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Laptop GPS software for farm operation
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Hello,
I am looking for a GPS tracking software which is also showing the track on the screen (map) and for which the tracking can be paused and continued.
Pausing the tracking should be done via a hotkey.

thanks a lot
--Holger
Marvin Hlavac
Welcome to Laptop GPS World, Holger.

Perhaps if you describe, in a little bit more detail, what it is you plan to do, some of us may be able to suggest an appropriate software for the task.
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Hallo again,

Ok, here in more detail:

we are trying to fertilize a field using a vehicle and every time I am pressing the fertilizer is sprayed over the field.
So now I want to track exactly which area I have fertilized and which I have not. For this reason I would like to have the following possibilities:

- a screen showing me my current position
- track on the map when I pressed the "spray button"
- possibility to upload and calibrate a map

I looked already on a few GSP tracking software such as TrackMaker. This software is almost what i want except that I can not turn on and off the recording (tracking on the screen).

any idea

thanx a lot
--Holger
Marvin Hlavac
Holger, I renamed the title of this discussion thread to "Laptop GPS software for farm operation" to hopefully attract people knowledgeable in farming.

A couple of more questions, if you don't mind. What is you budget for this project, and which part of the world are you in? If you search for "precision farming", you will come across a variety of equipment designed for this purpose, but my guess is that you are looking for a much less expensive alternative. Are you looking just for software; what GPS receiver are you using for your laptop?
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I just looked into precision farming but I could not quickly find what I am looking for.

yes, I am planning to use my tablet PC (incl. GPS) and my budget would be a couple of hundred dollars. So in theory I would need just the software. I am located in Germany.

Thanks
--Holger
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One more thing: The most important is the tracking and turning it on and off, so it maybe useful to have this in the title as well.
Ken in Regina
Hello Holger,

Take a look at Farm Works Software. I did not look at the prices but the Farm Site program looks like it does what you want.

...ken...
jhedmonton
Hi Holger,
Marvin Hlavac made me aware of your question. I am a farmer in Alberta, near Edmonton and have had the same question about 5 years ago. We are farming about 3500 ac of grain. I am also in computer programming (like so many of us, I have 2 jobs) and after a lot of searches decided to program my own.
FarmerGPS (my product) made front page on Grain News (see my website for a reprint), was in the Western Producer and Farm Show in the US. I don't do any marketing (which is a problem I know) but have a fast growing customer base. You can take a look at www.farmergps.ca (or .com).
I am selling the software for only $ 349.-!

Hope this is helpful.
Johannes
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Hi Johannes,
thanks a lot for your fast reply. I just checked your webpage and it looks pretty close to what I need. It is getting quite late here in Germany so I will check it out over the weekend. Nevertheless I have a couple of questions:
- is there any delay in the on/off switch between the tracking on the monitor and the pressing of the button?
- what kind of format do you support to upload the map?
- I plan to use a tablet which has already a GPS integrated. Would this be also possible?
- I saw that you can toggle the color by pressing Q,W or E. I guess I can use this to switch it on and off. can I configure the color and width for each character?

thanks a lot in advance
--Holger
jhedmonton
Hi Holger,

- is there any delay in the on/off switch between the tracking on the monitor and the pressing of the button?

Basically it is being processed with the next GPS signal as "OFF". So on a 1 Hz model, this would be 1 s in the worst case. With a 5 Hz model the worst case would be 200 ms. You can use the F2 key to turn equipment ON and OFF. I also offer an interface box (I can supply the schematic for free) which allows you to integrate into any 12V signal indicating ON or OFF. This could be a relay, an elec. clutch on your drill, or simply your master ON/OFF switch assuming its using 12V (most do). I even allow the integration to individual sprayer sections...

- what kind of format do you support to upload the map?
The default is a simple text format. I decided to use text as you can basically transform into any format with some programming skills. I also allow export to KML (Google Earth) or shapefile shp files formats.

- I plan to use a tablet which has already a GPS integrated. Would this be also possible?
Yes as long as the GPS receiver provides NMEA out.

- I saw that you can toggle the color by pressing Q,W or E. I guess I can use this to switch it on and off. can I configure the color and width for each character?
You can do what you are asking for, but the keys Q,W,E and R are used for color changes only. This is meant to indicate "special" areas in your field. An example would be that you do your own field trials and decide to increase fertilizer for 2 passes. I would press Q (or W or E or R) to mark these 2 passes.
You can setup as many equipment pieces as you like. All can have their own configurations (width, offset to antenna, etc.) and can be selected in the main screen. Go to Options/Setup/Equipment and explore. Since you are in Germany, you may choose German in the Setup... hope I did not miss to many translations. Please let me know if I did miss anything...

Consider the time change (you are 8h ahead of me), but give me a call if you have questions. From Germany dial: 001 780 990 4052 for my handy.

Johannes
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hallo Johannes,

I tried to install your software but I am always getting "Program too big to fit in memory". I am running Windows XP and I have already uninstalled all my .NET software and reinstalled the .NET 2.0 (maybe I still have the wrong one). When I check this error message in google it says that most of the time a corrupted file is the problem.

Have you seen this problem before?

--Holger
jhedmonton
Hi Holger,
I have not seen this error before. FarmerGPS does require .NET 2.0 but it appears you have already installed the correct version. Can you test on another PC to verify your download is OK ?
Johannes
dr dean
My inital thought for you was AG Leader SMS or possibly Farm Works. The downfall of either of those programs is cost. The upside is that you can import data from soil sampling and harvest (yield monitor) as well as other sources. another useful item is that perscriptions can be written for variable rate seeding and fertilizer. Really what you want to do as I see it is use your tablet pc as a light bar for mapping. I'm not too sure that either of the programs suggested do exactly what you need however Trimble may have an answer, I'll do some research. What are you currently using for making your yield maps and or writing prescriptions?
TimA
I came across this forum whilst doing a search for software as in the opening post. There are several manufactures of fully integrated guidance systems, but if you want to build your own, utilising a laptop and as gps receiver, then the software options that I have found so far are limited to 2! They are FarmerGPS as previously posted and JETHRO from http://www.the-acclaimed.com/.
Having evaluated them both I think that FarmerGPS wins.
If anyone knows of anything else, please let us know.
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