Rugged Tablet Brings Computing Solution to Florida Wetlands
Boasting more acres than any other contiguous state in the United States, Florida’s 11 million acres of wetlands make up around a quarter of the state’s overall territory. With his work often taking him through the Green Swamp or Everglades Headwaters, Steven Green, a project ecologist and wetland scientist for Mitigation Resources based in Clermont, FL, knows a thing or two about battling the elements. In this environment, extreme heat and humidity, rainstorms, dust, mud and wet conditions are a constant threat (not to mention the alligators).
Green and his team perform a range of environmental consulting services including monitoring vegetative characteristics and wildlife in mitigation banks, which are wetland areas that are preserved to offset adverse impacts to similar nearby ecosystems. While in the field, Green and his team used to rely on multiple navigational and note-taking tools such as waterproof notebooks to record observations and guide them through the environment when performing their studies.
This came with serious challenges. Losing the notebook, and subsequently all notes and data recorded on it, was always a serious concern. If the notebook did make it back to the office, the staff then had to spend hours transcribing notes of varying degrees of legibility into their Microsoft Access database.
The amount of time spent on these activities wasn’t their only problem. To determine his location and target destinations, Green previously had to print out maps and bring along a handheld GPS or GIS device. Finding these tools outdated and cumbersome, he searched for one device that could act as a multi-solution tool. Green and his team at Mitigation Resources turned to the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1.
Engineered to withstand the hard knocks, drops and spills of virtually any environment, the Toughpad FZ-G1 proved to be a formidable opponent for the Florida swamplands. From intense heat and sunlight to pouring rain, Green has been able to take his rugged computing device wherever he goes without worry that the device can’t handle the conditions. And to work out in the field for long stretches, he needed a rugged tablet that provided a long battery life that could keep up with his job. The Toughpad FZ-G1 provides him with up to 20 hours of continuous use with the optional long life battery.
Another appealing factor in favor of the switch to the Toughpad FZ-G1 for Mitigation Resources was the ability to seamlessly and securely integrate field data to their online data platforms. There’s no shortage of data in Green’s line of work – while he has years of broad experience in ecological restoration and land management, his primary area of specialization is in vascular plant identification. Over the course of a year, he generates over 10,000 unique records used to quantify vegetative characteristics. Since converting from paper to a rugged tablet, he can now bring the technology that makes this categorizing process easier – allowing information obtained in the field to go directly into an online database.
“I couldn’t find anything rugged enough for what we put the device through until I came across the Toughpad FZ-G1,” said Green. “It had all the qualities we were looking for in a field tablet with a rugged, waterproof design and Microsoft Windows platform, which has made us more effective and efficient in monitoring the progress of our wetland restoration efforts and gathering data to help steer our projects towards successful outcomes.”
To learn more about the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1, visit http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughpad/us/windows-tablet-fz-g1.asp.