At our group beta test session yesterday we were asked by one of the attendees:

“Why do you use a map to enter the farm and fields?  Why not just let the user enter the data in a table?”

This is a good question (or questions to be precise).  There are several reasons for using a map and entering the farm and fields on the map:

  • We use the location of fields on the map to query background base map data and auto fill in the soil type and the area of the fields.
  • The field and farm shapes are passed to manager for a larger scale map of all farms and fields participating in a lease exchange.  This composite map will provide a good overview of participating farms with hooks to monitored water use.
  • When doing water balances in Manager, we’ll be able to associate weather stations and other area instrumentation with fields on a graphical basis.
  • We can display crop plan suggestions with a color scheme that lets the user see at a glance what crops will be grown where (note: this isn’t implemented yet).
  • And for some users… It’s just plain fun!

So if you haven’t done it yet, download a copy of SWIIM™ Planner and have some fun!