Mobile Information Collection Application (MICA) Implementation Plan

Project ID: 7876
Principal Investigator: Jessica Torrey
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2015
Keywords: tablet computing, infrastructure inspection, emergency management

Research Question

In an FY14 scoping study, we asked the questions:
-Can we bring tablet computers into our field and lab work?
-Can we work with software developers to create Reclamation-specific applications for increased efficiency and functionality?

The answers to both questions proved to be yes! A tool developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers Information Technology Laboratory (USACE-ITL)proved to be ideal for field data collection across a variety of Reclamation departments, as well as tailorable to specific tasks. The research questions for FY15 will be:

-How can we most effectively implement this tool across Reclamation?
-Once data is collected with this tool, how will we export it for analysis, reporting, and long-term storage?
-What will be the best way to fund and disseminate this app going forward?

Need and Benefit

The portability and connectivity advantages of a tablet makes it much more suited for the kinds of lab and field work that will be the primary uses of this device than a laptop. Tablets are small enough and light enough to carry like a paper notebook and have the functionality to also replace a camera, calculator, and laptop. Coupled with cellular connectivity and the functionality and flexibility of MICA, tablets can provide a low-cost, single-platform option for a variety of tasks throughout Reclamation. Through a webinar given by USACE-ITL and demonstration of MICA, many offices within Reclamation have expressed interest in adopting the system in some form or another including: Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory, Dam Safety, Asset Management, Emergency Management and GIS Group, Engineering Geology Group, and the Instrumentation and Inspections Group.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Mobile Information Collection Application (MICA) Implementation Plan (final, PDF, 706KB)
By Jessica Torrey
Publication completed on September 30, 2016

This research investigated solutions to find or develop tablet applications (app) which collect and store data, notes, and photos associated with a Global Positioning System (GPS) location. The Mobile Information Collection Application (MICA) developed by the Information Technology Laboratories (ITL) at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was introduced as a possible application for use. This app was pilot-tested during field work on three Reclamation projects in FY14. This report documents how field tests determined MICA is a useful tool for data collection and storage during inspections on the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) projects. Reclamation continues to work with USACE to determine the ability to secure and improve upon MICA for field work.

Using Tablet Computers for Field and Laboratory Work (final, PDF, 545KB)
By Jessica Torrey
R&D Bulletin completed on July 01, 2017

This bulletin summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamations mission.


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Last Updated: 4/4/17