Since 2001 we have been developing digital field data capture (DFDC) systems running on Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) and ruggedised Tablet PCs with built-in GPS. The Tablet PC system is now used in our mapping projects in the UK and overseas.
The most recent international meeting on geological DFDC was held as a session entitled 'Data capture and acquisition' at the International Geological Congress in Oslo, Norway, 8th August 2008. A session report has been written by the convenor, Colm Jordan (BGS).
A DFDC session was also held at the International Association of Mathematical Geology 'GIS and Spatial Analysis' conference at Toronto, Canada in 2005 (http://www.iamg.org/) however the proceedings are not available online.
BGS field trials proved that developments in hardware and software of hand held devices had made it possible to efficiently collect digital data in the field. To compliment our field trials we invited the major geological surveys of the world to discuss digital field data capture at a workshop in Nottingham. The objective of the workshop was to share experiences and help one another to learn how to harness and develop this new area of technology. Participants were from Canada, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK.