SprayLogger Calibration

Calibrate your SprayLogger

Watch the video below to see how to calibrate your SprayLogger.

SprayLogger by AgTerra

pesticide application mapping and detailed reporting made simple

SprayLogger is an easy to use hardware and software system that automatically gathers application information. Simple to install, yet packed with powerful features, SprayLogger may be retrofitted on trucks, ATVs, watercraft, backpacks or other spray rigs and generates live, viewable maps and reports for every spray job. SprayLogger is simply the easiest way to generate professional application maps and reports without changing the way you spray. Now you can quickly exceed federal, state, and customer mapping and reporting requirements while avoiding the hassle and errors typically associated with making maps and filling out reports by hand.

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automated pesticide application mapping
pesticide application mapping and reporting

AgTerra’s Timeline

AgTerra Through the Years

Our Story
2003
2004
2004 cont’d
2006
2009
2012
2012 cont’d
2013
2015
2017
2018
Today

Our Story

The month of March marks a new year for AgTerra. Fifteen years have come and gone, and now we’re on our 16th year! What better way to celebrate than with a trip down memory lane?  As a company that has always been rooted in the technology world, AgTerra has had its fair share of successes and failures, both of which has made the company what it is today. Whether it was developing a new reporting system or upgrading components on our hardware, each accomplishment and stumbling block was driven by a single commitment:

To help customers solve problems, both in the field and in the office.

 

 

2003

The Beginnings

AgTerra was started in March 2003 by Alan Telck. The office was based out of an old sugar mill in Sheridan, Wyoming.

(Our very first logo!)

2004

New Connections

AgTerra became an ESRI partner, paving the way for software and hardware collaboration with GIS data collection solutions. At the time, ArcPad devices were being used by AgTerra’s customers to collect spatial data for their AgTrac systems.

 

 

 

2004 cont’d

New Faces

Joe Campbell also came on the team in 2004 as one of AgTerra’s first full-time programmers. Joe is celebrating his 15-year work anniversary this year!

2006

Adventures with WriteTEQ

In early 2006, AgTerra introduced WriteTEQ as an innovative solution for customers to digitally preserve notes taken in the field.

The WriteTEQ system consisted of a specially designed pen that recorded microdots on a paper form. At the end of the day, the pen was placed in a dock that transferred the data to a computer where the data then had to be verified before it was transferred to the user’s desired database system.

Although the system performed well on many accounts, the verification process was time-intensive and ultimately led to the discontinuation of WriteTEQ in 2013.

 

 

2009

SprayLogger Makes its Debut

The original SprayLogger boxes read off of a turbine flow sensor and required a keypad for entering applicator, equipment, target and tank mix information. A data shuttle was used to transfer spray data between the box and a computer. It sounds like a lot of work to us now!

 

 

2012

Easier Mapping with MapItFast

GIS mapping software had made great strides over the years, however it was still quite cumbersome and complicated for field personnel. Taking feedback from customers and colleagues, AgTerra  set out to develop a truly easy-to-use mapping solution. In 2012, MapItFast was born.

 

2012 cont’d

Forms Go Digital

The discontinuation of WriteTEQ led to the release of AgTerra’s new Strider Forms and Reporting system. Users could now fill out forms on a mobile device and send the data directly to a database.

Strider was initially developed as a standalone product, but as more and more customers discovered the value of MapItFast, AgTerra realized that merging the mapping element with Strider forms would create a truly powerful field data collection system.

Today, Strider and MapItFast provide the all-in-one package that customers have come to rely on for all of their spatial and tabular data collection needs.

2013

End of the Turbine Era

Original SprayLogger boxes used turbine flow sensors, which were prone to sticking and malfunctions. In 2013, AgTerra moved to electromagnetic flow sensors made by Sika, which not only eliminated sticking issues caused by the mechanical turbine but also resulted in more accurate flow readings. Electromagnetic flow sensors are still used with today’s SprayLogger boxes.

 

 

 

2015

Making Moves

AgTerra moved out of the sugar beet facility and into a new office building on Memorial Day 2015. The team is still enjoying their new “digs,” which are located within walking distance of historic downtown Sheridan, Wyoming.

Actual view from Google Maps – logo added for authenticity!

 

2017

Expanding the Product Line

AgTerra introduced two new hardware products in 2017: SprayLogger Backpack and SnapMapper.

The backpack version of SprayLogger was a small box designed to be carried with applicators doing spot spray work in the field. It was designed to track the low flow rates and smaller chemical amounts typically associated with backpack applications.

SnapMapper was initially developed for use on harvest equipment, however due to its universal functionality, it was ultimately marketed as a quick and easy mapping solution for a wide array of applications. The SnapMapper product can map points and lines using a switch or trigger on any piece of equipment.

2018

Making the Best Better

Last year saw tons of new developments in AgTerra’s software and hardware, including a FoggerLogger unit for mosquito abatement application, an easy online form builder for Strider and a new user interface for the SprayLogger website.

 

Today

Sixteen Years and Going Strong

AgTerra continues to work every day to create solutions for our customers. Here’s to another sixteen years!

Christmas Photo 2018
Alan Telck (far left) loves Christmas photos almost as much as he loves his coffee!

Three Peaks Real Estate

From Crop Scouting to House Hunting, Strider goes everywhere

Do we have a “typical customer?” While a majority of our customers work in the natural resource industry, not everyone follows this norm. AgTerra takes pride in developing flexible products that fit into just about any role in any company. One such example is KW Three Peaks in Sheridan, Wyoming.

KW Three Peaks is a real estate agency owned and operated by real estate broker Bill Rapp. In 2015, Rapp was looking for a product that would help keep his client information organized and easily accessible in electronic format. AgTerra’s Strider product fit the bill.

With the help of fellow realtor Anne Feil, Rapp developed an arsenal of digital forms to document every step of his clients’ home buying and selling process. “We wanted reports that could auto-fill as well as forms that were easily accessible,” Feil said. The forms needed to be fillable on both a desktop platform as well as mobile platforms so that they could be used either in the office or at the client’s location.

Bill Rapp, owner and president of KW Three Peaks Real Estate, uses Strider forms every day.

Feil says that since KW Three Peaks started using Strider, their reports have been “clean, easy to read and the process is more organized.” When a new client walks in the door, Feil assigns them a Client ID in Strider. Because her forms are set up with form links, she is able to generate custom PDF reports that combine information from multiple forms using Client ID as the link between data. Feil says the form link feature gives her “the ability to print multiple reports without having to duplicate the same information multiple times.”

KW Three Peaks looks forward to growing their business and integrating more forms and reports as AgTerra further streamlines the forms and reporting process. “The AgTerra team is great to work with,” says Feil, “They are very responsive to our needs and address

Anne Feil easily accesses forms and reports for her clients from any location.

changes that we need in a speedy manner. The products are top notch and have always been reliable.”

AgTerra is happy to support a customer who uses our products in such innovative ways. And when we’re asked if we have a typical customer, we say: No, and that’s how we like it!

Teton Conservation

Minimizing Wildfire Risk with MapItFast and Strider

Teton Conservation District was established in 1946 to promote the conservation and stewardship of natural resources through local projects, partnerships, research, and education. The District boundaries encompass all of Teton County, Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, and Wyoming’s portion of Yellowstone National Park. The District office is located in Jackson, Wyoming.

Robb Sgroi is the Land Resources Specialist for Teton Conservation District. He contacted AgTerra while searching for an efficient reporting solution for the Wildfire Risk Reduction Program. “The program includes field consultations with private landowners where we advise them on how to reduce wildfire risk on their property,” explains Sgroi. “After meeting with a landowner and developing an overview of conditions and voluntary recommendations, a written report is produced for the landowner. This serves as a basis for their future actions.”

Sgroi recalls the evaluation and reporting process before he began working with Strider forms and reports. “Transcribing field notes, referring to language from the written standards we utilize, and formatting pictures and graphics was cumbersome and time-consuming.” Because the process was so time-consuming, the program was limited in the quantity of clients it could serve each season. Since the implementation of Strider forms in the spring of this year, Sgroi said, “the use of this software allowed us to meet nearly every client’s request for service, which is an unpredictable workload. We produced over 60 overviews this year”

When asked about his future plans for the AgTerra software, Sgroi said, “In the future, we will continue to communicate with colleagues working with the public in fire prevention and wildfire risk reduction to offer the tools that we developed with AgTerra. We hope other entities can take the form we built and utilize and improve upon it in order to facilitate their work.”

AgTerra’s team has been outstanding to work with. Other entities highly recommended AgTerra to us, in part because of their customer service. AgTerra was instrumental in developing the first version of our Strider Form, from scratch. Our agency has made dozens of modifications to the Strider form over the past six months. AgTerra’s team has implemented these adjustments with a high degree of professionalism and cooperation. They have been dedicated to the success of our product.”  – Robb Sgroi, Teton Conservation District

Watch the video below to see how the Wildfire Risk Reduction Program is being implemented in the Teton Conservation District.

Video courtesy of Teton Conservation District.

Beartooth Fertilizer

Customer Spotlight: Beartooth Fertilizer

Chris Skorupa has has been working with AgTerra for nearly a year and has already been making huge strides with the software. Skorupa is the president of Beartooth Fertilizer, a company based out of Roberts, Montana, that specializes in a wide variety of agriculture services from dry fertilizer sales and application to no till drill services and custom grass seed blends, plus much more. Because Skorupa’s company provides services to customers in both Montana and Wyoming, he utilizes maps to keep track of customers, crops, and applications.

Skorupa turned to AgTerra after an unfortunate computer crash led to the loss of map data he was previously keeping in Google Earth Pro. The switch to MapItFast gave him the ability to keep his data in a safe, centralized location while giving him the ability to access it from any desktop or mobile device.

Chris was kind enough to share his story with us, and we are exciting to pass it along to you. Read the full story below.

How to Keep it All in Sync

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How to Keep it All in Sync

AgTerra’s products are designed to keep your map data, form data and spray data all in one place on a secure server. The sharing of data between a mobile device and your organization’s database is as simple as ensuring the device has an Internet connection and letting MapItFast do the rest. Sometimes however, additional factors may come into play and affect how data is shared between a mobile device and the database. Below are some suggestions that can help if you notice data isn’t making it off the device and onto the website.

Simultaneous User Logins – If the same username and password is used to log into another mobile device, MapItFast will detect the new login and all other devices currently using these credentials will be logged out of the MapItFast app. If the user is not aware that this has happened, the app will continue to allow them to collect map data, but none of the changes will sync with the server.

Try this: In most cases, the user will get a pop-up window in the app with a message saying that another device has logged in with the same user credentials. If you do not see this message but your data is still not syncing, check the app status in the lower left corner of the MapItFast screen. If it says “Not Logged In. Login Failed” your device will not be 

Simultaneous Object Editing -When a map object gets edited by two users (either on the computer or on the app) within minutes of each other, the MapItFast app will notice the data conflict and alert the user. Since the data came into the database at about the same time, a notification will appear in the MapItFast app and ask the user if they want to apply the changes they made or leave the object as it is currently on the server.

Solution: Verify whether your changes can override the information currently on the server. If you want to apply your changes, tap the ‘Use This’ button under My Data. Otherwise, select the Server Data option to disregard your changes. The conflict message will go away. If you still see a yellow triangle on the bottom of the screen after clearing the message, try closing MapItFast and re-opening it. The he icon should now be gone.

Limited Internet/Data Connection – When working in remote areas, a devices with a data plan may occasionally have a weak data connection (or no connection) for transferring data to the server.  When this happens, your map data and current user location may not show up right away on other user’s devices or on the website dashboard.

Try this: If you know that a location is going to have a spotty data connection, you can opt to turn off synchronization until you’re back in an area with a good Internet connection. This setting is found in the Settings menu of MapItFast under Sync Settings. Simply, uncheck the box next “Enable Synchronization” and collect data as usual. When you get back to an area with a strong Internet connection, simply re-check the box to enable synchronization and MapItFast will push your collected data to the server.

Not enough time to sync – If a device has been used to collect a large amount of photos, forms, and/or spray data while offline, the data can get “backed up” and it may take a while for all of the data to show up on the desktop.

Try this: Make sure your device is connected to a strong, reliable Internet source, then open the MapItFast project you wish to sync. Allow the device to sit with the project open for at least 15 minutes. After this time has elapsed, check the project on the MapItFast website to see if the project data has come through. Large projects with many photos or forms may take even longer to sync.

Device hardware issue – Although it is a rare occurrence, mobile devices can sometimes run into unexplained internal errors that can cause performance issues in apps. If an app is simply not responding in an expected way or an expected error message occurs, the solution may be as simple a simple as rebooting the device.

Try this: Shut down your device completely (not just a restart), wait ten seconds, then turn it on again. This simple act of starting the device fresh can often help clear out errors that cannot be resolved with any other suggestions described in this post.

Follow these troubleshooting tips to make sure your MapItFast data gets where it needs to go, every time!

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Forms on Apple Devices

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Forms on Apple Devices

The introduction of forms on Apple devices opened up a new set of options for iOS users. During AgTerra’s development phase of Apple forms, a few features had to be tweaked in order to fall within applications standards of the Apple Store. Those familiar with Android forms can expect a very similar form-filling experience, with a slightly different look and feel to the pages.

Form design can play a key role in user experience, so those who design and maintain forms for an account will want to be aware of the type of devices being used within an organization to fill out forms. In this post, we’ll go over some notable differences on the Apple device as well as recommendations for form designers.

No Separate Forms App – Those familiar with our original mobile apps know that MapItFast for Android requires a separate Strider app to use forms. This is not the case with Apple devices. When you install MapItFast from the Apple Store, the app will come with the forms feature built right into it.

How it Works: To attach a form, simply tap on a point, line, polygon, or photo, and select the Forms button in the detail window. This button looks like a piece of paper with a plus sign in the middle. When the button is tapped, MapItFast will display any forms currently attached to the object. If none are attached, a list of available forms will appear.

Stick to shorter form names for easier identification on the Apple device.

Naming Forms – When setting up forms for use on Apple devices, it’s important to be aware of the display limitations on an iOS device. When the list of available forms is displayed to the user, the window will show up to 20 characters. If the form name exceeds 20 characters, part of it will be hidden in the window.

Solution: Try to keep forms names within the 20 character limit so that users can easily identify and select the desired form.

Keyboards – It’s important to note that the text and number keyboards on Apple devices are more rigid than those on Android devices. For example, if a text field for additional comments is displayed toward the bottom of a page, an Android device will automatically “push” the text line up when the keyboard is displayed. An Apple device, on the other hand, will not do this. If the text line is toward the bottom of the page, users may have trouble filling it out because their keyboard covers the text box.

Solution: When designing forms, try to keep text and number entry fields toward the top of pages, or possibly put these questions on their own pages altogether.

Include a hint with autocomplete lists so that Apple users know to start typing in order to see list options.

Autocomplete appearance – Lists with the “autocomplete” appearance work somewhat differently in Apple forms. The page will initially display what looks like a blank text box instead of a list. As soon you being typing, a list of choices will appear.

Solution: Form designers can help users understand how the autocomplete list works by including a note in the “hint” section of the form.

Note Fields – Apple forms currently do not support the use of the data field reference (${dataField}) in question labels. If this is used in a form, users will see a blank space where the data field is referenced.

Solution: Instead of referencing the data field in the label, use a text, integer,or decimal field type and put the referenced field in the calculation column. The field will act as a read-only type because calculations are not editable.

Keep these tips in mind when designing forms and make the most of your next season with forms that work on any device!

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Project Organization in MapItFast

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Project Organization in MapItFast

Just like files on a computer, MapItFast projects can accumulate over time. Without a structured file system in place, the project menu can start to look like a messy desktop. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering how to structure projects within MapItFast:

  • Projects cannot exceed 5,000 objects (total of lines, points, and/or polygons). This includes any spatial data that has been uploaded via shapefile, KMZ, or GPX file. If a project exceeds this number, you will receive an error message notifying you that only part of the project has loaded and that you will need to move some of the data to a new project.
  • If a user creates a project on a mobile device, it will automatically go into the “Uncategorized” folder. It can be moved to a different folder using the desktop app.
  • Users will only be able to see the current location of other users if they are working in the same project.

If you’re still not sure about the best way to organize you’re projects, here are some ideas:

  1. Folders by customer name– If your organization does work for multiple customers, it may be useful to organize you projects by customer name.  MapItFast supports subfolders as well, so additional folders could be created beneath each customer – one for each job, for example.
  2. Folders by user – If your data collection centers around a few users rather than clients or customers, you may wish to set up a folder for each user. The users can then choose how to organize their projects within that particular folder.
  3. Projects by date – If users are collecting a great deal of data in the field, it may be necessary to start a new project every month, week, or even daily. This will ensure that you never exceed the 5,000 object limit in a project. The data can always be copied or moved to a larger “master” project later (or exported to GIS format if the dataset is very large).
  4. Projects by region – If you plan on bringing in a large dataset via shapefile or KMZ, it is sometimes necessary to break it up to fit within the 5,000 object parameter. When this happens, one option might be to use a GIS program to divide the data into regions (i.e. by county, city, or simply north half, south half, etc.). This will make projects easier to manage and will keep the data in a location that’s easy to find.

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