Mobile apps keep life simple for landscapers
The use of mobile apps is increasingly widespread in landscaping companies, especially in the United States which has (as very often in this field) a slight advance. Many landscapers have signed on and these new tools arrive slowly but surely everywhere else in the world. And for good reasons! We list a few below…
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Analyzing a plot of land
According to a survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects (1), 76% of architect-landscape designers in the United States use a mobile app to analyze plots. The apps give them the typology and estimate its area before seeing it, making it easier to select the material needed for the project. The most frequently used smartphone application is Google Earth and the 3D version is even more precise.
To determine the insolation of a green space
Plotting the exact track of the sun around a plot season by season makes it easy to define the angles of a terrace, find the best places to plant flowers in a garden, position a sun shade, etc. Sunseeker is one of the most useful tools.
To calculate the slope of a plot
Did you forget your inclinometer or spirit level? Now you can calculate gradients using your smartphone’s camera and even determine the height of a tree or a house. With the Clinometer mobile app, you can make precise measurements very quickly – and save time!
To identify plants
With over 400,000 plant species on Earth, memory lapses are possible. With some mobile apps, you just take a photo of a plant or shrub to find its name via a data bank with millions of references. Try Plantsnap or Leafsnap! To find out all the characteristics of the plants identified, Landscaper's Companion is an excellent resource, although charged for.
To keep in touch with your landscaping team
It’s always a good idea to keep in touch with members of your team working on other projects. But to communicate with a whole group of professional landscapers, basically always elsewhere, is more difficult. Social media and networking are very useful and a good way to improve in-house communications. In addition to Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts, Slack is an excellent tool for creating a chat space.
Mapping green spaces
With your smartphone’s GPS function, you can easily measure the perimeter of a plot or a distance either by putting reference marks on a virtual map or by physically moving around on the land. An ideal way to calculate the quantity of netting needed for a fence or to measure a perimeter for mowing the grass! We recommend the smartphone app Planimeter which provides measurements in both the metric and imperial systems.
Forecasting the weather
There is nothing more vital in landscaping than keeping an eye on the weather. And there are a host of mobile apps to help, the most recent featuring functions which can prove very useful. For example, Windy gives you the dew point or the altitude of the cloud ceiling. Very popular with pilots and navigators, it is an ideal tool if you use a drone.
Mobile apps can be invaluable for landscapers and are “musts” in your toolbox. So try them!
(1) ASLA: Smartphone Apps for Landscape Architects: Useful Tools for Site Analysis and Design
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