The power of geographic information through a common language to describe the landscape of the Earth.
Source: Google Play description
Runs offline: no
Last update: Android 14/07/2015 – iOS 22/07/2015
Website of the developer: Esri
Field Notes is a small sampling of Esri web application “Living Atlas of the World“. Provides basic data about human geography, physics and environment based on a selected geographical point, allowing compare the results with another area of interest.
As you can see in the attached pictures, the app starts with a welcome screen from which you can obtain further information (symbol “i” located at the bottom left). The next screen, accessible by sliding your finger on the screen, allows to select the first point of interest. This selection can be done in three ways: based on the user’s geographic location, via mobile GPS; entering an address; or pointing directly on the map. In order to test this application, it has been pointed a location in New Orleans, in the US.
On the next screen, the fields on which you want to receive information (environment, physics and human geography) are selected, as well as units of measurement (metric or imperial). Then the data is presented based on the selected point. In this stage, is possible add another point to make a comparison (“Pick another place”). For this case, has been selected another coastal area, specifically Bakio, on the coast of Bizkaia (Spain).
The data provided include aspects related to temperature, altitude, distance to forested areas, coastal or freshwater bodies, soil quality for agricultural use, population density, etc. Clicking on each question, a graph of the percentage of the world population living in an area with similar features is shown. You can also click over the “Summary” tab to read an explanation of the data and its source.
Images: Screenshots 07/08/2015. Copyright © 1995–2015 Esri
The last July 31th, Time magazine published an article that, under the bombastic title “This App Shows How Climate Change Is Affecting the World Around You”, echoed this utility created by ESRI. After testing it, the conclusion is that this app, although it does not solve any problems or discover new aspects that can not be obtained through internet or scientific publications, provides interesting information for a basic/medium user. It is noted the special emphasis on the use of a non-technical and easily understood language, one of the main demands that many experts request in order to bring science to the public.Although the data are not detailed and, in fact, there are areas of the world for which no information is available, the application allows an overview of an particular area of planet. The graphics about the percentage of population living in similar areas and the conclusions that can be obtained are especially interesting. For example, in the chart that appears on the suitability of the soil for crops, it is worrying that over 40% of the world population lives in areas where the soil is poor for most agricultural uses. This data can mean a serious problem related to the equal access to food in a near future, specially taking into account population projections estimated.