How it Works
There are several different files required by gINT for everything to come together. When reading the next few paragraphs, you may find it helpful to refer to Figure 2 which shows an overview of how things work.
Figure 2 â€“ Data in Database to Report Template to Final Report
First of all, let’s talk about a “Project Database” file (*.GPJ). This file is a database file that will hold your actual data. Things like project name and description, borehole designations and depths, GPS coordinates, SPT blowcounts, PID readings, depth to groundwater readings, contaminant concentrations, lithology information, lab testing data etc. Needless to say, you will want one of these files for each of your projects.
Now let’s backpedal a little bit and discuss the “Data Template” file (*.GDT). This file is essentially an empty Project Database. It contains all of the database table names and fields required for your data to work with the reports you will be using. When you create a new Project Database, you typically start by cloning a Data Template (or an existing project). It is possible to have more than one data template to account for different applications. For example, you could have one data template for a typical geotechnical job, and one geared more towards an environmental job or a lab testing job.
The third critical file needed for happy gINTing is your gINT Library File (*.GLB). gINT ships with a library file out of the box, but you will also customize it to suit your needs. The library file also has a database format, but you don’t really need to concern yourself too much with that. The library file contains:
- Your report templates
- Graphic symbols used for samplers
- Symbols for different lithologies
- Discrete graphics such as your logo or a north arrow
- Lookup lists (eg. Hammer types, sampler types, etc.)
More about Databases
Most scientists and engineers are probably more comfortable using a spreadsheet program than a database. They both have their benefits and uses. Why is a database approach good for your geo-data?
- It eliminates or reduces repetitive and duplicate data entry
- Data is saved to database almost immediately (nice in the event of a sudden crash)
- More efficient for storage and manipulation of large amounts of data
- You can control the type of data (eg. numeric, text, pick from a list, etc)
- Easier to selectively query or filter the data
- Much easier to have one parent record and multiple children (eg. One boring, multiple samples; one sample, multiple lab tests; one grain size record, multiple sieve readings)
Did you know that gINT’s native data format is based on a Microsoft Access database? Figure 3 below shows a typical gINT project database structure as seen in Microsoft Access’s relationships module.
Figure 3 – Database Table Structure for Typical gINT Project