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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

GeoPad Hits The Road

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NEWS FEATURE

GeoPad Hits The Road
Rugged TabletPC Gets Workout from U-M Students
by Hank Russell

January 2004

Students at the University of Michigan took a seven-week summer field geology course at the university?s Camp Davis near Jackson, WY. However, this wasn?t the typical course: the classroom was the great outdoors and the coursework was done on a rugged TabletPC with all the materials needed by these students.

Xplore Technologies)
The GeoPadTM (shown here with a digital pen) uses an iX104 from Xplore Technologies. It was designed as a result of a collaboration with the University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Minnesota, Microsoft and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The GeoPadTM was designed with support from the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; the U-M Department of Geological Sciences and Global Change Program; the Microsoft Corporation (Seattle, WA); The University of Illinois at Chicago; the University of Minnesota; and the U.S. Geological Survey?s EROS Data Center. It was demonstrated at the annual Geological Society of America?s annual meeting two months ago in Seattle by Peter Knoop, the university?s School of Information Research investigator and geological sciences doctoral candidate, and Ben van der Pluijm, U-M professor of geological sciences.

"The focus of the presentation was on using the GeoPad to teach geologic mapping in a senior-level field geology course, and to support field trip activities," Knoop exlained.

The Hard And Soft Of it
The Geopad used in the summer field geology pilot was an iX104 from Xplore Technologies (Austin, TX; Toronto, ON, Canada) with a 10.4-inch XGA (1024x768) TFT Transmissive Hi-Brite LCD. It ran on a 9000 mAh Li ION Polymer Phosphate (56Whr) battery and provided approximately 4.5 hours of continuous usage on a single charge.

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