering area is around 43 kilometers in length running north to south and around 30 kilometers in width running east to west. In canal aspect, around 7,000 irrigation canals with total length of 5,536,000 meters and around 6,000 drainage canals with total length of 2,985,000 meters are under the management of IA; Wu River, Jhuoshuei River and Maoluo River are the major water resources.

A survey system with GPS navigation, data management and powerful operation capability can be an important aid for a surveyor who does field survey in such a wide jurisdictional area. Moreover, in order to smooth the operation with the huge data, the file display and data query will take more excellent processing capability and more convenient GIS interface. And this will be another challenge for the system development.

The goal of Irrigation Mobile Survey System is to enable surveyors to query land parcel number, position drainage canal, and manage data on site by means of the mobile GIS query system in mobile devices. In addition, the system needs to equip with GPS functions so that the surveyors can understand the landscape of the neighborhood better while surveying.

Besides the functions described above, the improvement of processing performance is also the emphasized target of the system. So, the complex data, such as irrigation canal, land parcel number etc., can be organized well.

Irrigation Mobile Survey System is developed with SuperGIS Mobile Engine as the core component. With the various GIS components and highly flexible development architecture provided by SuperGIS Mobile Engine, developers can easily develop the mobile GIS applications with functions of query, position, measure, and other needed functions for field surveyors.

Moreover, since IA owns many sets of mobile devices for the surveyors, successfully installing the system to each device seems to be a crucial issue. The other advantage of using SuperGIS Mobile Engine to develop system refers that the developed Mobile GIS application can be deployed to numerous mobile devices supporting .NET CF, which effectively reduces the development cost. Furthermore, SuperGIS Mobile Engine is a set of SDK using .NET CF as the core; therefore, the developers can operate the development under any .NET CF supported environment. For example, the system of this project is developed under Visual Basic .NET environment, and the developed system will be able to perform under the environment of Windows Mobile 6.x, avoiding the occurrence of the software and hardware incompatibility.

The most difficult part of building up this system includes the huge data volume storage and complex processes. To cope with this problem, this system takes advantage of the feature of highly flexible development environment in SuperGIS Mobile Engine to customize various toolbar buttons, tables and other functions that satisfy users’ needs, effectively making the complex procedures simpler and easier.

Besides, through the GIS system architecture, the surveyors can effectively do the field survey through the related spatial features of data. Irrigation Mobile Survey System provides surveyors with user-friendly interface to do the following tasks:

1. Basic GIS manipulation, such as zooming in/out map, overlapping, and adding layers, etc.
2. Positioning query in districts, the query target includes intersection, main landmark, engineering code, canal and so on.
3. Query irrigation data, such as irrigation canal, canal engineering and so on.
4. Statistics analysis. Surveyors can measure and analyze the irrigation area, cadastral area, canal length, spatial analysis and etc.
5. Irrigation management. Calculating canal route position, management of water resource ownership, building management and patrol box management.
6. Engineering management. Users can query if any new engineering is increased, and record engineering information.
7. Finance management. Users can query the owner of neighbor land, maintain data, and print reporting or location map.
8. Camera function. As users turn on GPS in PDA, the system will automatically record the coordinates of the position of taking pictures. And the corresponding photo layer can be created by adding point features on the map. After the preparations are done, users can display the photograph on the window via hyperlink.

A set of productive mobile GIS system can convert the file data of huge volume and the complex spatial properties to scaled and well-organized data. In addition, the feature of integrating data via GIS system can reduce the time spent in on-site field surveying as well as the manpower cost greatly.

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