From the list of Downloaded Surveys, you can select a survey and choose the Start Survey option.
- For completely new surveys, we suggest that you turn on turn on the Location featurewhich will automatically centre the map at your current location. Then you can turn it off again to start your survey, or keep it on to help plot the trees and items.
- Another option is to create some Site Boundaries on the website when you create the Site/Survey. Then when you start the survey on the mobile, we can zoom in to the site.
- When doing a re-survey, you are presented with a map of the site showing the items from the previous survey.
When you have a break, and then restart a survey; we remember the last item that you surveyed and zoom the map to that location.
Using you own maps and plans
On the OTISS website, you can upload maps and plans and assign them to the survey sites. The mobile survey app lets you view and zoom around these maps – downloading the appropriate map tiles from the OTISS server as they are needed. These map tiles are automatically stored ‘offline’ on your phone/tablet – thus increasing performance and reducing 4G/5G data usage.
For areas of poor 4G/5G mobile signal, you can pre-load the maps before you leave your home/office. Select a survey and use the Download Maps feature to download sections of the maps onto your phone/tablet.
Coloured Icons – Tree Survey and Furniture/Asset Survey
- The survey items appear on the map as coloured icons with their reference number. The icon size and label position are configured in the Settings.
- Amber coloured icons, lines and polygons represent trees/items that have been previously surveyed, but have not yet been inspected as part of this survey.
- Green coloured icons, lines and polygons represent items that have already been surveyed as part of this survey.
- Red coloured icons only appear when the survey is in the Work stage. These icons represent trees/items that require some work to be carried out in line with the recommendations made during the survey. When the work has been marked as complete, then the icon turns green.
- If you downloaded both a Tree Safety survey and a Furniture survey for the same site, then both sets of icons will be displayed on the map at the same time.
- Icons are coloured blue when being moved or when re-shaping a line/polygon.
There are options on the Settings page to change the icon size, text placement, etc.
Coloured Icons – BS5837 Survey
- The survey items appear on the map as coloured circles and polygons with their reference number. The icon size and label position are configured in the Settings.
- The icon colours corresponds to the BS5837 Retention Category as follows: A(Green), B(Blue), C(Grey), U(Red) and Not Yet Recorded(Black)
- Icons are coloured blue when being moved or when re-shaping a polygon.
There are options on the Settings page to change the icon size, text placement, etc.
The Tool Menu/Bar provides a set of tools to allow you to navigate around the map; and to add and survey items. The blue coloured icon at the top of the screen shows the currently selected tool. Pressing on this blue icon shows the menu of tools available, just touch the one you want and it appears at the top of the screen. One of the options is to swap to use the Tool Bar.
The Tool Bar shows all the same tools as a second line of icons at the top of the screen. They are always visible and the currently selected tool is coloured blue. The Tool Bar should make it easier to swap between tools when adding, moving and re-shaping. The X icon on the right closes the Tool Bar and reverts to the Tool Menu.
The Tool Menu and Bar have the same tools and you can change between them to suit your screen size. Typically the Tool Menu is better on smaller screens, whereas the Tool Bar is easier on larger screens. There is also a Settings option to select the size of the tool icons.
Tools – Pan/Zoom Map
Pan and zoom around the map using touch controls and buttons. In fact you can pan and zoom around the map in any of these Tool modes, but when in the Pan/Zoom mode, touching an item does not show the inspection form or move it’s position – making it easier to scroll around the map when there are lots of items.
Tools – Add
When the Add tools are selected, new items can be added to the survey as follows.
Single trees and items are added by selecting the Add Tree/Item tool and simply touching the screen at the required location. If you have turned on the Location feature, then simply tap on the red cross-hairs (+) to position the tree at your current position. The survey form then appears for you to fill in the details. After completing the survey form, the icon can immediately be re-positioned if required – just click and drag it.
Tree Groups or lines/polygons are added by selecting the Add Group/Line/Polygon tool and then touching the screen at the edges of the required shape, finish with a quick ‘double tap’ on the last position – the survey form then appears for you to fill in the details. After completing the survey form, the icon can be re-shaped immediately – just touch and drag the lines as required. We have found that a stylus is better than your fingers when drawing shapes. At any time you can touch the Tool icon again to clear the partially draw shape and start again.
The items can be re-positioned and re-shaped later using the Move and Re-Shape tools described below.
Tools – Replicate last item
When the Replicate tool is selected, click on an existing icon/polygon, then click at the required location on the map to create a duplicate – e.g. copy-and-paste. All the fields in the new item are pre-populated with the values from the previous item, and the reference/tag field is automatically filled in with the next tag number. This makes it easy to create a row of similar items.
Tools – Edit/View
When the Edit tool is selected, items can be surveyed (or resurveyed) by tapping on the icon. This brings up the survey form where you can change the survey data. Changing the tree’s TreeStructure field will change the map representation, then you can use the Move tool or the Re-shape tool to draw the shapes you require.
Tools – Moving items
When the Move tool is selected, items can be dragged to new positions. In this mode, all the items are coloured blue to show that they can be moved. Simply touch and drag the item to its new position.
Tools – Re-shape items
The Re-shape tool is used to re-shape the polygons that represent groups of trees and hedges. When the Re-shape tool is selected, you click on a polygon or line, and blue circles appear at each vertex.
You can then touch and drag each vertex or ANY point on the blue line, to a new position. Tapping a blue circle shows a Remove Vertex button (for a few seconds) – tap the button to remove the vertex. We have found that a stylus is better than your fingers when drawing shapes.
Tools – Re-shape RPA
BS5837 Premium users only: First edit the tree/group and enable ‘Modify RPA on map’ option. This will create a polygon shape around the BSI calculated RPA circle or create a polygon around the group of trees. Then you can re-shape the polygon representing the RPA (similar to re-shaping groups). There is also a ‘Show/Hide RPA’ option on the Settings page that can be useful.
Tools – Photos
This will first save an changes you have made and then take you to the Photos page so that you can look at all the existing photos for this tree/item and take new ones.
Tools – Measure
Premium users only: Click on the map to plot (up to 3) measurement markers. These markers can be moved around to measure distances. If you tap on a marker you can enter a distance in metres, then a circle appears around the marker to help judge distances and positions. Setting markers at 2 known points and entering the measured distances will show the 2 circles and the point of intersection on the map.
Change to ‘Move’ or ‘Reshape’ tools to adjust the distance of trees/items from the markers. As you move it around, the tree/item will snap to the measurement circles or point of intersection.
Return to the ‘Measure’ tool and tap on a marker again to display some help and a Remove Marker button.
Survey Type Menu
This icon shows either a tree, bench or a site plan. You select which of the loaded survey layers you want to change. If you downloaded both a Tree Safety survey and a Furniture survey for the same site, then both sets of icons will be displayed on the map at the same time – so you need to select which one to work on.
- When the tree is selected, then all the tools will operate to add, edit, move the trees.
- When the bench is selected, then all the tools will operate to add, edit, move the furniture or path items (if loaded).
- When the site-plan is shown, then the tools operate on the Site Boundaries, allowing you to add and change the site boundaries as required.
The Layers menu is used to select the map base layer you wish to use and to show/hide the survey layers.
Select what map to use; your own Site Map, or the provided OpenStreetMap, UK Ordnance Survey or Google base maps. Premium users can also download and use a complete, offline OpenStreetMap of \’UK & Ireland\’.
If your site map is geo-referenced, then you have the option of viewing just your site map, or selecting a base map and ticking the checkbox to show your site overlaid on top. You can also use a slider to make your site map partially transparent so that you can see both the base map and your site map. This makes it easier to plot items accurately by viewing two maps at once. Note: some distortion can appear around the edges of your map if it has to be transformed to a different map projection.
The survey icons and site boundaries can be hidden to have a clearer view of the map.
Press the location icon (top right on the screen) to turn the track my location feature on/off. When the location feature is turned on, the device’s GPS (or an external Bluetooth GPS) are used to centre the map at the current location. A red cross indicates the reported GPS position, and a red circle gives a rough idea of the ‘accuracy’. As you walk around the site, the map will automatically follow you, making it easy to plot and inspect the nearby trees and items. On larger screens, the current grid reference is shown on the top bar.
When using the Add Tree/Item tool, touching the red cross will automatically plot the tree/item at the current GPS position (i.e. at the centre of the cross).
If you need to plot a tree ‘near’ to the red cross (but not at the GPS position), then (a) tap the Location icon to turn off the GPS feature, (b) plot the tree at the required location, and (c) tap the Location icon again to restart the GPS
Note: constantly using the GPS requires more power and will use up your battery quicker. Getting the best out of your GPS…
Redraw Map Icon
Occasionally, the map displays blank or pink squares when it cannot immediately find the correct map tiles to display – whether from ‘online’ maps or the downloaded ‘offline’ maps. This may only be a temporary issue, or may be because you have lost contact with the OTISS, OpenStreetMap, UK OS, or Google map servers. In any case, pressing the Redraw Map icon will redraw the map again, and hopefully fill in the missing map tiles.
The font size used on the forms and menus can be adjusted.
The icon size can be adjusted.
The label position can be adjusted.
The map co-ordinate system can be selected position can be adjusted, e.g. GB Ordnance survey, Irish ITM, or Longitude/Latitude.
Turn the Auto Offline Maps on and off. You can also delete the offline map tiles for all surveys.
- The Google RoadMap and Aerial views do seem have a time lag when you zoom in/out. The drawings seem to lag behind for a second, and then slide into place. This does not happen on OpenStreetMap or your uploaded PDFs/maps or any others we have tried – just the Google ones! This is something to do with the Google maps – over which we have no control.
- The OpenStreetMap, UK Ordnance Survey and the Google maps are all on the same spatial projection. So (apart from the time lag), positions and shares should appear exactly the same.
- When you upload an O.S. map or architects plan and overlay it onto top the base maps, you can get slight distortions at the edges – this is nothing to worry about -its normal when you overlay different map projections. However, all our tree position data is stored as very accurate Long/Lat positions – so can be presented in any spatial map.