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What are the best landscaping/note taking apps or software for urban permaculture?  RSS feed

 
Cal Burns
Posts: 125
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Have a house with an empty lot, about 3/4ths of an acre. Have taken photos, video of it.
Thinking of ways to optimally keep notes on different sections as I work to apply permaculture features to it and hopefully turn it into a food forest one day.

Would like to see a virtual view of my property and be able to easily attach different notes on my Android phone or tablet for things like:
- what would be good to grow here in this spot
- this is what I want to do here
- planted this here last year, and this here the year before that
- this is needed to be added here

Would be great if there were an Android app that allowed you to walk around your property and add notes on your smartphone as you view it visually on your screen. The location could be tracked via GPS. Having a permaculture/plant database on the backend would be awesome (but not required).
Also would need to view images/data when not connected wirelessly or in the "cloud".

Is there a landscaping software or mindmap type of software that allows images to be overlaid and notes that can edited on images?
Has anyone had success with doing this via Google Sketch? Would prefer something that is opensource or freeware.
The closest I've found that would do this is a Windows package called Vorg Express where notes can be attached to different parts of an image. The program though hasn't been updated in years and has very limited import/export capabilities.

Better still would be a mindmap where a PIM (personal information manager) could be seamlessly integrated.

Speaking of Apps, I heard that there existed an App where when you took a photo of a plant it could tell you what the plant was.
Does this exist??
 
Robert Ray
gardener
Posts: 1351
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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Moleskine makes a great garden journal. I use a paper journal and have a memory stick I put all permie type photos electronic data on and refer to those photos/ data in the journal if I need to.
 
Lori Crouch
Posts: 104
Location: Amarillo, TX.
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I would contact a local university with landscape architecture and ask them. They use a lot of those in their classrooms or encourage students to purchase them.
 
Brad Davies
gardener
Posts: 213
Location: Clarkston, MI
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I don't know of a program that will do everything that you mentioned, but Google SketchUp comes pretty close. You can use Google SketchUp with Google Earth to grab a satellite image of your property. When SketchUp imports it, it will have all the geo cache info from Google Earth, N,S,E,W orientation, terrain / elevation, Lat / Lon coordinance, and it will all be to scale as well. You can then use this as a template to draw on top of. You can import photo textures to make things look as real as you want, you can even set the date and time and it will show you where your shadows will fall. Very cool, very useful, very user friendly program, and best of all it's free! It's not super difficult to learn, there are hundreds of videos in there help section that show you how to do pretty much anything. The learning curve is pretty easy as well. You can be drawing and creating 3D images on the first go. I think you could probably add notes to the file, but I am not 100% sure on that. You can even create an HGTV style walkthrough video once you are completed to show it off or get a feel for your design based on your eye height. I taught a Technology Education course for middle schoolers, 10-14 y/o, for the past 2 years and I can tell you if they can do it, you can do it. After only a few weeks of learning the program they were able to do things that took me 3 years of autocad classes to be able to do. For their final design project they had to design a completely self-sufficient house, along the principles of an Earth Ship, create a video tour and embed it in a PowerPoint presentation. I was blown away by how cool some of these designs were, as well as, how savvy some of them got with the program in no time. I wish I would have known about Permaculture at the time because I would have totally implemented that into the designs....

Anyway here's a couple snapshots of what I have been doodling for my Suburban permaculture project.
Backyard-prototype-cropped.PNG
[Thumbnail for Backyard-prototype-cropped.PNG]
 
Leron Bouma
Posts: 25
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
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iseethelight Hatfield wrote:
Speaking of Apps, I heard that there existed an App where when you took a photo of a plant it could tell you what the plant was.
Does this exist??


It's called LeafSnap; free for the iPhone and newest generation iPod Touch.
 
Cal Burns
Posts: 125
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Thanks all, great info. I'll look further into Sketchup. Wish Android had something similar to LeafSnap.
 
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