Digital data in the wild

Birds are one of the most diverse groups of animals in the world. They occur in almost every habitat, are highly dynamic, and are a strong indicator of environmental health. Regardless of your jurisdiction, birds are often a concern for project impacts and mitigation. When it comes to birds, a common method for study is a point count.

A point count survey is undertaken by standing in one location and counting all the birds seen and heard within a specified radius of the observer for a specified amount of time. Point count surveys are commonly used for songbirds, but they can also be used for waterfowl, raptors, woodpeckers, and species-specific surveys such as sharp-tailed grouse or common nighthawk.

The benefits of point counts? They’re repeatable, can work in a variety of habitat types, and can be undertaken at different scales.

onLOOKer is Stantec’s digital data-collection app that simplifies and streamlines the entire point count process. Before heading into the field, users input project attributes, create maps with project spatial files and background satellite imagery, and pre-load regional species lists for the project area. Once in the field, users acquire their location using a built-in GPS, determine the radius and duration of the survey, and use a built-in timer to complete the survey. The entire survey is completed on a tablet device—and many data fields are automated for efficiency and quality control.

Beyond capturing location, species, number, and behavior, onLOOKer also supports direct image and audio capture from the mobile device. These data files are automatically named and linked to the site identifier.

When connected to the internet, the information is synchronized to a Stantec secure cloud-based server. This means that data collected with onLOOKer can be captured, verified, and transferred to you within hours.

With this app, our teams are better able to deliver timely, high-precision data for your project and regulatory needs. A reduced timeframe and a cloud-based archive of historical data gets the information to you more efficiently, and the database’s consistency lets us output our studies into multiple formats for your needs.

Got birds? onLOOKer can help with your next development. 

The digital solution

onLOOKer replaces the need to use pencil and paper, a handheld GPS, a compact camera, a recording device (for audio), and a compass. onLOOKer also replaces the need to manually transcribe data from paper forms into a geographic information system (GIS) back at the office. The manual process is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and imprecise. With onLOOKer, all we need is a tablet.

Automated geolocation

Some of the greatest challenges of field surveys come with the accuracy of information. Data entry is time consuming and has a high risk of transcription errors. The onLOOKer app uses the tablet’s built-in GPS to gather accurate, precise data, then it uploads that information directly to the cloud-based database. Mandatory field requirements and pre-defined field categories (from drop-down boxes) are just two of the ways that onLOOKer improves data collection and accuracy.

Real-time review and accuracy

onLOOKer uses an intuitive touch-based interface to help surveyors place the location of observed birds with details including behavior, flight height and direction (for migration surveys), and abundance. onLOOKer automatically calculates the distance between a bird observation and the observer, and updates if that observation is edited.

Same-day access

No more waiting for weeks to get survey results. Our field team can complete a survey and submit their findings to the office immediately. Using a variety of dashboards and reporting options, we can get the information you need on the same day that we recorded it.
Expert Spotlight

Michael Preston, Senior Principal, Technical Discipline Leader, Ecology (Canada)

My values are tied to quality, honesty, and transparency. One cannot function without the other. All work together to function as one.
Michael Preston Senior Principal, Technical Discipline Leader, Ecology (Canada) Read More

Krishna Pally, Digital Technology Development Leader

I relish exploring modern technologies, from digital twins and artificial intelligence to cloud technologies and mobile platforms.
Krishna Pally Digital Technology Development Leader Read More

Michael Preston

Senior Principal, Technical Discipline Leader, Ecology (Canada)

Krishna Pally

Digital Technology Development Leader

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