Author: Jason Parsley
Hello everyone. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jay and I’ve been working for M.C. Wright and Associates Ltd. since 2005. When I started out, the company was basically a two person operation. We’ve picked up some good people along the way and now employ seven full time employees. Everyone brings something to the table and as a team, a family even, we work extremely well together.
Since I’ve been with the company, I’ve seen a lot of changes both in the industry and how the company functions. I believe one of our biggest strengths, especially Mike, is our ability to analyse and predict how our industry will change and how best to adapt to those changes.
The company has three divisions. We are biological consultants first and foremost. We always have been and always will be. Two divisions of our company specialize in fresh water and marine environmental consulting. The third division of our company was born out of the need to better manage our photos.
The advent of the digital cameras was huge for our company. We were able to take as many photos on‐site as we wanted and conduct a quality control check by actually looking at our image in the field on a camera screen of all things. Wow! We began to walk around our job sites with our cameras glued to our faces and flashing at everything.
After a few years of this, as you could imagine, our digital photos began piling up to the point where we had so many we could not find the ones we wanted. When we did find the photos we couldn’t find the field notes for them. So we’d have to go digging through boxes in the archives looking for them. This took time, too much time, too much money. We needed a way to store photos and data together in a fashion it could be quickly and easily recalled. NCompas Media was born.
NCompas Media is a digital media managing database. Technicians come back from the field with their photos, upload them into the database and then assign corresponding data to the photo such as comments, date, time, GPS position etc. The photo and data are saved together under a project name in a designated server drive. We know where everything is at all times and it takes mere minutes to look up a series of photos for a project worked on two, three or however many years ago you need to go back. This takes minutes, no longer hours to do.
What’s that you say? You don’t have a digital camera? Oh, you do have a digital camera but you just don’t have time to download the memory card, enter comments and data and save it? Well, do you use a tablet, or a smart phone in the field? Because guess what? There’s an app for that! We’ve developed an app that works on your smart phone and tablets. Take the photo using your phone and enter the data required you need right then and there in the field. Then, when you get onto a wifi signal or even on your data plan, all you need to do is hit a SEND button and all your photos and data are synced automatically to the server at the office. How cool is that!?
One of the projects we’ve done, and one I personally take a great deal of pride out of, is the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Fisherman’s Electronic Logbook, or, DFO ELog for short. In 2007 we were approached by DFO. They were starting to look into the possibility of real time data from commercial fishermen and test fishermen. They told us what they wanted and we built it. Tore it down and built it up again.
The DFO ELog is a windows based program that can be installed on your computer. Fishermen enter their catch information into the system daily and can then send their realtime data to DFO through several different communication options such as Satellite Modems, Globalstar communication devices and internet. The data is imported into DFO’s database and a confirmation number is generated and sent back to the fisherman.
The reason I take such pride in this program is because I’m the only member of our team that has actively worked on this project from the start. I’m not a programmer so have not done any coding but I’ve done everything else. I’ve done software testing of each screen and module in ELog. I’ve developed several end user manuals for the different modules in ELog. I’ve provided installation and support services to all Pacific Commercial fishermen using the Elog. I’ve set developed training curriculums and taught ELog seminars to first nations groups looking to use ELog for their purposes. In short, there isn’t another soul on this planet or this universe for that matter, who knows this program better than me.
It was a lengthy first blog and I apologize for that but I’m glad you’ve stuck it out. Now that we’re acquainted my future blogs will not be so long. Until the next one….cheers.