While precision agriculture is fundamentally a science, it can also become an art — especially when the geospatial characteristics of a field don't conform to a perfectly square or rectangular grid in a grower’s or consultant’s geographic information system (GIS), or when field topography is far from flat.
There is so much potential and there are so many needs on so many levels with respect to open geospatial data that still need to be addressed. It will require some serious forward thinking to make the data as meaningful as possible.
One example of open data advancement is a project mandated by the Washington State Legislature in 2015, which involves the collection, processing and sharing of LiDAR data with the public by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The goal is to cover the entire state.
For utility companies that continue to use map books, there is growing awareness of information lapses and even disconnects between field crews and headquarters. “This is an area where mobile technology that now makes viewing GIS data in the field very practical can deliver enormous benefits,” says Brady Hustad, CEO of Argis Solutions.
Examples of locational data enrichment in geospatial applications include forestry mapping that can now include analysis of trees and ground cover, topography, and even soil composition and moisture content.
Evolving technologies and expectations have blurred the traditional distinction between surveying and GIS. As a result, surveyors should expect to be asked to provide more GIS-ready data and GIS professionals should plan to provide positions with higher accuracy than previously required.
In the April 2017 issue of POB, find out how 3D tools played a role in the renovation of the Institute of Civil Engineers headquarters in London. Also, POB releases the results of its 2017 3D Surveying Trends Study.