ESS implement customised databases and provide advice for the management of cultural and environmental information.
ESS utilise various aspects of the internet, database technology and GIS/mapping software to deliver innovative and effective data collection, storage and reporting solutions.

Recent highlights

Recording and representing everything in context
ESS have enhanced their comprehensive database systems to allow users to record and represent everything in context. Unlike traditional GIS, where you are limited to representing where something is by using a top-down map view, our database management systems allow you to define things within the context you choose (e.g. both spatial location and in-situ position). Some examples of current use include:
  • archaeologists recording and representing the individual components of a site (e.g. individual motifs, artefacts, shell middens) using their own site plans or panorama photos;
  • waterway managers can now record GPS coordinates for their in-stream works (to represent on a map), but also identify the components of the works within site photos;
Mirarr Gunwarddebim (the Mirarr Rock Art Project) - mobile data collection project
As part of the "Mirarr Gunwarddebim (the Mirarr Rock Art Project), ESS has been helping experts from ANU Rock Art Research Centre and the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation to record locations and descriptive characteristics of rock art sites in Mirarr country. The project will:
  • result in a world-class rock art recording program on Mirarr land, combining the expertise of local traditional owners with rock art and archaeology specialists;
  • produce a detailed and comprehensive catalogue of sites to assist with relevant heritage management and conservation programs;
  • involve training and establish mentoring programs in areas such as rock art recording, cultural heritage surveying, rock art conservation and management, and digital tools for heritage management;
  • provide the basis for research on the recorded sites to better understand human occupation of Mirarr country since "the earliest times"
iPhones, iPads and Android devices for collecting data from the field
ESS is now implementing data collection tools and methodologies based on some of the latest tablet and smartphone technology. With our assistance, rangers and other field workers are now using iPads, iPhones, Android tablets and Smartphones to record details of cultural sites, environmental monitoring locations, flora and fauna observations and conservation and management activities whilst in the field. Once captured these data can be sent to a centralised database (via a 3G connection or wireless network when back in the office) and stored away for future use. The large screens of these devices allows easy typing of names and descriptions, collection of photographs and the recording of GPS locations. Moving maps can be used for easy navigation throughout the landscape. These developments offer a number of advantages over many other data collection tools currently being used and are expected to have a significant impact on cultural and environmental data collection strategies used in future.
Data collection applications using Cybertracker for Ranger groups
ESS has invested a significant amount of time investigating the functions and practicalities of Cybertracker - field based data collection software. ESS is customising numerous Cybertracker applications to help indigenous groups streamline their data collection practices. Indigenous groups can now use these devices to collect data in the field then automatically transfer that data to their own centralised database. This allows information collected in the field to be shared easily and appropriately with community menbers, researchers and external stakeholders.