We have successfully implemented digital mapping at the University of
Michigan's fieldcamp through a combination of ArcGIS (currently we use
9.0) and rugged tablets from Xplore (with attached GPS).
Our set-up purposely uses off-the-shelf
technologies for easy implementation. Maps and photos are increasingly
available online, which, if necessary, can be easily georeferenced for
ArcGIS use; occasional specialty maps are scanned for some of our projects
(e.g., old reports). The use of PC tablets allows pencil-like interaction
with maps and photos and implementation of a fully electonic notebook
(using OneNote). We also use the 3D capability of ArcGIS (ArcScene) to
show the students' mapping in field perspective.
Details are on our website at http://geopad.org, where you'll
find descriptions, examples and our mappng toolbar. The experiences of
this summer (our 3rd year) will be posted Fall, including student surveys
and a spatial analysis study. We (Peter Knoop and I) typically have an
interactive poster at GSA and AGU.