Just putting my fantasies about weed mapping in farmOS out there - I am curious to know if anyone else would find this kind of system useful. I would really like to be able to track the location, condition, treatment, and date of weed observation and related tasks within farmOS. Such a framework could be used for the tracking of valued species as well.
As a basic functionality it would be good to be able to precisely record the location of weeds and this would be most viable through a mobile app that could record a GPS co-ordinate as well as photos from the camera. It would be important to be able to classify the observation by plant type, maturity, as well as a size estimate.
In terms of in-the-paddock features it would be nice to have access to some customized information about the plant. So I might develop my own weed database that incorporates the scientific details about a plant including ID photos, as well as notes about how the plant appears in the context of my farm/locality. It would be fabulous to be able to whip out the phone, take a snap of a weed and record an observation along the lines of:
“chooks have actually almost wiped out this infestation”
“new shoots emerging despite goat impact for 3 months”
“this is a one new, probably came in with feed from the new supplier”
“Greg’s home remedy killed everything but the desired plant”
“bracken fern reemerging”
It would be important to be able to link such observations to prior observations at a later date (when one is in front of a computer) as so many weed observations occur in the course of doing something else. Having to search and link prior observations at the moment of noticing it is likely to fall under the ‘to fiddly, will come back later’-never happens category.
In terms of dedicated weed mapping missions, a necessary feature of an app would be the ability to swipe through photos (perhaps catagorised as seed head, flower, leaf, root system etc) of your weed database to to id/discern plants in the paddock - indeed a category of ‘red herrings’ may be useful - plants that are not weeds but that are easily mistaken as them.
On the website end, it would be desirable to outline management plans that are linked to the calendar. For example, a reminder to move the goats onto an area thistles frequently appear to ensure flowers are dealt with before turning to seed. It would also be great to be able to view weed maps that progress over time with the capacity to differentiate weed species by marker colour/icon and a ‘show only x’ feature. Clicking on a marker would ideally bring up a photo and some critical data without needing to go to a new page, to assist rapid in identification of the correct/intended observation.
All of this functionality would be equally applicable to the preservation and enhancement of desirable species - the same processes could be used to monitor and record preservation tasks for plants of that are of environmental significance - plants that encourage desirable species of insects/birds, have specific soil enhancing qualities, are on endangered lists and so forth.
Love to hear other people’s thoughts… is it a pipe-dream? Does anyone else think they would find this useful?