The EIS project we wrote about in a previous blog post has been running for over a year and it’s time to look back at what we have accomplished in the first third of the project. If you are new to the project I recommend reading the previous article before continuing on reading this.
The role of Gispo in this project is to facilitate the software development of EIS Toolbox and EIS QGIS Plugin (previously called EIS QGIS Wizard) and to take part in the development work. The main focus during the first year of the project has been analysing the workflow related to mineral exploration and designing the EIS Toolbox -Python library and the EIS QGIS Plugin. We have conducted end-user interviews documenting the different tasks and steps of their workflow to design a user interface that is both intuitive and easy to use. We have seen demos and studied software currently used for mineral exploration and tried to incorporate the best parts of them into the design of EIS QGIS Plugin. Furthermore, we have arranged workshops together with project partners detailing the workflow to be used in the QGIS EIS Plugin.
We have put a lot of emphasis on designing a good user experience that would be as intuitive as possible and guide the end user in different steps of the workflow. In most cases the workflow is not linear but more of an iterative one. EIS QGIS plugin offers a graphic interface for EIS toolbox and supports the user during the different stages of the work. EIS toolbox can also be used as an independent library or as a part of another application.
The user will likely do some pre-processing for their data and a series of Exploratory Data Analysis methods might be used to refine the used input data and parameters to be used in further steps. In this kind of non-linear workflow it’s important to have clear indication which steps have been completed successfully, which might be run again and which steps are still to be done.
Beta release coming up
The next milestone for the EIS project will be the beta release of EIS Toolbox. It is planned for release in November and will contain the most vital parts of the library. The goal is to enable going through each step of the workflow although not all analysis and processing functionality will be feature complete in the first release. After the beta release the development continues with finalizing the functionality and testing with a wider audience. The final release is due in 2024.