May 27, 2020

Adding and managing fields – the backbone of Crop Monitoring

First things first, in order to get access to all of the amazing features available in our software, you need to add fields. Adding your fields to the system is like laying the foundation for the entire process of monitoring your crops. As soon as you add the fields, you will get access to all of the valuable data such as vegetation indices, growth stages, historical crop rotation, weather forecasts, among others. But you have to start by adding fields into the system. And, in order to make the user experience as convenient as possible, we offer three different ways of doing so:

  • Upload fields (adding your .shp, .kml, and/or .geojson files into the system)
  • Draw polygon (outlining your fields manually on the map)
  • Select on map (locating your field and clicking on it). Available only for Pro users in Ukraine

start adding fields

Let’s talk about drawing

This method of adding fields has both its advantages and difficulties. On the plus side, you are in control of setting up and adjusting the boundaries of your fields. The downside is the process takes some skill and a lot of patience. But don’t sweat just yet, it’s not that hard. All you need is a mouse and spare time. To start drawing, click + ADD FIELD at the bottom right of your screen and choose “Draw polygon.” Next, you should enter the geographical location of your field in the search bar on top left.

draw polygon in Crop Monitoring

Now it’s action time! For better accuracy, we recommend zooming in as much as possible on the map. It is in your best interest to make sure that the outlines you have drawn correspond to the real boundaries of your field. To zoom in, either click on the “+” icon on the left of the screen or roll the mouse wheel forward. To zoom out, do the reverse: click “-” or roll the wheel back.

zoom in and out

We use the word “polygon” for convenience because the shape of a field is always somewhat irregular. Drawing a polygon of infinite irregularity is, thus, your best chance to capture the true outline of a field.

It is easier than you think (step-by-step)

  1. To start drawing, pin a point on the map with a single click anywhere you need.
  2. Now, by moving the mouse in any direction, you will automatically plot a straight dashed line on the map, it is there for visual aid only. However, you can stretch this draft line by dragging it in any direction as far as you wish, but until you pin a second point on the map, you won’t really be drawing anything.
  3. To achieve the best accuracy, pin as many points as needed. This is where the polygon shape comes into play.

draw the polygon

  1. To complete the polygon, click on any of the points you have pinned. As long as the lines do not intersect, there is no limit to the possible number of points or angles of the polygon that you can create. The more points you connect, the more precise and accurate the boundaries are. This is because only straight lines are available.
  2. Finish by clicking ADD TO MY FIELDS at the bottom of the side menu.

Note: the lines of your polygon should not intersect.

lines of the polygon intersect

A field with intersecting lines cannot be drawn. As soon as you click on any point to complete the polygon with intersecting lines, a text will pop up at the top of the screen: “The field is not valid. The lines shouldn’t intersect.” Whatever points and plot lines you have drawn so far will automatically disappear from the map and you will have to start over again. This may sound like a drag but we created this correction measure with the user in mind. Drawing the outlines of your field should be as natural as possible, without intersecting.

field is not valid

If you think you’ve made a mistake, just click “Cancel” at the bottom of the side menu, right below the “ADD TO MY FIELDS” button. Keep in mind that you will have to start the process over again, i.e. press “Add field” and select “Draw polygon.” Or, if you have only one point already pinned on the map, simply click on this point one more time and it will disappear. The “Draw Fields” side menu will remain on the right, so that you don’t waste time.

draw fields side menu

It may be a little tricky, though

Successfully drawing a polygon on the map is only the first step. At this point, you will be able to edit or delete the polygon you have drawn in the side “Draw Fields” menu. Locate the three horizontal dots in the top right corner.

three dots -drop menu

That is a little drop menu with two options: Edit and Delete.

edit and delete options

You can edit the field name, group name, and input all of the necessary information about your crops, such as “crop name”, “sowing date”, and the correspondent hypothetical harvesting “season”. This stage is very important because the software needs you to input all of the data to start monitoring the crops. Remember: entering all of the necessary data about your field is also your responsibility!

save your field

All of the edited information can be saved by clicking “Save.” If you have changed your mind, you can always click “Cancel” or click somewhere else on the screen to close the edit window. You can also close the edit window by clicking on the “x”. However, if you accidentally click anywhere outside the edit window, it will automatically close and all of the information you have edited will be lost. So don’t forget to click on “Save” every time you’ve edited something. This way even if you close the edit window without having intended to, you will find all of the edited information when you reopen the edit window.

Inside the Edit window

Now you can add data such as the field’s name, group name, crops, their sowing dates, and the season of their harvesting. You can also keep editing the polygon you have already drawn in the left pane of the edit window. There are two things you can do with this polygon:

  1. Drag it around the map without changing its shape.
  2. Adjust the boundaries.

Dragging the polygon is easy. Start by hovering your mouse arrow over the polygon. The arrow will look like a hand with a projected index (pointer) finger. Single click anywhere on the polygon and its borders will turn into dashed lines with dots at regular intervals. At this point, the arrow will look like a kind of compass cross. Now, to move the polygon, click anywhere on it and hold the click to drag it in any direction on the map. Make sure you do not intersect the lines, fields with intersecting lines are not recognized by our software.

To adjust the boundaries, hover the compass cross over any of the points on the dashed lines of your polygon. Click, hold, and drag the point you want anywhere you like; this dashed line will change its shape according to your input. It’s as simple as that. You can only adjust one line between any two points at a time.

adjust the boundaries

If you’ve changed your mind

Before completing the polygon drawing procedure and adding it to the list of your fields, you may have second thoughts or reservations. You can easily delete the polygon at this stage. For your convenience, we offer two delete options:

  1. In the edit window
  2. In the Draw Fields side menu

delete field options

While in the edit window, locate and click “Delete” at the top center. Don’t worry, if you click on it by mistake a smaller warning window will pop up for you to proceed or cancel.

confirmation window

However, a single click on “Delete” at the top right corner of the side menu will remove the field from the list without a warning.

The final step is to click “SAVE”, once done you can see that your field has been successfully added to your list. You can keep editing it and you can always delete it.

OK, let’s recap

Adding a field by drawing a polygon outline around it on the map may be a little tricky, but if you follow the steps above patiently while avoiding intersecting lines, the process should go quite smoothly for you. It will probably take some time however, if something goes horribly wrong for you for some reason, e-mail us and we will gladly resolve the issue.

Upload your field into the system

Why draw when you can just upload a file? If you already have a file containing the most important data about your field, such as its name, geographical location, crops, and so on, and it is in one of the following formats – .shp, .kml, and .geojson – just upload it to add it to your fields.

Note: an uploaded file should not exceed 1 MB. Also, the .shp files can only be uploaded in a zipped folder format.

  1. Click +ADD FIELD and choose “Upload fields.”

how to upload fields

2. Now that a side pane entitled Upload Fields is open on the right, click SELECT FILES.

how to select files

3. To upload files, you can now select them on your computer. Once the file is uploaded, the system will locate the field automatically on the map and add it to the temporary list on the right.

field is located

Note that the format should be either .shp (shape), .kml (keyhole markup language), or .geojson (geographical javascript object notation). If you accidentally uploaded a file in an unsupported format, you will see this:

unsupported format

No worries! Click OK, GOT IT and try again.

  1. Edit or delete an uploaded field in the temporary side menu list on the right.
  2. To complete the procedure, with all of the necessary edits and adjustments done, click ADD TO MY FIELDS.

Now you can begin monitoring your crops!

begin monitoring crops

Select on map (available only for Pro users)

In contrast to drawing polygons, this option is super easy. Just select a field on the map and click on it! Nevertheless, taking a step-by-step approach is always a win.

select a field on a map

  1. To select a field on the map, click + ADD FIELD and choose “Select on map.” The map will change appearance showing you all of the individual fields recognized by the system in different colors. Each color represents a crop from the list available at the top of the screen (All Crops). These are also system fields whose cadastral information has been pre-uploaded into the software. For now, only Ukrainian fields are displayed on the map in this way.

select fields on a map

2. Search the location of your field (top left of the screen) and once you see it, click on it.

search the location

A single click anywhere on the field’s boundaries should be enough, but it can take a few moments for the field to show up in the temporary list on the right. This does not mean you have added it to your fields, think of it rather as a list of candidates to ultimately become your fields.

add to my fields option

3. Before you actually add the selected field to your list, you may edit or delete it by clicking the three horizontal dots on the top right.

delete or edit field

4. Editing and / or deleting a selected field is no different from editing or deleting a polygon; all of the same rules apply.

how to save edited fields

5. Finally, to add the selected field to your list, click Save. If you don’t click “Save”, your edits and boundary adjustments will not be applied.

When you are finished, it should look like something like this:

how the added fields look like

Your field is now right there on the map. Below it is the analytics window chart, where you can monitor the vegetation indices, temperature fluctuations, precipitation rates, and weather risks (such as winter kill, cold or heat stress). On the right is your field’s data, with seperate sections on crop rotation and weather. And down below, you can see the button + ADD NEW TASK – click it to set a scouting task. Here you are, ready to manage a field that you have just added to your list.

A few words about the Demo Field

You might be surprised to see a field already added to your list by default. Its name is Demo Field and it’s there to give you some ideas about how your fields are going to appear in this list. It also gives the user a chance to get acquainted with the available features such as weather analytics and scouting to name a few. However, you will find that it is impossible to edit the Demo Field, this is not your field and is only there for training purposes.

demo field

You can remove the Demo Field if you like.

Before you start

We have worked hard to make adding fields easy for you. You are free to choose any of the options described above. This is the essential first step that you must take to benefit from all the other features of Crop Monitoring, such as weather analytics, scouting, and notifications. Start adding your fields right now!

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