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Modernising fire ant data capture for the DAF

In-field data capture solution for monitoring and mapping fire ant locations.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) is responsible for the identification, treatment and monitoring of fire ant infestations throughout Queensland. As a category 1 super pest fire ants pose significant health and environmental risks to Queensland residents. As part of DAF's 10-year eradication plan they needed to modernise their reporting and monitoring systems, particularly surrounding in-field data capture which was done almost entirely on paper, to be later manually logged into the system at the DAF field office. One of April9's senior developers was deployed to DAF's IT department to assist with the development of an in-field data capture platform. The solution allows DAF fire ant inspectors to input data in real time using an iPad, to update job status, inform regarding access to the property, report on the severity of the infestation, whether the treatment was successful or not, schedule further treatments, take photographs, and allow for comments from the inspector and from the property owner. All the information is then logged against a single case file and securely uploaded to DAF's database.

The solution was also integrated with GIS mapping to allow for fast and easy identification of fire ant nests upon arrival at the property. Once establishing access to the property the inspectors could follow the layered GIS map to locate the identified fire ant nest and apply treatment. If further infestations were discovered at the property during the inspection/treatment, DAF's inspector could either apply treatment directly and log it in the system, or mark the nests' locations on the map to be scheduled for future treatment. The solution is currently in use by DAF as an integral part of their 10-year fire ant eradication plan, and contributes to more accurate assessment and data capture, reduced costs in admin and labour, and provides a universal information system which DAF can use to leverage data for fast and accurate decision making.

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