In this article, we explain how to start using the mapping right away. We also provide information on how to enhance mapping capabilities for better displays and accuracy for your plant collection records. IrisBG is scalable to the needs and budgets of gardens all over the world. The mapping module is a perfect example of how this versatility is applied.
Table of Contents
Getting started with the Mapping module
When setting up your mapping module, we select a default map provider to set the center of your garden. To change the default provider, go to Collections > Map and then choose your default map provider from the Map type dropdown.
Use the Map providers (Definitions > Map Providers) screen if you want to hide global providers (global maps are important in recording Localities for wild collected accession) or to add your own map. In the latter case, remember to set your custom map as the default in Collections > Map.
|The blue checked boxes in the Active column indicate the maps that will be available in the Map screen.
The mapping module allows you to set GPS points within the Windows-based mapping module. By simply placing a pin on a map for an item, x and y coordinates are set and recorded after the record is saved. This function applies to geographical data for both Garden locations Management > Locations and Accession items.
screenshot of Collection location(s) screen
For a complete guide on how to add coordinates for plant accessions with the Mapping module, see the article, Set map coordinates for an Accession item.
IrisBG also offers a map report function for times when visualising query results is needed. Global maps will include Localities
with map coordinates. Local maps will include Locations and Items
with map coordinates. For more on this, see our guide: Use maps screen to create maps.
Does your organization have access to a high-resolution basemap? IrisBG will host one customized map at no charge
. When considering a high-resolution basemap, winter aerial images that include less canopy cover are preferred. Because high-resolution basemaps have higher maximum zoom levels, they lend better accuracy when plotting points. These maps also offer better visibility for displaying on Garden Explorer
. You can find further details on this topic in the article, Map Providers | Adding a Custom Map
🌱 Please note: WMTS can only be used internally in IrisBG. A WMS is needed for use in the Garden Explorer.
Example: high resolution basemap, courtesy of Botanic Gardens of Sydney
Mapping in the garden
You can use the full version of IrisBG out in the garden with a tablet and virtualization software,
as long as you have an internet connection. If Wi-Fi is unreliable for you out in the field, a mobile hotspot device will give you a portable internet connection while you're away from the office.
Expand your mapping capabilities
Many of our gardens start with the mapping module, and soon after, begin mapping for purposes related to plant collections. If you are interested in mapping this other data, we recommend Field Maps
or Mergin Maps
. These applications can be used offline and expand your capabilities in the field. In addition, these programs allow multiple people to collect data simultaneously.
Currently, coordinates for garden locations and accession items can be recorded with this method. Data is then transferred back to IrisBG using a simple template with the data import module. Soon, we will also provide a simplified input form to record more of your plant accession data in the field. Stayed tuned! Instructions on how to do this will be released in early 2024.
🌱 Adding separate layers for buildings, hardscapes, bed boundaries, or any other non-plant items in your custom map, provide great location references. In both IrisBG and Web (Garden) Explorer, the layers to be shown can be configured.
Gain better mapping accuracy
There are two components to consider for recording GPS coordinates with the best accuracy.
1. A tablet or mobile phone with an available storage capacity of at least 8 GB.
The mobile device will download an app from the app store. It does not need to have a cellular data plan as the app can work with offline data and synchronize changes to the data once a WiFi connection is established. Many gardens use a Samsung Galaxy or an iPad with an anti-glare screen coating, a rugged case, and a stylus. However, even a smartphone can be used- hence our recommendation of at least 8GB storage capacity.
Note: More storage may be necessary if many high resolution photos are being recorded with the data, and/or if the base map is high resolution ortho imagery.
2. An external GNSS receiver
This device will improve the accuracy of the GPS coordinates within the desired accuracy range. These can be purchased or rented. The more common brands are EOS, Geode, and Trimble.
🌱 Interested in adding on the Mapping module? Check pricing with our Price Calculator and/ or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to set it up!