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PersistentPalms

Collection/Nursery/Orchard Management Software

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PersistentPalms

Aloha y'all! :shaka-2: (swweeeeeet, a new shaka emoji! B))

Does anyone manage their  public or private collections, palmetums, nurseries, orchards, etc with software?  Something with mapping capabilites and includes IPM scheduling/journaling etc.?

I can't afford to shell out the clams to get something like the big boys use (ESRI's ArcGIS type mapping software, WOW!) but I've finally got a few plants that are going in the ground and I don't want to lose track of anything...  

 

IMG_5171.JPG

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kinzyjr

Depending on how detailed it has to be, Excel (or a few of the freeware MS Office alternatives) might be enough.  While this map of my property could use an update, I can certainly use it to maintain a list of my plants and their locations in relation to others on my property.

201903112130_Landscape.png

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Neil C

Only in the US could a house look like a gun :0)

Regards Neil

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kinzyjr
2 hours ago, Neil C said:

Only in the US could a house look like a gun :0)

Regards Neil

LMAO!  Didn't think about it that way, but you have a point. 

@PersistentPalms If you don't want your house to look like a gun, update your map more frequently than I do and include a legend so you don't lose stuff ;)

201903122130_Landscape.png

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zoli

Not exactly ready to offer you a solution just yet, but I'm working on something very similar to this.  The motivation for building it was initially similar to yours, mainly to keep track of my own collection, irrigation habits, fertilization, inventory, etc. Then, after visiting a couple of botanical gardens and seeing how lacking some of their maps were, I began adding mapping features as an absolute requirement for the long run. 

I'm building it exclusively for the iPhone as step one, but if I get positive feedback and there is truly a demand for something like this, I am willing to create an Android version as well. I'm intentionally treating the web as an afterthought for now,  since most collectors/serious gardeners would likely find more use for something like this out in the field, among their plants, smartphone in hand. Could be wrong though. 

As for timing, I'm hoping to officially release the initial mapping-less and FREE version later this year hopefully by June 2019.  If you or anyone else feels like this would be of interest or would like to learn more about my little project, please feel free to connect with me. I'm pretty into this stuff right now.

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Justin

Zoli, I'd be interested in something like that.  I'm not sure the resolution on the iPhone's GPS, but I've always wondered whether there is something that could combine a picture with the GPS and then export all that to something like Excel or Google Sheets or something similar. 

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GDLWyverex
16 hours ago, PersistentPalms said:

Aloha y'all! :shaka-2: (swweeeeeet, a new shaka emoji! B))

Does anyone manage their  public or private collections, palmetums, nurseries, orchards, etc with software?  Something with mapping capabilites and includes IPM scheduling/journaling etc.?

I can't afford to shell out the clams to get something like the big boys use (ESRI's ArcGIS type mapping software, WOW!) but I've finally got a few plants that are going in the ground and I don't want to lose track of anything...  

 

 

I wrote an inventory prog some time ago that I use to keep track of what I have, where I got it and How much I paid. It is written in php/mysql/html5 and I can give you the code if you wish to modify it to include other features.

Take a look at it

http://selva.cabal.mx

 

Richard

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zoli
1 hour ago, Justin said:

Zoli, I'd be interested in something like that.  I'm not sure the resolution on the iPhone's GPS, but I've always wondered whether there is something that could combine a picture with the GPS and then export all that to something like Excel or Google Sheets or something similar. 

GPS support may even be overkill for gardens less than, say, an acre.  GPS would, of course make sense for truly large arboretums with many trails. Features like locating a specific specimen of interest is nearly impossible in a place like Oahu's Lyon.

For starters, I was thinking more along the lines of a simple 2D map that you could even hand draw on an iPad, more or less to scale and which you can then populate with the plants in your garden. Good enough for keeping track of stuff and can even be made shareable with garden visitors if they have the same app. Export/import features are a piece of cake once you have access to the data.

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Justin

I've got a database for my place (3 acres) with date planted, size when planted, who I purchased it from, etc., but the "location" I have is somewhat ambiguous and makes sense only to me.  If I had actual location, it would be better, because then for a plant I can't remember, I could pull up the Lat/Long and find that in my spreadsheet.

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zoli

It makes perfect sense to want to browse a map for a 3 acre piece of land. Location data could absolutely be stored/retrieved with fairly good granularity. Think, geocaching for plants.  Likewise, going from spreadsheet or some other table view to map view should be equally doable. Good idea worth investing in, for sure.

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mike in kurtistown

I've been keeping an Excel database for my plantings for ten years on my 8-acre property. It's up to 464 entries, name, date, number of plants for each species, and a rough description of where it is, including which other palms are near it. I almost never forget what is where, but I can never remember when I planted it. I could use a GPS and get geodetic coordinates, but it's intimidating when one has 464 entries already. And I don't know if any of the computer maps will really show enough detail to be a good visual aid.

I also keep a data base of my seed acquisitions, number of seeds germinating, source, size, description, etc. I use something called Lemmy, a PC version of the old VI editor. Started using it in 1999, before I had any experience with Excel.

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branislav

I've been using Airtable (https://airtable.com/), initially the free version but adding hundreds of photos eventually made me switch to the paid one.

It takes 30 minutes to set up a relational database with the features you want, and then it's a snap to use (I have tables for genera, species -- with cultivation info, and plantings -- with purchase date, size, price, source, and location in garden, among others, and fertilization schedules). I walk around the garden with my phone and can instantly add photos for any palm in the database (also fun to track progress over time). Once you've set up a table with species, it's just a matter of adding your acquisitions. I use planters for the location, but the photos are all geo-tagged by the phone, and it would be easy to extract that info.

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Jeff Searle

Well, if anything this topic got the attention of people with very little post. Not sure why. Lol

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branislav
5 hours ago, Jeff Searle said:

Well, if anything this topic got the attention of people with very little post. Not sure why. Lol

Probably because we don't have much else to contribute in terms of actual knowledge about palms yet?

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Tracy S

I also use a spreadsheet to track my plants. I keep track of when I bought them, size, cost and who I got them from. I have a location which is just the name of subsection of my garden. It works pretty well. However, I was interested in logging these in a better way since the plant list is growing. I heard about a software package that botanical gardens commonly use for this purpose. It has the mapping feature and the mobile app features. You can search for the label and it tells you about your plant via a database app. 

It's more than I want to spend for my little garden but If I had 5 acres of densely planted gardens I would certainly buy it. here is the link to the web site.

https://www.irisbg.com/

 

 

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NC_Palms
On 3/11/2019 at 11:31 PM, Neil C said:

Only in the US could a house look like a gun :0)

Regards Neil

Lmao! 

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zoli
5 hours ago, Tracy S said:

I also use a spreadsheet to track my plants. I keep track of when I bought them, size, cost and who I got them from. I have a location which is just the name of subsection of my garden. It works pretty well. However, I was interested in logging these in a better way since the plant list is growing. I heard about a software package that botanical gardens commonly use for this purpose. It has the mapping feature and the mobile app features. You can search for the label and it tells you about your plant via a database app. 

It's more than I want to spend for my little garden but If I had 5 acres of densely planted gardens I would certainly buy it. here is the link to the web site.

https://www.irisbg.com/

 

 

Wow, this thing is expensive! I'd say, at that price point, either this thing is flawless or there just isn't an alternative. 

For what it's worth, I installed their iOS app just to check it out and I couldn't even back out from under the Explore Other Gardens menu point. So much for flawless.

Anyway, still very cool that someone built a system like this. Thanks for sharing the link!

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Loxahatchee Adam

I looked into software several years ago to keep track of everything I've been planting here...palms...trees...other stuff.

I've been keeping track of everything in a big Excel file that has served its purpose, but has nowhere near the functionality that I want long term.

BG-base is what botanical places have used for years, but I've run a trial version of it and it's a dinosaur program that makes you feel like you're stuck in 1995 on the verge of MS DOS and Windows 95.

When I looked at Iris BG 4 or so years ago, what really drew me in were the mapping and mobile capabilities.  My biggest problem (and one that I'm sure others have also) is getting behind on updating and forgetting info.   If I could update as I'm receiving and planting items, it would great.....along with adding GPS data.   I also wanted to be able to take planting pictures, future growth pics, flowering pics, etc.  I have lots of phone pictures, but I wanted them matched to the individual accessions.    The biggest problem back then was the mobile required you to go on eBay or somewhere and find a dinosaur Windows CE phone to run their software on.   To me this was useless.   They now have iOS and Android apps, though I haven't looked into how well these integrate with the base program.

What I ended up using for a short time was PIRS - Plant Information Record System - which is based in FileMaker.  For what you're looking for, this may be one of the best options.   http://www.botanicaltech.com/

http://www.botanicaltech.com/databases.html

It takes some getting used to, as all programs do.   I needed to change a number of fields in it to suit the needs here better.  An issue I had was that with photos, they were attached to species.  So if you have several different accessions of the same species, the pictures were all attached to all of them.  To me, this seemed silly, as I don't want just an example photo, but rather that of individuals.   There are mobile versions of FileMaker that can be linked up, but it is not a simple process.  For computer based database, spray logs, potting up, etc....it may be the best solution for you.   The database itself is distributed free of charge, but you need to purchase FileMaker.

I personally have gone back to my Excel file for now, as it's much faster for me to put in a list of things.  I think inevitably I will go to Iris BG, but there is a big $$$ cost upfront and recurring annual maintenance $$$.   I really want the integrated mapping and image capabilities and future ability to have the maps online.  Most of the 2014 plantings have printed labels with QR codes on them that link to info pages.   When we have horse show events here, it would be awesome to have everything openly available.

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waykoolplantz
On 3/13/2019 at 9:37 PM, Jeff Searle said:

Well, if anything this topic got the attention of people with very little post. Not sure why. Lol

Maybe they’re actually busy growing ...outside.

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kinzyjr
47 minutes ago, waykoolplantz said:

Maybe they’re actually busy growing ...outside.

I'll go with this option as well ;).  This thread caught my attention because I work in IT, so I like having data on-demand for all of my plants.  At the same time, growing palms is one of the things that gets me away from the screen, so I try not to go overboard with it.  That and I'm cheap - so freeware or bust.

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zoli

@Loxahatchee Adam Not surprised about using Excel, I read somewhere on social media recently, that practically all enterprise level software is effectively competing with Excel.  That's true enough to make me chuckle at least a little bit.

In general, I think there is demand for a decent, easy to use, and inexpensive software system for tracking collections. I think when you are growing plants at scale, especially rare and difficult to grow ones, there can be tremendous energy expended on getting things just right. Serious hobbyist, non-commercial growers know what I'm talking about.  Like, if you somehow procure a single fresh seed of a Pelagodoxa, for example, you might invest hours reading up on cultural techniques and climatic requirements. You really want this thing to survive!

Botanical gardens are on a similar mission, though at a much larger scale with far greater resources. Among their primary goals is--or should be,  plant conservation. Getting things just right is also at the top of their list.  To say nothing of the importance of scientific research.

Then there are nurserymen and "ego" hobbyists/collectors. There are definitely exceptions, but I can also see how this thread may seem silly and unnecessary to them. Their motivations and incentives are simply different. And that's fine too. (By the way, in no way am I suggesting that nurserymen are also ego-drenched, plant snobs. The latter is a very distinct and independent species.)

So yeah,  in short, I think I'm going to build this thing. It may take me a year or so, but I think I'll get started. I'll keep anyone interested in the loop. Thanks everyone, great thread! 

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