NEEDED | Advice from experienced developers

Discussion created by WildSkills on Dec 6, 2015
Latest reply on Dec 7, 2015 by jml

Dear all,


first of all a big hearty hello to everyone on this forum. This is my first post, and my knowledge and especially experience with Filemaker is close to nothing. That's why I'm here!


My name is Boris, I'm based in The Netherlands, and I train (as part of a foundation) wildlife rangers and scouts in protected areas, in developing countries. The bulk of our training and advice revolves around forensics, patrolling and spatial crime analysis, always from the viewpoint of the men and women on the ground, patrolling every day in order to protect the endangered wildlife and ecosystems.


Our current project takes place in the Kasigau Corridor in Kenya, a very important stretch of land connecting the two Tsavo's (east and west), forming together the Tsavo ecosystem. Think rhino and elephant, which are particularly heavily poached by criminal gangs.


We introduced spatial crime analysis as a tool to understand the factors affecting poaching in this area. The quality and quantity of the data that is collected by the patrols is key to understanding how all the individual "strands" are interwoven. For analysis we use open-source software (QGis), which has its limitations in comparison to high end GIS tools, but is available for free. IMG_9441.jpg

So here's the problem: currently the data collection by the patrols is a time consuming, work intensive process that requires the use of both digital and analog means. Because of the amount of work to be done to even record one single bit of information, the patrols are doing less patrolling and recording less information; they filter what is important and what is not and what will justify the time that it takes to record it . Also this system puts a big strain on the analysts, who do more collecting and revising, and less analysis. This needs to improve.

Our goal is to community-develop a tool (or set of tools) that will enable the collection of data quickly and effectively, allowing the patrol to focus on their surroundings whilst collecting more and better data. We would like to do this together with experienced Filemaker developers who are willing to donate a little of their time and experience to help us develop this tool. Ideally we would like to work together with an experienced developer who would like to act as a project manager, cutting the requirements into micro tasks that can be tackled by anyone willing to contribute, even if it is just 30 minutes for a small task.


We are aware (and have worked with) some of the tools which are already around. One we have used is the Cybertracker tool (CyberTracker GPS Field Data Collection System - Free Download).


We have a clear understanding of the data that needs collecting, and also of the output that is required for the analysts. We also understand the situation on the ground, and will be assisting with any questions that arise.


Our biggest technical question (and a go-no go criteria) is this: is it possible to have a tracking function within the tool, that will allow tracking of the devices location every 30 seconds after start of the patrol? Concurrently, is it possible to isolate parts of this track by labeling them? (i.e. when the team is tracking a poacher, the route they walk is effectively a poacher route into/out of the park, therefore it needs to be isolated). Is it possible to record photo and video within the tool?


And finally: can you help us? Any advice will be very much appreciated! If we can do this and once completed and evaluated, we will distribute the tool(s) for free. We will never own or commercialise your content or contribution. But with your permission, we would like to share your knowledge with people that do an important job and would never have access to this expertise.


Thank you very much. Kindest regards, respectfully,

Boris Vos


P.S. feel free to email me directly at boris.vos@protrek.nl, or Dominique Noome, our spatial crime analyst trainer at dominique.noome@protrek.nl. You can also add me or Dominique through LinkedIn.