Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rugged and Non-Rugged Field Units

Due to the nature of fieldwork, Mobile GIS hardware is often subject to harsh treatment from the elements and accidental knocks by users. For this reason ruggedized mobile devices are becoming an increasingly popular choice amongst Mobile GIS users.

There are a variety of mobile devices that come in a rugged format, which are classified with an International Protection code for enclosures (IP Rating). An explanation of the IP Rating classification system can be found at the Wikipedia webpage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code

Examples of rugged units include:
- Rugged Field PDA Units: TDS Nomad Series
- Rugged UMPC/Tablet Units: Getac E100, Xplore series
- Rugged Laptop Units: Panasonic Toughbook
- Rugged Digital Cameras: RICOH Caplio 500SE

An additional option available to users is to purchase a non-rugged unit and then a separate enclosure/case that will ruggedize your device for fieldwork. Cases produced by manufacturers such as Otterbox can transform standard mobile devices to droppable, dustproof, waterproof units at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a fully ruggedized unit.

Please contact RIA Mobile GIS for further information on the purchase and optimisation of your Mobile GIS System.