Thomas Schucker

Penmap for fun - what Penmap can do when you have to pick up fruits.

Blog Post created by Thomas Schucker on Sep 14, 2018

Have you ever thought about what Penmap can do for you outside the current path?

How to get more value out of Penmap?


Started with an idea

On the weekend I had to look at my orchards to pick up apples, pears and plums.



In recent years, I already wanted to know, how much fruits I have collected per time. In addition, it would be interesting to know, how many fruits a tree bears and to have a comparison to previous years.


As a Penmap developer, who has the app already installed on his Android phone (equipped also with Trimble Connect), I thought about how to get more value out of the app, during using it beside picking up my fruits from the ground.

A first preparation

First I had to prepare a Penmap template matching to my trees. I have apples, pears, walnuts, cherries and plums with different types.

After a short setup a database template was there to collect the information I expected:

  • Tree type
  • When did the collection happen
  • How many buckets were collected
  • How much time was spend to pick up the fruits



With the database template behind I created the whole iFeature System with different layers for different fruits and symbols to show the trees in Penmap.

Field work

Let’s go out in the field and collect the location of the trees with Penmap and add the first attributes:



I picked the location of the trees from the map view, only with my Android Phone location service behind. If you want to have more precision, you could use a Trimble Catalyst antenna.



Ok, after that, I started picking up the apples and plums, which took the most time.

To collect the working time, I've used my fitness bracelet, which has a simple startup - stop function, because there is not method in Penmap for that at the moment.

After all, I put the additional data, collection time and the count of buckets to the GIS record:



Repeated that for 15 trees.

Ok, so far, everything was easy. At the end of the day, 1400 kg of apples and 30 kg of plums came together, all meticulously recorded with Penmap.



Now it's time to analyze the data back home.

Continue at home

Transfer it to Trimble Connect Maps, ArcMap or QGIS and go forward with analysis.

To be continued…


And, free the plums from the stones.

Why should I do this?

Maybe you would like to say: To much overhead for collecting some apples and plums. You maybe right, but what I want to show with this short example is:


You are an expert in what you are doing. Think outside the box and find out what else Penmap can do for you, where you can get value of.

Happy thinking. :-)


By the way, there are still 20 trees left.