Seven students from the Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) program have developed  Water2Mobile, a mobile/tablet app designed to help the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources record groundwater samples in remote areas.

The Mobile Groundwater Monitoring Pilot Project is part of student's capstone project in their program and part of the collaborative program aimed at delivering practical software applications for government and private enterprise.

Water2Mobile allows staff to record and carry detailed information on water quality, which can be passed on to agricultural and mining industries on a mobile tablet.

DEWNR Chief Executive Allan Holmes says it’s a great result.

“Our department is responsible for reporting the state and condition of groundwater resources across South Australia and with so many sectors of the community, including mining and agriculture, relying on accurate groundwater information, it’s crucial we get it right,” he said. “We welcome any new technology which makes it easier for our on-the-ground staff to do that and it’s particularly exciting to play a role in developing new approaches.”

DEWNR ICT Program Manager Aaron Osterby says the app is useful even in mobile and internet black spot areas.

“Staff will be able to save details about wells they plan to visit, including historical data, to make it is easier to access the information from the field. They can add new observations directly to the mobile device under clear, simple headings,” he said. “This saves time and means they don’t have to carry large amounts of paperwork with them.

“The app also provides data validation to reduce entry errors, which is an important step to perform in the field to ensure any unusual readings are verified on site before heading back to the office – it could be six months or a year before a monitoring site is re-visited.” It works well in internet and network black-spot areas, automatically uploading details to a database once in range.

Carnegie Mellon University faculty Murli Viswanathan said the app would help eliminate human error in transferring data.

"The sort of primary purpose is to minimise the time spent on data collection and to automate this process, so they have the data captured on a mobile device and it can be instantly saved on their servers without having the need to manually intervene," he said.

Projects like these allow Carnegie Mellon students to develop valuable skills within industry and provide demonstrated experience to their future employers. For more information on projects please visit the individual program pages.

Faculty: Murli Viswanathan - Associate Teaching Professor of Management and Technology
Students: Abhishek Easwar, Jimmy Galindo Gambo, Cong Huu Hoang, Raza Ullah Khan, Romeo Nyalo Luke, Umair Bin Saeed, Srinivasan Vembuli

Sources: ABC News, Government of South Australia News Release, 1st May 2013

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