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GeoExplore

GeoExplore is a tool for students of geology to carry out field work using teaching material downloaded into the app.
The app is also a tool for logging geological data in the field, based on ones own custom field trip.
GeoExplore was produced as part of the DeepTime Project in 2018.

How to get your Guided Field Trip live in GeoExplore

Data logging

The key application of  the GeoExplore app is logging of data by location – geological yes, but could it be used in other fields.
GeoExplore employs a database of the sites you investigate. At sites you may record data, using the devices cameras, or as audio, or text. GeoExplore includes a clinometer for measuring dip and strike of rock beds or other features. A sedimentary logging tool  to record the detail of a sequence of rocks in a graphical form. All recorded data can be shared with others.

Field trips and sites

The main menu of GeoExplore offers guided and custom field trips.

Guided includes instructions on what to visit and what to examine.
Custom is one you set up yourself.

Every field trip consists of a number of sites, each site having a unique identifier.

Guided field trips are provided with an introduction and map, along with a document (Task) for each site and any Data you enter for that site.

For Custom trips you create your own Sites, for which you can log data. These sites will not have the ‘Task’ component.

Using a Guided Field Trip

Download the guided field trip of your choice. Read the Introduction, then select the field trip sites either from the Map or the list of sites on the field trip – available under the main menu.

Touching one of the site markers on the map will open the ‘tasks’ ‘data’ selcector. You have the same options if you select a site from the list. Tasks will copen the document provided for the site. Data will open a dialogue  where you can see all the data so far collected for that site.

IMPORTANT
When you start taking photos, logging dip/strike, saving audio notes, etc., this information will be logged as part of the data for the field trip and site you currently have selected.

 

Select ‘data’ for a site and a dialogue like that shown below opens.

If a photo(s) for the site have been taken, a button which allows the photo(s) to be viewed shows.
If an audio recording(s) have been made a button is available to play them back.
Notes, can be viewed, edited,
Strike/dip readings can be reviwed, edited or others added for this site.
Rock type can be viewed, edited or assigned if not already done.
If a sedimentary log has been created for this site, an access button to it will be displayed.

Note, buttons to make audio recordings or take photos for the site are available here, in addition to access via the tools menu.

 

 

When you log a strike/dip reading for the current site, or assign a rock type to the site, that will make changes to the site marker on the map.

The marker for that site will display an arrow showing the direction of the dip and strike (right angle to the dip diretion).

In addition, the marker will take on the colour that is used for the rock type you have assigned to the site.

Can you add your own sites to a Guided Field Trip?
Yes you can. How to do it is explained here.

Custom field trip

Select ‘create custom field trip’ in the main menu.

The dialogue shown opposite it will open.

As instructed enter a name for your field trip along with a 2 letter code that will be used as the prefix for the site identifiers.

Once you select ‘create’ another dialogue will open asking you to create the first site on your field trip.

 

Note: GeoExplore is supplied with a small sample custom field trip called GeoExplore1, with 2 sites in NW Scotland, for you to experiment with.

 

Create a first site for your custom field trip.

As this is the first site for this Skye trip, GeoExplore assigns the site ID as SK1. You may add your own descriptive name.

The next requirment is to define the location of the site.
If you are in the field at the sites actual location, then go ahead and select ‘create’.

If you are not at the site but know the latitude and logitude then enter it, then ‘create’.

The third option is to go the main menu and select ‘Map’.
That will launch a screen like the one below.
Note, this is using an online map, so will require your device to have a reasonable internet connection.

 

 

Locate the position of your site on the map (you can toggle between map and satellite views). Zoom and scroll about the map in the usual way,

Once you have the site location, touch that location on the map, then touck the +Pin symbol (highlighted by pink arrow opposite). A pin will then drop onto the site location, as shown in the next screen.

You can make adjustments to a sites location later, via the data dialogue for the site.

The green and white target symbols are to centre the map – green on the current site, white on your current location.

 

 

The newly created site now appears on the map.

Touch the label on the site pin, or the orange ‘data‘ button, to open the data dialogue for this site.

 

 

If you access  ‘sites on field trip‘ in the main menu, you will see the new site is listed, along with a button to access the sites data dialogue.

You could now go ahead and create more sites, via ‘ceate new site‘ in the tools menu, or leave creating more sites until you are in the field.

TIPS FOR CREATING A CUSTOM FIELD TRIP

You will probably do some background research before going out into the field - extend that to your use of GeoExplore.
Create sites for places you woud like to visit, determining their latitude and longitude with Google Maps or directly on the apps map feature as described above.

Having created sites, why not use the audio or text entry for each site to create some memory jogs for key points for when your in the field. Use the camera to take photos of information from publications that relate to a site. Then when your in the field, those photos will be there ready to view in the data dialogue for each site.

Tools menu

Create new site

Select ‘create new site‘ from the tools menu.

The Wye Valley field trip currently has 12 sites, so this new one is assigned the ID WV13. In the Site Name box you can enter some name of your choice.

If you are at the actual place of this new site, then go ahead and touch ‘create‘. That’s it!

If you are not at the actual location, you could enter it’s location if you happen to know it, or use the option of going to the main menu and selecting ‘map‘ and proceed as described above.

 

 

 

 

Define a rock site

Select ‘define a rock type‘ from the tools menu

Assign a name (does not have to be a formal name, could be just say ‘red sandstone’).

Give a description if you wish. Later you can add representative photos of the rock.

The colour you assign will be used to colour site markers for the sites you assign this rock to.

 

 

Assign rock to site

The selection you make here will assign a rock to the current site.

Select ‘details‘ and the screen below opens, where you can edit the rock description and add a photograph(s) and an audio description of the rock to assist with identification in the field.

Measure dip & strike

This opens a clinometer – a tool for measuring the dip (incline) angle of rock beds or other features like a fault plane. The ‘help‘ button will open an illustrated document explaining dip and strike with guidance on using this tool in the field.

The padlock, if locked, will freeze the current strike angle.

The audio, if on, emits a high pitch tone which increases in volume with dip angle. The idea, to help with finding the dip in situations where it is difficult to read the display.

type‘ opens a dialogue to assign the type of feature that is being measured.

edit‘ allows the values to be edited/manually input from another instrument.

In the data dialogue for the site, touching the ‘i ‘ button for the Strike/Dip dip direction entry, will open a dialogue in which you can see all the data logged from clinometer measurement at that site. If you have taken multiple readings at the same site previous/next buttons will be present to step through the readings.

The red cross beside, for example ‘apparent dip’, simply indicates that you did not select that when you made the record. If you had a green tick would be displayed.

You can delete (the bin button) any reading you consider to be in error. The ‘assign‘ button applies the current reading as the one used to set the dip direction arrow of the site marker on the map (guided field trips only). That does not delete any other readings from the site log.

Take photo

Take photo opens the camera on your device.
Cancel or take a photo.

You will then be taken to a screen to confirm whether you wish the photo to be logged for the current site.

When you select the data for a site for which a photo has been logged, touch the view button to see that photo.

If the site has multiple photos logged, arrows will be displayed to navigate back and forth through the photos.

The location, date and time of the photo is displayed.

 

Photos can also be viewed in your devices photo gallery, including those you opted not to log.

Make note

Make note opens a dialogue where you can type text and/or make an audio note – very useful in poor weather out in the field.

As soon as you type a ‘log it’ button will appear.

For audio, touch the record button, which will go green and converts to a pause button, along with a visual display of the volume level of your recording. After pressing pause you have the options to play back, deleete it or use it. The ‘log it’ will log the audio and any text entry for the site.

For a site for which text or audio notes exist. the text will be displayed in a scrollsble field, with horizontal rules between individual notes, and the speaker button for playing back audio.

Next, previous buttons are provided for multiple audio notes and any text created alongsode a given audio note is displayed in synchronisation.

Grain size

Displays a standard reference chart for grain size, sorting and roundness in relation to sedimentary rocks. Guided field trips may include other charts specific to the topics covered, for example, for carbonate or volcanistic rocks.

Sedimentary log

A sedimentary (or graphic) log is is a visual representation of a sequence of rock beds, where each bed is recorded against a vertical scale of bed thickness. along with graphic symbols representing sedimentary structures, fossils, etc.

GeoExplore enables you to produce and assign such logs to any field trip site.

On opening, the sedimentary log tool will request you enter a name for a new log. If a log(s) already exist for the site, they will be listed for you to select and continue to develop or review.

The next step in setting up a new sedimentary log is to decide the most appropriate vertical scale.

If you are going to log beds only a few centimetres thick, the scale of 1:10 would be the most appropriate. That restricts you to 2m total thickness. To continue over a greater thickness at a fine scale, then split the data over a series of logs.

Touch ‘add bed‘ to enter the information about the first bed in the sequence you are logging.

If for some reason you want the base of the bed to be located part way up from zero you can drag the ‘add bed’ slider upwaerd. The entry point value will update accordingly.

Press ‘log it‘ from time to time to save your log as it develops.

The sequence of screen shots below, show options presented as each bed is added to the log.
Note that photos and audio/text notes can be assigned to each bed via the camera and mic buttons on the add bed slider.

If a carbonate lithology is selected, the grain size dialogue changes. In addition, the horizontal grain size scale for the log also changes to the carbonate terms. This will also occure when the add bed slider is over a carbonate bed.

 

NOTE:
If a bed thickness is revised or bed deleted, the beds above are shuffled up/down accordingly.

 

 

Glossary

The glossary provides explantions of terms in the areas of geomorphology, sedimentary features and structural geology. Guided field trips may provide custom glossaries.

Location

‘Open the location panel from the base of the tools menu.

The current latitude and longitude is available in degrees, minutes, seconds format or decimal format.

The corresponding Ordnance Survey grid reference is provided within the range of this British reference system.

A ‘what3words’ reference will be given where the GPS horizontal accuracy is better than 10m. In addition GeoExplore will need a netork connection to communicate with the what3words server.

The raw output values of the devices magnetometer is available (only once the magnetomter service has been activated by opening the climometer tool once). The Earth’s magnetic field is between 22 to 67 microtesla at the Earth’s surface.

Add a new site to a guided field trip

You are in the field, find some interesting feature and want to add a site for this location. On the example screen, the current location is shown by the blue dot with. white ring.

Open the tools menu and select create new site.

In the create new site dialogue this new site is automatically assigned a unique site ID. You have the option to add a custom site name. If you are actually at the site, then no need to bother with inputting latitude and longitude, just go ahead and press ‘create’.

A site marker will be created on the map. Touching it will display a ‘data‘ flag which gives access to the data dialogue for the site.

If you go to the main menu and select ‘sites on field trip’ you will find the new site has been added to the list, with a data entry option. There is no ‘tasks’ entry as that content for that is only created by the author of a guided field trip.