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Computer Assisted Survey Instrument Background

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					United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Resource Inventory Division Natural Resources Inventory and Analysis Institute Resources Inventory Support Branch Iowa State University Statistical Laboratory

Instructions for Collecting 1998 Special National Resources Inventory Study Data

August 1998
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1998 Computer-Assisted Survey Instrument.......................................................................... ii PSU Module I–General Information ...................................................................................... 1 PSU Module II–PSU Cropland Polygon and Conservation Practice....................................... 3 PSU Module III–Water Areas and Shorelines...................................................................... 13 Point Module I–General Information ................................................................................... 35 Point Module II–Conservation Reserve Program................................................................. 43 Point Module III–Land Use................................................................................................. 47 Point Module IV–Irrigation................................................................................................. 59 Point Module V–USLE Erosion .......................................................................................... 63 Point Module VI–WEQ Erosion.......................................................................................... 71 Point Module VII–Conservation Practices........................................................................... 81 Exhibit 1 ............................................................................................................................L-1 Exhibit 2 ..................................................................................................................... WEQ-1

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1998 Computer-Assisted Survey Instrument

1.0

Overview of New Features

The CASI (Computer-Assisted Survey Instrument) for the 1998 Special NRI Study delivers all the tools required to collect and check observations of PSU and point samples. The 1998 CASI was developed for the Newton MessagePad 2000, one of a series of hand-held computers used by NRCS to collect NRI survey information. The 1998 CASI also provides a means to establish communication with the data services at Iowa State University for exchanging sample information between the NRI server and the Newton client. The 1998 CASI tools are integrated and utilized in the manner established for the 1997 NRI.1 Operation of the Newton hand-held computer is essentially the same as in 1997.2 However, data gatherers will notice significant improvement of the 1998 CASI in terms of visual representations and views of the data, error conditions and auxiliary information. Data gatherers will also experience more efficient CASI operations that minimize gestures with the stylus and dramatically simplify navigation among sections of survey questions. Many of the 1998 improvements are based on requests and suggestions submitted by ICCS data gatherers. In this section of instructions, the 1998 CASI’ s characteristics are described. New features, functions and procedures are emphasized and occasionally contrasted with the 1997 CASI. Successive sections of the instructions that deal with survey content reference more specific CASI behavior and operation. In the environment of the Newton MessagePad 2000, the 1998 CASI is a software package in the Extras Drawer (Fig. 1.1). Tap the “Special98” name or icon to launch the CASI. Fig. 1.1 In Extras Drawer on Newton, launch the 1998 CASI by tapping the Special 98 name/icon.

1 2

Refer to 1997 National Resources Inventory Instructions Refer to URL http://www.statlab.iastate.edu/survey/NRIAI/TRAINING for a 1997 tutorial about Newton operation. Although the 1998 CASI differs from examples in the tutorial, basic Newton operations have not changed. Refer to the "MessagePad 2000 User's Manual" for more information about Newton operation and maintenance.

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The initial CASI screen lists samples available for observation (Fig. 1.2). It is called the overview screen. Any PSU listed on the overview is eligible for immediate observation. That is, the sample has been received from the NRI server and may be completed with the CASI. A PSU is opened for observation by tapping the line of the desired sample. The CASI loads information about the selected sample and opens the first view of survey questions (Fig. 1.3).

Fig. 1.2 Overview of the PSU Screen

Fig. 1.3 PSU General Screen

In the 1997 CASI, checking was performed by tapping a small box in each section. The results of checking were reported in text messages and summarized at one location for each point and the entire PSU. The 1998 CASI performs data checking more efficiently and reports status in convenient graphical and text formats. Comprehensive data checks are performed on-the-fly and on-demand for individual questions and entire sections of related questions. Much of the checking is virtually instantaneous. The status of checking is communicated by display conventions as well as text messages. The display conventions (Fig. 1.4) pertain to data fields and to various buttons associated with checking and other displays.

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DISPLAY

DATA FIELD STATUS A thick solid line indicates the response is invalid, either required but empty or answered with an illegal value. A thick dashed line indicates a warning message is associated with the response. The response is not illegal. A thin solid line indicates a response is valid to the extent it can be checked against other incomplete or invalid responses. A thin dashed line indicates a response is valid and passes all checks. Stippled shading indicates the cell is locked.

BUTTON STATUS

A thick solid line indicates the unit (section, point, PSU) contains one or more invalid responses.

A thick dashed line indicates a warning message is associated with the unit.

A thin solid line indicate a unit contains valid responses that have to be checked against additional information.

A thin dashed line indicates a section is valid and passes all checks. Stippled shading indicates the unit is locked.

Fig. 1.4 Display conventions indicating error checking status

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Locking (and unlocking) refers to the CASI process of controlling access to data entry fields, sections of related questions, or entire points. Locked fields and buttons are stippled (Fig. 1.4). Locked fields are unlocked by the CASI if additional questions have to be answered. For example, in the point land use section, questions are locked until the cover/use question is answered. If the cover/use is cropland, the double crop question is unlocked. If the cover/use is a water code (900 series) the double crop question remains locked and all of the questions in the USLE section are locked. All historic data are initially locked and may be unlocked by a data gatherer to correct historic data. In the 1997 CASI, a variety of stylus gestures were required to erase data entries. Because of the variety of gestures, data gatherers were never confident which gesture erased entries in different sections of the CASI. The 1998 CASI uses one gesture to erase values. The CASI’ erasing gesture is the s same as the Newton’ “scrubbing” gesture.3 To s erase text or numbers, the stylus is zig-zagged four or more times in the data field (Fig. 1.5). Erasure works in all data entry fields except for pick lists and fields that are locked. Pick lists are dynamic. Response to questions creates a list of those responses for subordinate questions in that section or another section. Two pick lists are editable in the CASI: names of data gatherers and USDA programs. When a section includes historic NRI data, 1998 is left-most and adjacent to the question. Prior years’ observations appear and may scroll to the right. Solutions to soil loss equations are calculated as soon as all factors have been entered. As factors are edited, a new solution to the erosion equation is calculated and displayed.

Fig. 1.5 The scribbling over the button shows the pen action taken to erase data from the CASI.

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2.0

Anatomy

The anatomy of 1998 CASI screens4 is very different from previous NRI CASI’ All data entry s. views in the new CASI have four principal display areas. 2.1 The topmost line displays the FIPS and number of the PSU selected for observation (Fig. 1.5). Two rows of buttons displayed near the top of the screen comprise the navigation bar (Fig. 1.5). The first row of buttons is used to select sections of questions about the entire PSU or that PSU’ active points.5 The second row of buttons selects sections of topical s survey questions for the PSU or point. Navigation through the CASI is accomplished by selecting one button from each row. NEW IN 1998: Sections of survey questions do not scroll up or down by tapping the scroller (arrow) buttons in the lower corner of the Newton screen. The Overview button between the Newton scrollers will not display an overview of sections by PSU and point. The navigation bar is used to move from PSU to point and from section to section. This unified method of navigation results in fewer taps, fewer screen refreshes and consistent display conventions. In addition, it is possible to “switch points” without leaving a section. For example, a data gatherer may complete USLE data entry for all sampled points by selecting one point (button) after another. 2.3 The largest portion of the CASI screen is the boxed view of survey questions (Fig. 1.5). It is refreshed or changed for each section button (second row of the navigation bar). NEW IN 1998: Auxiliary information is occasionally provided by special buttons in the view area. The PSU General section (illustrated) includes a View button. Tapping the View button displays names of data gatherers from the 1997 Foundation NRI and 1997 Special NRI Study. Soils information is displayed by an identical button in the USLE section. In some instances a view area includes additional buttons or arrows. Sections of the 1998 CASI may extend beyond the viewing area (below or to a side). In this case, horizontal or vertical scroll buttons are displayed inside the view. Tapping the scrollers moves portions of the data view. 2.4 A row of buttons below the view is devoted to CASI functions and called the function bar (Fig. 2.1). Like the navigation bar, the function bar appears at the base of all sections. The function bar buttons consolidate similar functions that were widely scattered in previous NRI CASI’ s.

2.2

4

We use a few special terms to refer to the Newton display area. A screen refers to everything displayed by the Newton. A section refers to the set of related questions, such as USLE. A view refers to the specific area of the screen where section questions are displayed. 5 Active points are selected for the 1998 study. While three point buttons are always displayed, the PSU may include fewer than three points. Inactive points are indicated by a thin border around the icon and are inoperable.

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Fig. 2.1 Function bar NEW IN 1998: • The Checks button launches a floating display (Fig. 2.2). All floating displays may be moved around the screen by dragging the ‘ moon’at the center top half of the display area. The Completion Check display summarizes the status of PSU and point and their sections. A Check ALL button engages a global check of all checking rules for the all PSU and point data. The ALL buttons below the PSU and Point labels trigger checking for the PSU data or for one point’ s data. Buttons for PSU and point sections initiate checking of that section’ data only. s Checking the box marked Return Incomplete allows a PSU to be returned to ISU without being completed and checked. Checking status is visually described by the characteristics of the buttons. As described earlier in this section, the density of the border and shading inside the buttons indicates whether the data associated with the button has passed data checking rules (Fig. 1.4). • The Notes button creates a floating display area to enter notes (Fig. 2.3). • The Messages button is used to interrogate data checking status of almost any question in the CASI. Tapping the Messages button opens a floating display. While open, tapping a question’ data entry s cell will report the checking status of the question in the display. Scan long displays by tapping the scrollers (arrows) in the lower right corner of the floating display. Close the display area by tapping the close box in the lower right corner. Fig. 2.2 Completion check display

Fig. 2.3 Notes display

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Fig. 2.4 provides a display that was generated by tapping on the Messages button and then tapping on the Primary gatherer data cell. The message displayed, “Primary data gatherer required,” explains the error associated with the current blank entry in this cell. • The Unlock button displays the years of historic data for the PSU and points (Fig. 2.5). Tapping year buttons instantly and irreversibly unlocks data for that year and any other years that must be edited. For example, unlocking the 1997 year for a point will also unlock the year 1996. Unlocking the 1992 year will unlock prior years of 1991, 1990 and 1989. After unlocking, historic data for the unlocked years is editable. • A Reset button occasionally appears on the function bar while working in the PSU Water section. Its specific function is described in appropriate sections of the instructions (PSU Module III). • The solid line underlying the function bar demarcates the bottom of 1998 CASI screens. The close box (X) at the right end of the line closes the CASI software package. Icons, such as the Extras Drawer, and the overview and scroller buttons pertain to the Newton and have no effect on CASI operation. The overview button (dot) beneath the solid line display returns from CASI sections to the overview screen.

Fig. 2.4. Example of error message for Primary gatherer cell

Fig. 2.5 Unlock display

3.0

Data Collection Screen Design and Navigation

The 1998 CASI has been constructed to minimize the number of different views of sections of survey questions. By comparison to the 1997 NRI CASI, the new CASI has a smaller number of view types (form and layout) and fewer distinct sections of survey questions. Characteristics of views and the operation of sections are smooth and uniform. Furthermore, as will be apparent in subsequent instructions, complex logic has been embedded to simplify data checking and to quickly open, close and skip specific survey questions or entire sections. The PSU Water view illustrates how the 1998 CASI’ views and sections have been streamlined s and consolidated. The boxed view area is controlled by a column of buttons on a sidebar along the

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left margin. Each of the 13 water section buttons refreshes the view area. Fig. 3.1 shows an example with the Small Water Bodies - Sizes section. Initially, each 1997 small water body is displayed and labeled. New Water Bodies may be added by tapping the New button at the bottom of the view. Multiple segments may be added for each water body. Multiple segments are entered by vertical scrolling within each small water body. As each segment is labeled, related questions (cells) are opened for data entry. If the number of Small Water Bodies exceeds the vertical boundary, scrollers are added to the view. The 1998 CASI facilitates rapid navigation among water area sections and minimizes leaping from one sort of water view to a slightly different water view. There is no intermediate jump to an index (overview) of sections and no tedious vertical scrolling to reach new water sections.

Fig. 3.1 Consolidated PSU water sections view

4.0

Communication

Communication utilities for connecting to the central service at ISU are located on the left of the overview screen of the 1998 CASI (Fig. 1.2). The following instructions for communicating with the ISU service assume a working modem is connected to the Newton. 4.1 Retrieving PSUs from the Server

4.1.1 To retrieve PSUs, open the 1998 CASI by tapping Special98 from the All Icons list in the Extras drawer, or if already in the 1998 CASI, tap the close box (X) or the overview button in the lower right portion of any data entry screen. 4.1.2 To configure the communications utility, tap the Setup button. Use the configuration on screen (Fig. 4.1) to enter or verify the following information. Note: Correct entry of this setup information is extremely critical to successful communication. Note: This step only needs to be completed once for each Newton.

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Login and Password: Enter or verify the login name and password for the Newton. This information will default from the 1997 Foundation NRI and must be unique for each Newton. The password will display as <hidden> and does not need to be entered again unless communication problems occur. Host: Tap the Host diamond and select the only choice presented (nrife.nri.iastate.edu). Port: Tap the Port diamond and select the only choice presented (64001). Database: Tap the Database diamond and select the only choice presented (nri98ss). Tap Done when all information has been entered correctly. 4.1.3 To connect to the server, tap the Connect button (Fig.4.2). 4.1.4 A connection window will be displayed which defaults to the last communication protocol (97nri) used with the Newton (Fig. 4.3). Verify that the information is correct. If changes to the phone number are needed, tap the Assist button and enter the correct information. Tap the Connect button to begin communication. Fig. 4.1 Communications screen with configuration view

Fig. 4.2 Communications start-up screen Fig. 4.3 Connection window

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4.1.5 The Newton will next go through a series of steps and display a message window (Fig. 4.4) when successfully connected to the server and database. 4.1.6 To get PSUs, tap the Get PSUs button in the displayed communications window (Fig. 4.5). 4.1.7 Enter the correct State and County codes in the displayed screen (Fig. 4.6). Codes can be entered by editable choice list, handwriting, or by tapping the keyboard icon to bring up the keyboard. 4.1.8 Tap the Query button, to access available PSUs for the selected state and county (Fig. 4.6). 4.1.9 The CASI will return a list of the 1998 Special NRI Study PSUs for the selected county along with their current completion status and location. Completion status codes for the ISU server (and the Newton) follows:
Communication Status Code
NS IP UC CO

Fig. 4.4 Successful connection message (shown for a test data base)

Definition
Not started In progress Incomplete Complete

Code on Server?
Yes No Yes Yes

Code on Newton?
Yes Yes Yes Yes

Fig. 4.5 Communication utilities screen

Location codes are defined as follows:
Location Code
In Out

Definition
On server Not on the server cannot be checked out

Fig. 4.6 State and county specification screen
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4.1.10 Select PSUs by tapping the check box for each PSU desired. The check box is located to the left of the PSU ID (Fig. 4.7). Tap Get PSUs in the lower part of the screen. The CASI will retrieve the selected PSUs and display them in the PSU/status window on the right side of the screen. 4.1.11 Upon completion of PSU retrieval, disconnect from the server by tapping the Disconnect button. The PDA will disconnect from the server, and data collection can now begin. 4.2 Returning PSUs to the Server

4.2.1 Follow steps 4.2.2 – 4.1.3 to connect to the server. If already connected, these steps are not necessary. Note: The Newton must be connected to the server to send back PSUs. 4.2.2 To send PSUs back to the server, tap the Send PSUs button in the communications window (Fig. 4.8). 4.2.3 In order to return a PSU to the server, it must have in one of the following status codes: Code
CO UC NS

Fig. 4.7 List of PSUs on the server with status codes

Definition
Complete Incomplete Not started

Select PSUs by tapping the check box for each PSU desired. The check box is to the left of the PSU ID (Fig. 4.9). Tap Send PSUs in the lower part of the screen. The CASI will return the selected PSUs to the server and they will be automatically removed from the CASI.

Fig. 4.8 Communications utilities screen

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4.2.4 Upon completion of PSU retrieval, disconnect from the server by tapping the Disconnect button. The PDA will disconnect from the server.

Fig. 4.9 List of PSUs that can be sent to server

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