NRCS Texas Adopts GTS Technology for Photographing, Documenting and Mapping Natural Resources in the Field

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In an effort to more effectively collect, document and share geo-referenced information in the field, NRCS recently acquired several Laser Range Finders and advanced GPS-enabled field cameras from Geo Tactical Solutions, Inc. (GTS).

GPS Cameras - Laser Range Finder
These tools give NRCS field scientists and engineers the ability to capture rich photos that answer the critical Who, What, When, Where and Why questions.

The Texas Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a federal agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that works hand-in-hand with the people of Texas to improve and protect their soil, water, wetlands and other important natural resources. For decades, private landowners have voluntarily worked with NRCS specialists to prevent soil erosion, improve water quality and promote sustainable agriculture.

In an effort to more effectively collect, document and share geo-referenced information in the field, NRCS recently acquired several Laser Range Finders and G700SE-M GPS-enabled field cameras from Geo Tactical Solutions, Inc. (GTS). Originally intended for Disaster Response and Damage Assessment applications, NRCS has recognized the potential of GTS’s advanced GPS camera systems to bring value to a much wider range of applications such as natural resources surveying, biological surveying and investigations, support for soil and watershed assessments, and farm investigations to name a few.

The Laser Range Finders are used in the field for collecting distance and elevation data, while the G700SE-M GPS cameras are used to geo-tag photographs along with compass heading and detailed attribute data for each photograph using the camera’s ‘memo’ feature. “Combined, these tools give NRCS field scientists and engineers the ability to capture rich photos that answer the critical Who, What, When, Where and Why questions,” explained Todd Lushinsky, Business Development Manager at Geo Tactical Solutions. “By acquiring this data, each image collected is transformed from being just a photo into a powerful information source,” Mr. Lushinsky continued.

The unique ability to easily map photographs collected with the G700SE-M GPS camera was also an important factor for NRCS. The Agency uses an enterprise-level Geographic Information System (GIS) for storing, mapping and sharing geo-referenced information. Having the ability to enhance their geo-database and digital maps with hyperlinked photographs allows users within the Agency to pull up images associated with certain geographic features of interest. Attribute information attached to each photograph such as operator’s name, date of photo capture, time of photo capture, environmental conditions, project ID, etc. may also be stored in the geo-database and made available for viewing by any user with appropriate database access.

This technology is still in its infancy at NRCS Texas. However, the obvious benefits of acquiring more complete and accurate information in the field and integrating photographic data with their enterprise GIS should continue to spark interest throughout the Agency and lead to more beneficial uses.

About Geo Tactical Solutions
Geo Tactical Solutions is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) that provides advanced GPS cameras, GPS modules, and photo mapping software to military, federal and commercial customers worldwide. Learn more at: http://www.geotacticalsolutions.com/

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Brandon Warner
Geo Tactical Solutions
951-445-2055
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