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• Smartphone and Tablet Apps for Accessing Information About a Field Site
• Smartphone and Tablet Apps for Capturing Aspects of a Field Site
• Desktop software
• Web-based tools
While the pace of change makes listing technological tools a challenging and always incomplete task, we've found some tools especially useful. Descriptions, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the linked web page. Some tools have multiple competitors, and new tools emerge all the time. We expect that there are already superior tools to some of those we list here; that new and better tools will emerge; and we welcome your suggestions.
Last Updated: January, 2020
Flyover Country mobile app for geoscience - "Learn about the world along the path of your flight, hike, or road trip with GPS tracking. Offline geologic maps and interactive points of interest reveal the locations of fossils and georeferenced Wikipedia articles visible from your airplane window seat, vehicle, or hiking trail vista." Free.
ROCKD "Learn, explore, and document your geologic world. Curious what you're standing on? The Dashboard distills key facts about your location into a single, easy-to-read interface. Record your observations. Rockd allows you to easily record your geological observations and uses your location to provide spatially informed suggestions for nearby geologic units, time intervals, and fossils." Free.
Your favorite GPS app. There are many GPS apps available with different feature sets. Some are free.
Your favorite field guides. There are many field guide apps available for rocks, fossils, flora, and fauna. Some are free.
Scientists working in the field in California's Kettleman Hills. What do you see that tells you about the present environment of these hills, and offers clues to their past? Note that this image is an interactive Street View panorama. Use your mouse and the controls in the upper right corner of the image to view fullscreen, and to pan and zoom.
Google Street View An interactive Google Street View Panorama, captured on an iPhone, is shown above. Free.
Trnio "We are a mobile software company that converts your photos into 3D models. We let you create, share and discover 3-D maps in minutes." Currently this is only available for iPhone and iPad. Free.
Google Cardboard "Experience virtual reality in a simple, fun, and affordable way." This VR headset for smartphones works with both Street View and TRNIO. Free through Google workshops or promotions. Available from multiple outlets at low cost
Skitch "Get your point across with fewer words using annotation, shapes and sketches, so that your ideas become reality faster." Skitch was bought be Evernote and was not available as a standalone app for some time after the merger. Skitch is back! Free.
iNaturalist "iNaturalist is an online social network of people sharing biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature." Free.
A clinometer/level app. There are several apps for helping to measure the strike and dip of rocks. One is included in ROCKD (described in the previous section).
Your phone or tablet's compass. It's good to know what direction you are looking or moving.
Your phone or tablet's camera/photo app. Using your device's camera for at least some of your photos is a good idea as it embeds location data in the photo. This feature can be turned off if desired.
Other specialty photo/camera apps. There are many apps that help with photo management, uploading, and processing, as well as those that allow for greater control of your camera's features.
The hardware listed here also has associated software.