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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,858

    Default Mapping software for bee plants?

    I'm looking for software that will let me inventory and map bee forage. On my property now I have at least 12 "wild" apples (no indications of a graft), 10+ cultivated heirloom apples, some peach trees and several good sized patches of showy fireweed, as well as tulip polar & willow seedlings. I'd also like to map where I scatter Joe Pye Weed and Milk Weed seeds and where I establish a patch of heather next spring. Also a few Lindens which I hope will start blossoming next year. I don't intend to map the Goldenrod, Rosa Rugosa, Service berry or Blueberry.

    I have an handheld GPS and expect to identify locations using that.

    Our overall land is 90 acres - I'm carrying more hives than the native forage will carry (or at least so the state tells me) and would like to plot out what I'm doing for the bees. At some point I'm going to look at trying to provide forage for traditional dearth periods. The property abuts a tidal river and I presume (though I haven't been out to look) that there are waters edge plants that the bees make use of.

    Ideas? Ideally the map would help me show my efforts at providing forage and habitat for native pollinators too.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,073

    Default Re: Mapping software for bee plants?

    If you are looking for map software to run on a PC, Delorme's Topo North America is one option.

    http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=10742&minisite=100 20

    You can upload GPS points to Topo.

    Google Earth has similar capabilities.
    http://www.google.com/earth/explore/products/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Mapping software for bee plants?

    qGis is pro-grade, totally free open-source GIS (mapping) software. It has compiled version that run on any computer architecture. Capacities range from import of GPS points (trivial) to performing complex modeling calculations (highly technical). It is essentially an open-source clone of ArcInfo. http://www.qgis.org/en/site/

    Google Earth (or it pro upgrade) are likely sufficient for you needs. The EarthPoint web tools allow you to import and export points, polygons and such. http://www.earthpoint.us‎

    ArcInfo (the industry standard GIS) has a "home" license subscription for $100/year. (Cheap compared to the business cost of $20,000-$30,000 for equal capacity).

    Learning curve on GIS can be really steep and twitchy, with a sometimes impentrable lingo of its own. It been part of my academic work for decades, so I tend to forget just how forbidding it seems. Best approach -- just jump in and qGis makes that easy.

    The USGS makes topographic, aerial, and satellite imagery available through it portal. Usually state agencies supplement this. Image files can be enormous.

    Sometimes the best approach is just marking up a paper map, really. The computer stuff can be a real rabbit hole, and get in the way of careful paper notes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,135

    Default Re: Mapping software for bee plants?

    Google earth can draw 3 miles circles around you're planting areas. I've done it but don't remember how.
    You don't need to buy anything.
    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Mapping software for bee plants?

    The easiest solution to circles in GE is:
    http://kml4earth.appspot.com/circlegen.html
    This website generates and downloads a kml file that draws a circle centered on some arbitrary lat-long.
    A 1 mile, 2 mile 3 mile radius example is shown below.
    Last edited by JWChesnut; 11-08-2013 at 07:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Madoc, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Mapping software for bee plants?

    I would use qGIS primarily. It is awkward to get up and running with but, as in beekeeping, a mentor can make life relatively easy. If I am understanding your objectives correctly, that would include being able to not only locate various plant species such as, perhaps, your apple trees, but also being able to derive the areas of various types or combinations of plants. This is very easy to do with qGIS. It will also give you a Google Earth view, which is helpful for plotting or checking features. qGIS will take data in a variety of formats including GPX, delimited text files, KML, ESRI shapefiles and so on. It will also facilitate georeferencing raster files such as aerial photos. One fo the features that may be helpful to you is that qGIS can very easily produce clickable HTML maps, which makes it easy to distribute your plan.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,858

    Default Re: Mapping software for bee plants?

    Thank you everyone for your responses. I can see I've got a winter's worth of research and "playing" ahead of me. I like the idea of open source and qGIS sounds like what I should look at first! Thanks again!
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

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