This photo was taken at the start of a 60Km straight on a powerline survey in Mozambique 1979. I was in a team with Steve Lowsley and Don MacFarlane then.
In total we did 700 Kms of profiling using only a tache staff and Wild T16. All the data was reduced and plotted by hand. The Job took 8 months. Wonder how long it would take now with GPS.
In 2011 I revisted the area near Quelimane and see that the bridge over the Zambesi has recently been completed and the Powerline has been built
The end of detail strip survey from Mandimba to Lichinga in Mozambique in April/May 2011. 154kms of GPS work with 3 local Mozambique Surveyors.
We did the control roughly every 1Km and strip survey about 30m wide Including re-alignment through certain areas to improve the road geometry, but mostly along the existing dirt and tar road. This area is along the western border of Mozambique and Malawi. Took 5 solid days of driving from Durban to get there.
LOGGER ENGINEERING SURVEY SOFTWARE
Some History Behind the Product.
LOGGER originally started off way back when the first batch of Psion Organisers came onto the market. Cannot even remember when that was. Must have been in the early 1980ís. I started off with a simple tache data collection routine and some basic calculations like joins, polars etc and simple placing routines. The program was pretty widely used and I still have users running with it to this day. Bears testament to how well the old Psions were made.
In the meantime another set of software called QESS was developed to cater for the engineering needs of the surveyors at large. QESS was an extremely powerful tool for engineering work and is still in use by a few surveyors.
In about 1997 the Psion Organisers began to be replaced by the Psion WorkAbout. Initially the WorkAbout came out with 256K on board RAM. This was increased to 512K and now the standard is the MX with 2 Mbyte on board RAM. I started to try and convert the old QESS program across to the WorkAbout and that did not work. I wasted a lot of time on that exercise, believing that nothing should change as everyone swore by QESS. That was until one night in Middleberg. I was having supper with a good friend and experienced QESS user. I asked him all about QESS and exactly what it could and could not do. Driving home the next day I decided to take my basic LOGGER routine and rewrite LOGGER for engineering applications. I wanted to try and get rid of all the restrictions and limitations imposed by QESS and the old Psions, and have a new look at the way things could be done. The Psion WorkAbout also had a lot to offer and that's how the present day LOGGER came into being. I have had a lot of feedback and support from users and this helps the product to grow. I am continually working at it.
The client database is growing steadily as well. I have users throughout South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, England, Mali, New Zealand, Tanzania,Mozambique,Zambia and Kenya at this stage. LOGGER has established itself well and meets the needs of the critical users presently working with the package. I have also tried to get the interface into Model Maker Systems software to be as simple and easy as possible. Data from Model Maker's DTM can be read in directly, as well as coordinate files. Road designs from Road Maker can also be uploaded and this saves a lot of time and possible errors.
The DES file from Civil Designer can also be read, which contains most of the road input requirements at this stage. Pipe networks designed in Pipe Maker can also be read into LOGGER as well.
In January 2012 I teamed up with Jonathan Braude from Class Technology to help speed up the development on the WorkAbout Pro. Jonathan is a qualified Land Surveyor, but specialises in IT. He is a keen programmer and very knowledgeable on the IT side of things. Nadine Gengen started the conversion sometime ago but left in 2009. Since then little was done. We have now progressed well on the new version. Basic interface to the instruments and GPS has been done. Not all the instruments have been connected as yet. We have decided to go for a robust Database and use SQL. Tests have been done with the GPS and the data capture is working. At present we are fine tuning the actual flow of the program, before we release it. It will undergo extensive testing before it finally gets released. At present the old Psion WorkAbouts are still very much in use.
As we all know things change very fast in this industry. Up until the end of 2017 Jonathan and I were developing on VS2008, as most devices used windows CE6. AT the start of 2018 we discovered that all support for CE6 comes to an end in June 2018
As of December 2019 there are 828 registered copies in use.