Windham Culverts

Here’s a cool use for a $150 android tablet and open source software. I use Qgis and Grass for almost all of the gis work I do. The Qgis folks have made a version that will run on an android tablet or phone. Its called qfield and it is intended to be a field data collection strategy. Here’s how it works:

First, develop your application using Qgis and then prepare a package that can be loaded onto your android gadget. Then, the wildlife biologists, surveyor or, as I had in mind, the Windham Road Crew can use the application to enter data about what they are doing or seeing right there in the field. Later the data can be consolidated ( Qfield thought of that and that’s part of its ability) and made available for a data hungry public.

I went to and downloaded the data for Windham and then built my application around that. It is a map of Windham showing the roads, streams, and the culverts. The idea then is that the road crew have this application on an inexpensive tablet and whenever they do something on a culvert the data can be entered there on the spot.

I imagine that the road crew does keep that data, but making it available for all is a good idea.

Here’s what it looks like on my inexpensive Samsung android tablet. The updated date in entered from a pop-up calendar and pick lists can be created for things like size, length, material and so on. Then, back at the garage the data can be synchronized with other data.

Why is this a good idea? Answer, first of all, Windham folks pay lot for maintaining our roads and they have a right to know what is and is not being done. Second, it will be an up to date documentation of what culverts have recently been upsized or altered in some way that may be important whenever we are applying for money following our next FEMA event. I understand that there is a system in place to keep culvert data updated, but the data on the Vtculverts does not appear to be updated recently.