Geographic positioning systems are changing the way people work worldwide. For example, in agricultural operations, GPS-based water management technology is being employed to monitor sloping and drainage, helping to increase crop yield and productivity.
Now, Sunnyvale, California-based Trimble (News - Alert) has introduced the WM-Topo survey system–a portable solution that can be used to collect topographic data in even the most challenging terrain.
The new, lightweight survey system was launched at the Farm Progress Show, on August 28, in Boone, Iowa. Comprising a Trimble Nomad handheld computer and a pole-mounted Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver, the product can be carried into nearly inaccessible areas, such as ditches and steep terrain, muddy fields, and fields with mature crop cover.
Farmers and drainage and leveling contractors can use the WM-Topo system to collect topographic data across a field that can be transferred to Farm Works Surface software or the FmX integrated display via a USB stick, or wirelessly via Trimble's Connected Farm solution. The data can then be used to create a three-dimensional model of the field.
The WM-Topo system also can be used to calculate the grade between two given points in a field, in order to determine the existing slope or check the grade accuracy of newly installed pipe.
"We understand that water management is top of mind today. The addition of the WM-Topo system to Trimble's product mix continues our goal of providing solutions to better meet our customers’ growing water management needs," said Erik Arvesen, vice president of Trimble's Agriculture Division. "The portable WM-Topo system is an ideal tool to survey hard-to-reach areas with challenging terrain, crop cover or in adverse weather conditions."
The WM-Topo system can be used as an alternative, or to supplement, survey work previously conducted on the FmX display—providing a more portable option for data collection in terrain that is difficult to access. The system is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Free Smartphone App
In related news, Trimble also introduced a Connected Farm app for smartphone platforms at the show. This free app uses the built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) of the smartphone for collecting in-field information to aid in fast and accurate decision making. The app allows farmers and agronomists to map field boundaries, mark flags, take geo-referenced photos and enter scouting information for pests.
"We are seeing an increasing number of farmers and agronomists looking for apps they can utilize on their smartphones to help them collect important data from the field," said Erik Arvesen, vice president of Trimble's Agriculture Division. "Trimble's introduction of the Connected Farm app gives farmers an easy-to-use tool to capture field data for later viewing and analysis online, while also providing agronomists with access to additional data they can use to better assess the needs of their customers."
The Connected Farm app for smartphones will be available for download from the Apple (News - Alert) App Store and Google Play Store in September 2012. In order to use the Connected Farm app data within Farm Works Office software, current Farm Works users will need the latest software version, which can be accessed by subscribing to the Update Service Plan (USP).
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Edited by Brooke Neuman