My student team has been tasked with creating a software tool to help a fish biologist import the hand-drawn location markers on his paper maps to a digitized format, simply an output file with the lat/long and some basic ID data on the point. As a bonus, we had discussed outputting the mapped points to Google Earth for viewing.

After researching a little about the Google Earth Engine, I am curious if anyone can suggest whether or not it may offer an interesting solution to our problem. The biologist came up with the idea of using an optical mouse pen device to trace the points on the paper map from reference points (like the map corners). We would find a way to take a little bit of data about his map, trace points with the mouse somehow, and output the point data to a file or mapping software. He envisions a solution he can use on a laptop on a folding table in the field.

We would likely be creating a desktop app, and have pretty much unlimited freedom for selecting the software we incorporate. Does anyone with experience using the API know if it offers features which could help us capture points from a paper map (possibly digital photo upload) or a physical input device as originally specified?

We have a few months to research possible solutions and practice with them before we begin the actual project coding.

  • Is this a "geo-data-collection" software feature? In my experience we had try to figure it with this solution: meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2014/EGU2014-7313.pdf – gianfranco di pietro Apr 27 at 6:20
  • From what I can see from them Beebook app, is that it is a super-version of what we are setting out to create. Our simple objective is to locate the coordinates of hand drawn points on a paper map. We don't have a means to digitize the map in the field, and the projects are sometimes in the jungle where GPS signal isn't reliable for tracking points. They are recording locations on topo and other maps, and want to be able to quickly store those points in a file for future reference once the maps are brought back each day. Once we accomplish this, if we have time we will experiment with visuals. – stares_at_flames Apr 27 at 8:25
  • Another reason the points are hand drawn is that the maps are often inaccurate. He tracks rivers and says the location of the river is often wrong on the map. So being able to show the correct location of a river would be helpful, too, but a bonus for this project. – stares_at_flames Apr 27 at 8:29

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