gINT Professional Software Explained
by Randy Post (for GeoPrac.net)
gINT Professional Software (gINT) is a data management tool for geotechnical, geological and geoenvironmental professionals. But many people only know it as a tool for creating boring logs. The purpose of this article is not so much to train you how to use gINT, but to show you what it can do, and to understand how it treats the data and the reports you make with it and what the implications are to your data and your end products. I will also cover some tips or best practices for successfully implementing gINT. This article was written based on gINT version 7, version 8 has been released but my company hasn’t upgraded yet. However, based on a cursory review of changes in Version 8, the content in this article should still be valid for the later version as well.
What it Does
The most important thing to remember is that gINT is at its core a program for manipulating databases. Geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists and geoenvironmental professionals among others are all used to working with geo-data, sometimes large volumes of it. gINT is a useful tool for managing it, searching and sorting through it, and formatting it into a nice end product.
How do you Pronounce gINT? Some people say gINT with more of a hard “G” or “Ga” sound, some say jINT. I don’t know what’s right or wrong. I know the name used to be short for “geotechnical/geological INTegrator”. Given that, the jINT pronunciation make more sense to me…plus it sounds less like you have something stuck in the back of your throat!
Figure 1 – Screenshot from gINT Version 8 (gINT Software)
Another fundamental thing about how gINT operates is that it treats your geo-data and the report templates for outputting it completely separately. There are many advantages to this (and a few considerations). I’ll touch on the “considerations” later, but on the plus side:
- Once your report templates are set, you can apply them to any similarly formatted data set
- Enter the data in one location and it is available for use in all relevant reports
- Data files don’t get bloated with graphics and images that are common to all reports in the data set
Examples of Use
Most people are aware that gINT is good at making boring logs, but what about some of the other things that you can do with it? Below is a list of ways we have used gINT over the course of my practice at URS Corporation (Tucson office) and at NCS Consultants, LLC. You can download a collection of PDF samples in the Downloads Section.
Download the PDF Sample Reports
- Conventional geotechnical soil boring log
- Rock coring log
- Test pit log
- Boring log with well diagram
- Lab testing summary table (gINT can classify samples according to the USCS classification scheme using raw sieve and Atterberg limits data)
- Grain size curves with summary data useful for design and envelopes for material specifications
- Plasticity chart plots with summary data
- Plasticity chart with graphical representation of clay mineral zones
- Fence diagram with SPT N60 values plotted along with selected lab index properties
- Visualization of soil cement cylinder break for QA/QC of a deep soil mixing (ground improvement) project
- Processing of survey data monitoring settlement and deformation of a mechanically stabilized earth retaining wall during and after construction
And in case that isn’t enough for you, gINT’s website has some nice sample reports for a whole variety of different applications. These can be a good starting point for developing your own templates, or just for learning about template modification and how it ties to the database files. Look for some future gINT articles to discuss more about report customization and modification.
gINT is also useful for importing and exporting data to and from other programs. Chances are it can read your data and output it in something that you can use for further processing. Here are some programs/applications/file types that gINT can read and/or write.
- Adobe Acrobat (PDF) â€“ Export any report to this format without any additional software
- Microsoft Excel â€“ Import and Export
- AutoCAD â€“ Import and Export
- Microsoft Access â€“ Import and Export (and link to external data sources)
- GIS â€“ With additional software (gINT for ArcGIS) you can manipulate your gINT data in ArcGIS
- Text â€“ Export simple text data if you need to
As of Version 7, gINT can work with R12 version of AutoCAD files. This older file version has caused me some headaches for me, especially trying to get something into the proper format to import into gINT. Typically I can get stuff FROM gINT to AutoCAD or MicroStation without too much trouble.