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Data Management System for E-Scouters

December 2020
Author: Paul Damron

As a GIS (Geographic Information System) and Data Developer, I have had a lot of opportunities to understand the complexity and variety of content. When it comes to digital mapping and e-Scouting, content can be understood as available data layers and resources. While some data and resources may be open to others on the web, it might not be good data. We strive to bring to our users the most accurate and sourced data available.

However, I would like to discuss why we felt a good waypoint management system would need to be developed.
In today’s world of on-demand and sharing of content, we knew that we needed to develop the most complete Data Management System that mapping can offer hunters. Let’s back up to when we launched our Hunt Planner Version 1. At the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo in 2020, we finally presented our Hunt Planner to the hunting and outdoor community. We have taken a bootstrap development approach, which allows us to focus on small development pieces and the users to give us meaningful feedback.

Version 1 of our Hunt Planner allowed users to create waypoints. These were important and a critical aspect of this system. As we continued to develop and enhance our Waypoint Management System, we felt that there were some necessary items that needed to be added. OnXmaps tackled this development and had done a pretty good job. You could say that they had developed a standard for the hunting and outdoor community. As a user of onXmaps myself, I felt there were some things that could be added to a waypoint management system that would enhance our members’ experience. Some key features that we see in many mapping data management systems as well as ours are:

  • Adding/deleting points
  • Editing existing points
  • Sharing points
  • Adding information about points
  • Custom icons
To the best of my knowledge, other mapping platforms were providing the above features and experiences. However, there were some key features that I knew needed to be developed to help other e-scouters be more efficient. The three other key features were:
  • Adding other data types
  • Importing/exporting points
  • Storing/organizing a collection of points
These three points were key to enhancing a waypoint management system. Our first version of the Hunt Planner offered everything but importing/ exporting of points and adding other data types. I felt that we had provided the most complete and enhanced waypoint management system in the hunting community. We were the first!

Far from a completed Data Management System when we launched, it got uscloser to our overall goal of providing a complete e-scouting platform. Since then, we have been working hard at enhancing our Data Management System, adding an import/export option and a line tool. Our import/export tool is one of-a-kind. It will handle a large import process. We have tested an import of more than 100 waypoints, and we were happy with the results. Our export tool can handle exporting any data you have created to a kml file.

Our line or path tool will allow a user to draw as many lines on the map and add them to our completed Data Management System. This feature will allow you to document and plan your traveling routes or hiking trails for an upcoming hunting trip.

Sorry to get so technical with this article, but we have been enhancing our Hunt Planner Version 2 with some awesome new features and improvements. We are excited to share this news. Look for more information about our tool and new YouTube tutorials and articles in the coming months. As always, take a look at our “Mapping Minute Videos” on the Huntin’ Fool YouTube channel.