Readers Recommend Apps for Mapping, Monitoring, and More

We asked TechLine readers how they use mobile devices and applications to enhance invasive plant management program efforts. See what apps they are using for mapping, monitoring, and more.  

Universally, respondents give positive reviews for the technology they are using, reporting that mobile devices and applications have enhanced and streamlined field operations at a minimal cost. Smart phones and tablets are relatively inexpensive, many applications are free or just a few dollars, connectivity and accuracy are improving all the time, and readers prefer the convenience of using a single, multi-purpose device.

 
GOOGLE DRIVE for creating and using data collection forms.

GOOGLE DRIVE
for creating and using data collection forms.

Information Sharing

Readers recommend: Google DriveDropbox

Free Google services such as documents, spreadsheets, forms, messaging and mail are integrated, easy to use, and help users access, collect, and share information between the field and office. With the Google Drive mobile app users can enter field data directly to customizable forms and spreadsheets, which are stored locally on the device or synchronized automatically to “the cloud” (online). If creating new Google Doc isn’t feasible, mobile applications for basic cloud storage such as Dropbox allow any type of file to be archived online and synchronized to mobile devices, making reference information such as protocols and procedures, plant identification, treatment recommendations, maps, and just about anything available anywhere. 

RE-TAKE for before and after photopoint monitoring

RE-TAKE
for before and after photopoint monitoring

Cameras / Photopoints

Readers recommend: Re-Take

Most smart-phones and tablets come with high-resolution cameras for capturing still photos and video. With cloud storage and instant messaging, photo/video collections can be archived online and shared instantly. One reader highly recommends the app Re-Take, which features a transparent overlay so you can line-up a previous photograph while you capture a new one. Another reader says the ability to capture and instantly share photographs in the field has helped crew-members correctly identify plants. 

MOTIONX GPS for maps, navigation, tracking, and more.

MOTIONX GPS
for maps, navigation, tracking, and more.

GPS Navigation, Tracking, and Mapping

Readers recommend: MotionX GPSTrimble GPS, Garmin GPSEDDMapsGoogle Earth (offline terrain and topographic overlays), Locus Map Pro

Built-in GPS capability is a standard for most devices. Survey respondents report accuracy comparable to stand-alone GPS units, though a good cellular signal is required. GPS applications help with navigating terrain, recording locations, tracking weed population size and distribution, logging application information, and supplementing location information for photographs and other data.

PANDORA for your musical enjoyment.

PANDORA
for your musical enjoyment.

Safety, comfort, and Entertainment

Readers recommend: The Weather ChannelPandora (music), Your Own Good Judgment 

For many users, smart-phones and tablets are a source of entertainment and convenience; mobile-device-toting invasive plant managers are no exception. Smart-phones provide communication and connection in the field (where there is service), and the ability to receive and monitor severe weather alerts and remain connected to “civilization” via telephone and text messaging can provide a sense of security for field crews. And when you grow weary of the sounds of the breeze in the trees, the trickle of a bubbling brook, or the sweet song of a chickadee, you can insert your ear-buds and rock-out. Please use caution when choosing to impair your ability to hear signs of impending danger or a cry for help from your fellow crew-member. A cell phone is not a replacement for careful planning and exercising good-judgment in the field.


Identification Tools and Control Recommendations

New Range & Pasture SolutionFinder

Designed to assist with making weed control solution decisions for nutrient-robbing weeds and brush—allowing grasses to thrive. Along with product details, the app contains a weed identification component to help get specific herbicide solutions based on various situations.

 

Woody Weed Specialists

An information resource specifically designed to help make more informed decisions for the control of woody weeds. It contains information for weed identification, critical control times, different application methods plus new and existing herbicide recommendations for many woody weed species.

 

Ag Weed ID

Created by the Penton Farm Progress Group this app contains information and images of about 75 of the most common weeds, and enables users to narrow the list by crop, season and location. Users can compare on the spot, or use the app’s camera integration feature to take and upload photos of suspect weeds to identify later. Available for both Apple and Android, the app is free. Learn more here.