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What benefit does Visualisation Software have?

Visualisation software is designed to save valuable time in making sense of the data you are getting, specific to that project.  It can be designed to present the data in an attractive way not only making analysis easier but also aiding in writing reports.  Visualisation software is always used with an automated means of retrieving data for your project.  In our case it would be using a Geologger system most likely with a GPRS Modem.  The file that is downloaded from the Geologger is presented in a tabulated Excel spreadsheet with a column for each sensor or output from sensor against time.  Should you have a large quantity of sensors in this file then the numbers can become quite hypnotic unless some manipulating is done.  Rather than using Excel to create graphs, diagrams and data of particular interest which can be rather time consuming, Visualisation Software takes this file and automatically plots the graphs for you when asked of it.  Each sensor can be effectively plotted on a picture or drawing of your choice as per the below example of a bridge showing Tiltmeters on a Bridge. This example shows you can pre-set traffic light trigger levels which will then highlight the sensor which can move over the expected range.

Is the software included in the price?

Software is only included in the price for the standalone dataloggers such as the 1 Channel Logger and 10 Channel logger.  These software packages are also available to download free of charge from the RST website:

http://www.rstinstruments.com/SOFTWARE.html

Here you can find all software needed to use readouts and Standalone Dataloggers.  It is important to remember to keep all RST software up to date before each site visit.  Most software has an Auto-Update feature now when opened which requires an internet connection to run however if the software is particularly dated this will not happen.

What is the difference between Software and Firmware?

Software is the program you install and run on the laptop or PC you are using to communicate with the datalogger.

Firmware is the software in the datalogger itself which contains vital information for the datalogger to function properly. 

Both of which are very important to keep up to date at all times.