Fulcrum in Ecology
Fulcrum is, or should be, the industry standard for Ecology data collection. The ability to generate literally any style of form from plain text boxes to hundreds of option drop-downs, means that you can keep up with the demands of surveying nature. This software has saved time, money and a lot of peoples hairlines within my own company, and I am sure within numerous other consultancies.
The simple but infinite customisation options for each app that you design mean you can have very strict control over the data you collect, which is crucial in ecology due to the diversity of survey work that takes place. Additionally, as the industry often demands unsociable hours, the ability to sync the device to a central shared database with a number of users reduces the amount of time you're waiting for data from colleaugues. And another obvious benefit in an industry based outdoors, is that you can survey in the rain without getting paper mache survey sheets!
The only issue I have encountered with Fuclrum is the accuracy of it's GPS tracking (which may actually be a device issue). This has sometimes led to individual small data points such as trees in a woodland being mapped a short, sometimes long, distance from their actual location. However, this is easily resolved within the app itself with patience.
My experience in the world of Online Forms and Data Collection
QA inspection, Incoming material inspection, Calibration records, Welding inspection, Factory machine reporting on servicing and repairs, Final Product inspection, Leave form, Non Conforming report, Packing lists, Site inspection report, Estimate cost calculation, Quotation monitoring report
I have been looking for months for a ''form / database'' online system for our production and QA inspection and monitoring. I have tried many of Fulcrum's competitors but they all - just didn't just have everything I needed... Always something that stopped me during the trial period.
I found Fulcrum, and tested it and it grew on me the more I used it. The forms are simple to write and simple to alter and amend. The access is easy from phone. tablet and computer. The data is easy to search and check.
We now use it in every part of the business. Estimates, QA inspection, Covid19 inspection, health inspection, leave forms so many forms.
It is now a key part of the business.
My main issue with Fulcrum, which lets is down compared to others, is the PDF file / report is creates. Not even using the company logo within the report.
Not able to edit it - even simple editting. No Bold or change of font. No .... Nothing..
You get what they give you, or you can pay a lot of money for a custom report, which you then can not change the form or the report in the future... without paying a lot more.
Field Data Capture Made Easy
Fulcrum saves me untold hours per month by allowing me to enter all my data in the field and easily generate reports that can be sent directly to clients. The program greatly increases my efficiency and the quality of the data collected.
Ease of data entry, visualization of the data that is collected, ability to generate reports on the fly.
Ability to change to field type after creation would be great.
Fulcrum App for form based data collection
Our customers needed to collect a broad range of spatial located asset data. This data then had to be processed and presented to a government agency to be assessed for funding. Fulcrum allowed the creation of a form tailored to the exact requirements of the government agency. This greatly improved the time to collect the data and get the info submitted for evaluation.
The software is easy to setup, deploy and use. Ideal for semi skilled a data collection team. It results in consistent and repeatable data coming in from the field.
The total absence of an interface to the GNSS data stream you are using is a big disappointment. An interface to GNSS NMEA data stream and a simple NTRIP interface is all that is required and is typically available on competing products.
Very easy to use
I have used Fulcrum to maintain information on the presence of weeds within the road corridor and keep track of what and where we are treating those weeds.
The best thing that I have found is the ease of uploading and downloading data. The interfaces are easy to use and to customise. I have deployed the software to a team that are not technical experts and they were able to use the forms with minimal training.
As i am limited in what software i have access to it has been difficult to add background map data so that something is displayed when the mobile device has no coverage.
Flexible Software with Extensive Applications
The Fulcrum team has been very responsive to our requests and questions over the years. We feel confident that if we put in a request for a change to the system that it will be reviewed and put in a cue based on priority. Though some of the changes may take a year or two, we have seen all the changes we have requested over the years come to life.
I love the flexibility of Fulcrum. We can build out apps that suit our needs, use it in offline mode in the field, overlay maps for our events and drop geo-pins at field locations, connect apps to give tiered data sets, and sort the data on the Fulcrum platform for routing and dispatch. The addition of the barcode integration and easy access a few years ago was immensely helpful.
The reporting is not all we need it to be. We are working on building out an API integration to a platform that will allow us to create and run reports.
Point Data Collection made easy
I am now able to get accurate 911 address points in seconds without guesswork that once took me hours and allowed errors to be placed on my map due to uncertainty of correct locations
I use Fulcrum every single day to collect new 911 address points when someone is going to be building a house or business in our location. Previously I would have to go to a site, get the GPS coordinates and then come back and put them into GIS. No I simply use Fulcrum to collect the point, then I share the data to QGIS and then once I save the data it is automatically uploaded to my PostGIS server and to the State of Tennessee repository. No muss, no fuss. LOVE IT and I frequently give talks at conferences and show my Fulcrum products to hundreds of people at a time.
I wish that Fulcrum would do lines and not just points. Then I would be able to more precisely map roads and driveways.
User Friendly, Cost Effective, Well worth the switch!
100% Satisfied, will continue using this program moving forward.
This software allows us to customize all apps, data collection to each of our vendors needs.
The ability to change or modify the program in field instantly is a welcomed bonus and a big time savor.
The unique build for each vendor allows for significantly less data collection errors.
Functions are different on different platforms. (Android/Apple)
FulcrumApp - Game changer
Exceptional for data collection in the field and ability to extrapolate date for various client reporting requirements
Ease of configuration and ability to distribute to all users.
Find it difficult to keep consistent API and webhook over time with Zappier. Sometimes need to delete and renew connections.
Wonderful data gathering system
Easy switch to paperless field surveys
We've saved loads of time by eliminating the need for manual data entry, scanning/saving datasheets, and filing hard copies. This sometimes takes days to do, but now all we have to do is hit 'sync', visit the website, and download the appropriate data. It's great to be able to view the map which shows where all the data points are, and to be able to sort data in whichever way you would like (including by searching for any words that may be in your datasheets), rather than sorting through hard copies or poorly scanned notes.
I would recommend this product to anyone looking for an easy, versatile, paperless upgrade for your business.
I love that everything is right at my fingertips in one place. No need to make sure I've printed off enough datasheets and safety forms, or brought enough pencils! Especially since I've been working from home and don't have easy access to a printer.
I like that you can flag your favourite/most-used apps for ease of navigation, and I really like the auto-fill feature where things like project names, numbers, survey station pre-fixes, etc. are auto-filled once you've filled out the first one and need to repeat many times throughout the day/week. We've found so many different ways to capture our data in ways that make it easier to fill out the forms, from drop-down menus, to +/- tally counters, to signature fields and data form 'sections'. I also like that you can use formulas and links to fill out other fields (e.g. We've set it up so that when we select a species name during a bird survey, it automatically links the latin name, and federal and provincial status of each species). Another handy feature is to make certain fields mandatory, so that nothing important gets missed while the survey is being conducted.
I've found it quite easy and intuitive to use for the most part. It takes a bit of practice to be able to fill out the forms quickly, but it's worth it for me. Being able to hit the sync button at the end of the field day (or during a break in between) is really satisfying, because I know that everything is safely backed up, and that I don't need to scan anything!
One thing I feel could be improved would be the format of the output data. Data can be downloaded and opened in Microsoft Excel, but depending on how many 'levels' of data you have, you'll have multiple tabs in your spreadsheet, which may be difficult to interpret at times, as they are linked by a long string of letters/numbers based on a parent-child relationship. You can get around this by including some hidden fields that link more useful information (e.g. survey station ID), but it would be nice to be able to go through a menu, similar to the initial app set-up, to determine how the data will be presented.
I found that some staff members are reluctant to switch to digital data entry, because they are used to taking field notes manually, and may not trust the safety of the data. I think this is just a personal preference though, as I personally would trust a cloud-based, digital product more than I would trust my own ability to keep track of many pieces of paper!
One challenge I've noticed is that during timed surveys (e.g. breeding bird surveys), if you have a lot of fields to fill out, and multiple levels of menus, it can be tricky to fill out each data point quickly when you have a limited time to conduct the survey. We typically do surveys in pairs, so I find it's easiest to have one person conducting the actual survey, and one person filling out the form, so that I can spend more time looking through my binoculars than at the tablet.
Fulcrum Mobile Data Collection
Fulcrum is a viable alternative to the cost of using other "shop"-based software that require subscription to standard engineering tools. Fulcrum is useful for people in professions other than engineering and large-scale design work. At the end of a project, I can have a thorough data set for a project that can be shared (either through the software or through data exports) with others for a variety of purposes.
In combination with a GPS receiver, the Fulcrum software allows me to capture data in the field using unique data point identifiers, including latitude and longitude. I have thirty or so separate apps within the software that I use for collecting natural history data at client and county levels. The available data fields allow me tremendous flexibility in choosing the types of categories (single-choice, multiple-choice), organization into sections, creation and import of choice lists (in some cases, of several thousand plant species or several hundred county street names), and data export into multiple GIS-friendly database files. I am impressed with it. There are some functions I have not used, such as multiple-member apps and sharing levels.
Unlike competitor software, it does not allow use of paths or polygons. Usually, I use discrete data points or paths; for the latter, it is necessary to have direction-of-travel and side-of-road fields that require extra time in the field. In the fields that use choice lists, I often use an "Other" field that allows input that does not exist in the list, but modification of the data field - especially unchecking another list element - results in loss of any entry in the Other field. There should be a means for retaining this information despite other changes in the field, and "Other" should open for additional information without deleting existing contents.
Great app and services, very good assistance.
So much!! :) We build the first complete experience in Belgium for managing Urban Trees.
Multi-level of users and companies (from worker to experts and manager), multi purposes (from managing orders, studies, observations, planning, working processes). With the aim of perpetuating respectful management of the exceptional heritage trees of Brussels, so complex in a city undergoing change with so many stakeholders and dangerous developments for our trees.
There are so much possibilities to develop yourself a high quality product, for you or for your customers! Intuitive but complete, that's what I was looking for to keep leading my project.
-poor on cartographic capacities (no lines, and polygons), no label
-not builded as dynamic relationnal database (so it means that you have to build complexe solutions or pay additionnal services to automate updating processes from table(app) to others.
Field Review of the Fulcrum System
Using Fulcrum, mainly the mobile application, has been a god sent. I do not like keeping up with paper reports and then transferring them to digital content and having to attach media to the now digital report. Having this platform and being able to attach my media (i.e. photos, videos, etc.) to my report all from one device and not having to transfer files back and forth from phone to computer any more if GREAT. In one action, I can complete multiple tasks at once.
What I like the most about Fulcrum is the ease of use while navigating around the app on mobile devices, no matter the OS of the device (i.e. iOS or Android) the Fulcrum application works great. I love having the ability to only have to use my tablet or my phone while completing field work and filling out field reports and then uploading them to the cloud. It's much better than having to keep track of everything with pen and paper.
I do not like Fulcrum when it comes to uploading media (i.e. Photos, etc.) to reports. Only limiting the user to select and upload one (1) photo at a time to the reports is beyond mildly frustrating. If I could select multiple photos at once from my mobile device's photo gallery and upload them all at the same time in one swoop, that would be FANTASTIC. But until that happens, I'm just going to have to get over it and deal with my frustrations. Otherwise, great experience using the mobile version of Fulcrum.
We collect thousands of data points annually using Fulcrum - it's greatly streamlined our field data collection processes for many different aspect of water quality research and stormwater management feature design, from soil test pits to infrastructure inspection. Without this software, we'd be struggling to scale our business.
Apps are easy to customize, near-infinite options for data collection, and great back-end data review options, plus tons of integration options with other software platforms.
I'd love to see collection of line/polygon features integrated. I'd also like to see the option to create custom reports (drag and drop) without consulting with Fulcrum's designers. And finally, I'd love to have the option to assign different icons based on status (not just color as the app currently allows).
Response from Spatial Networks
We're so glad Fulcrum could help you scale your business! We love to hear stories like this.
Thanks a lot for the feedback on what you would like to see in Fulcrum. Line and polygon support is something that we do get asked about from time to time. I wanted to let you know it is on our radar however it is something that would take a lot of development time to accomplish.
We agree a drag and drop report builder would be awesome! We have had some talks about making it possible for users to make small edits to the default report template and this could expand in the future based on feedback.
We are also exploring options for better symbology. There are some technical issues with the symbology being consistent across all platforms that the development team has to work though.
If you have not shared these thoughts already, please feel free to send your ideas to [email protected] User feedback is a big driver for our product roadmap.
Fulcrum is excellent tool for Field Users
Capture Field Sample Descriptions without Internet or Cell Service
We use Fulcrum in the mineral exploration industry where our sampling crews capture their field sample descriptions on their Android phones. Android phones are simpler to use as we can load background maps as maptiles into the app (a bit tricky to load onto iPhones). Crews record sample descriptions, take sample photos, and capture GPS coordinates all with their phone. Cell phone service or Internet is not required while in the field. The sampling crew refresh their phone app when they get back to camp in the evening where satellite Internet is available. So by the end of the day everyone's field data has been uploaded to the cloud. Head office can view progress within a few hours either with the map viewer on the Fulcrum website or by loading into the company's GIS database.
The app and website are both easy to use. It was easy to set up the data capture templates using the website tools. The templates were then uploaded onto the user's phones by simply refreshing their app. The users require minimal training to use the app.
Uploading the users data to a common cloud-based database by simply refreshing their app is probably the best feature of Fulcrum. No data loss and no duplication of data with multiple users.
We also like the licensing. We are seasonal users. So during the off-season we just keep one account active in order to save our templates and access our database online.
No real cons. Probably could be advertised more with some real-world examples on how to utilize the software. We learned about Fulcrum word of mouth.
Uploading background images could be easier. We currently create maptiles using TileMill which can be tricky.
Love Fulcrum & recommend all the time
We collect data, show project updates, assign work, export for 3rd party use, vehicle inspection, conduct audits, use for job briefings, make exports to Excel and PDF. Can export as KMZ.
Extremely versatile and totally customizable, easy to train new people to use, exports data in many formats
1. Phone battery drain as used GPS and multiple photos per data pin; probably not Fulcrum issue; 2. edited photos must be imported to be used as in Fulcrum camera cannot edit; 3. Info about one property is only in one app=switch apps to find more on different projects for same property
Fulcrum A Great Tool
Great!! hardly any bug for a complex app like this...
Ease of building Apps, Lot of FAQs and answers, Quick response on issues but would like more!!, Very effieicent data collector, API keys are of great help, Can be integrated with other tools.
I dont see any to be frank. But to fill the words , would like to see the google maps connection to be there on I phone as well and now I see that only on android phones, it shd be easier to upload pictures as it takes more time to synch pictures now, may be a technology to down size and resize the pictures during upload and download time. There has to be option to upload our own road networks as well. There has to be a go to option (without google maps ) to help us route to the pre designated GPS point......
Perfect for small organizations in need of a versatile and cost effective GIS platform.
My volunteer Board wanted me to have a way to re[port on issues throughout the area I work in and track field reports. Another great function is the ability to handle clients communications and billing with the software. If your business relies on GIS data Fulcrum is tough to beat.
-Ease of use
-Quality of UI
-Honestly Fulcrum has fulfilled a large part of our data collection and management requirements. The one thing I can see that may draw me away is the fact that we have access to more complete GIS software packages that are able to perform many of the same functions and don't have subscription fees. That being said I would still be reluctant to stop using Fulcrum as it integrates with other software and is just so easy to teach my volunteer staff to use.
Thes best mobile data collection software available
Great app to use for data collection
It improved exponentially the quality of the data collection and removed completely the use of paper based packs.
The capability to create bespoke forms and have control over their updates.
I'd like if there could be more options for mobile users to use alternative tile sets. It accepts only MBtiles for now. For mobile app would be beneficial to have more filtering options.
Potentially more tutorials from developers would be beneficial to have.
Response from Spatial Networks
We're so glad to hear that your data collection quality has improved exponentially since using Fulcrum!
We do plan on exploring alternative tile-sets to MBTiles. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them with your Fulcrum Account Manager or our support team at [email protected]
Good news! Our mobile development teams are currently working on enhancing our filtering and sorting functionality. We do not have a estimated release date yet, but getting this released is a high priority to us.
Fulcrum is the perfect companion for field-based data collection
Our field staff love collecting data on this platform when compared to the "old" methods (paper and pencil, hard copy forms, Excel forms, etc.). Fulcrum is miles ahead of the competition.
Fulcrum is the perfect platform for our field data collection needs. The ability to prepare logic-based forms that direct users into collecting just the right information (not too little and not too much) is critical for our needs. The tool is extremely flexible and the development team is constantly improving features/functions. The API capabilities are game changers for us and how we interact with our data. Can't say enough good things about this platform!
I would like to see a reporting tool that allows users to build custom reports straight from their data without engaging additional professional services support offered by Fulcrum.
Natural Asset Contract Management
Fulcrum has been an amazing experience and focus of constant improvement for Council's Parks, Trees and Bushland maintenance contract programs. All stakeholders have been very impressed by the flexibility to use and redesign each application to create greater operational efficiencies.
Designing the program to reflect contract KPIs has been instrumental in streamlining our contractor communication and compliance activities that drive monthly reporting. The fulcrum platform works on all our mobile devices without problem in the year we've worked with the product.
This spatial software uses 'pin drop' GIS points for recording data. Though there's a layer option to represent areas / polygons above the map, the pixel / resolution of our file was insufficient.
Response from Spatial Networks
Thanks for providing Fulcrum such a great review! We love to hear that we were able to help you streamline your contractor communication and compliance activities. We're so glad your stakeholders have been impressed by the flexibility we have to offer and your ability to create greater operational efficiencies.
Have you talked with our support team about your issues with file resolution? If not, please reach out to [email protected] We would love to know more and see if we can help you out.
Exactly what I was looking for
We use Fulcrum to record information about vehicles and our product in the field to ensure we have clean and organized records of work completed and issues encountered. This has unlocked immense value for us. It allows managers to review work to maintain high quality. Using Fulcrum has also allowed for large amounts of field data to be gathered and quickly transferred from our field team to our engineering team when necessary.
Possible to configure "apps" to suit our specific needs
Easy to use
Allows for instant sharing of valuable insights from the field between the field and office-based teams
Ability to download well-organized data to .csv files
Ability to work offline
There were some inefficiencies when building apps.
While there are quite a few complex features that can be added to the apps, they are not easy to implement.
Response from Spatial Networks
Thanks for your review of Fulcrum! We're glad our app helps your managers maintain high quality of work, and has allowed you to gather and transfer from the field team to your engineering team quickly.
We would love to hear more specifics about the difficulties you ran into while designing your app. We do aim to make Fulcrum as easy to use as possible, however, there are features that can be complex due to their flexibility and powerfulness. With features like these we do try to provide as much support as possible though. So feel free to reach out to our support team at [email protected] and see if they can give you a hand.