Monday, March 23, 2015

Picture This...

I have found that one of the more complicated parts of creating a baseline document report for an easement property is keeping your field notes and pictures in sync with each other. Our field kit for baseline day has always included paper maps, a gps unit, a camera, and a notebook. Our usual process then includes going out to a point on the map, taking a waypoint on the gps, spinning around taking at least 5 pictures of each direction from the point, then logging in the notebook the list of each photo we took and any notes we want to keep track of. It usually works.

Back at the office, hopefully the photos, the log, and the notes all line up. If not, I hope my memory is good enough to remember which direction I was looking. Then, I have to fire up ArcGIS and other tools to import my GPS waypoints and manually make a new photo point map.

Here's an alternative that removes some of the gear, steps, and guesswork.

With LANDSCAPE, I can go out to a property with my smart phone. I can take a bunch of pictures without worrying much about where I am on the map. If I want to, there are a bunch of apps I could use to voice-annotate my photos - no more notebook.

Back at the office, I can open up LANDSCAPE and upload all those photos directly into the baseline map of my Stewardship project. They will appear as points of interest that I can then name, describe, etc. If the points were close together, I'll get one point with several photos instead of several points with a photo in each. That's pretty cool.

There are other ways of importing geographic data into LANDSCAPE. You can find out more about it and other map editing tasks in this knowledge base article.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Dashboard and Knowledge Base

The Dashboard has gotten a lot more robust in the last couple days. There are more statistics available and their grouping has changed slightly. 

The purpose of the Dashboard is to put the most basic statistics about your conservation projects at your fingertips without having to generate reports or create queries. My goal for the Dashboard is to make it answer 90% of the questions you need to answer.

Check out the new LANDSCAPE knowledge base article on using the Dashboard

The knowledge base is still in its infancy, but it will start getting filled in over the next couple weeks. The knowledge base is accessible from the main support page here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Customize It

There are now many more customizations at your disposal to make LANDSCAPE conform to the way you do business. Check them out from the Settings menu in the main navigation bar:

There is a ton of stuff in here you can change, from the names you use to describe your property interests to the checklists you use for your acquisitions.

If you like to think in metric, you can even change your area units to hectares... :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

LANDSCAPE Makes Its Debut

LANDSCAPE is ready for its first public preview! Until its official release in May 2015, you can try LANDSCAPE for free and discover a better way to manage your land conservation projects.

There is a quick Getting Started tutorial here, and the application will prompt you to load some sample data when you first start it up.

Over time, I'll be adding a lot more information to the support section. So stay tuned to this blog for updates.

If you want to get started on a preview account, here's something to keep in mind. If you are setting it up for an organization that might have multiple people who want to review it at the same time, just have one person register the subscription. Then, have that user create more user accounts under that subscription from the Settings menu. Then, you'll all share data and if you decide later to keep your LANDSCAPE subscription, it will be a simpler to keep going with what you've got.