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January/February 2021 | Muedanyi Ramantswana

Precise manual and mechanised plant location recording using FPT

Digital Technology


What is it? 
The FPT (Forest Pro Technologies) is a digital application which works with a GPS system which records the precise location of forest plants during the re-establishment phase. The system is compatible with various tools and equipment such as manual planting with a spade or a planting machine.

How it works?
The user inputs the information for the specific working environment on a mobile device which is linked to the GPS device. The input information can include details such as compartment name, the operator, machine detail and grid spacing (espacement) etc.

The system has a default map layer (Google maps) but the user also has the option of uploading a georeferenced PDF with site specific details which will be imported into the system. The planting grid derived from the grid spacing input is overlaid on the base map provided. Furthermore, the planting grid can also be orientated depending on the planting direction specified.

Depending on the application, the planter using a spade, or the operator of a planting machine presses a button on the handle to enable the data location logging process. The longitude and latitude position of the planted tree is then captured.

At the end of the shift the data collected is automatically uploaded when the mobile device links to any Wi-Fi connection. Once the data is uploaded onto the Forest Pro database it is then formatted depending on the needs of the client and then made available within 24 hours.

Other information
The data format can be configured to match existing data systems such as Arch GIS. Moreover, the data derived from the FPT system is useful for various forest management purposes such as assessing plant stocking of a particular stand. The system is quite accurate; however, the accuracy of the system will be dependent on the reception on a particular area and it can vary depending on the satellite positions at a particular time.

For more information visit: m-planter