Appropiate use of data structures
GeoAgro GIS allows us to manage data structures or 'dictionaries', which are associated to layers; that way a certain type of layer, i.e. Sampling point will always have the same set of columns. You can add or modify existing/pre-configured ones to meet your specific information needs. You'll learn how to use pre-configured data structures as well as how to create new ones, and edit its editing permissions its inheritance to associated layers.
Importance of working with data structures
GeoAgro GIS's Data structures feature allows you to work with standardized information associated to features represented in the form of layers in the map. As a result, all layers representing a common on-ground feature will have the same set of columns information; for example: All points' layers representing sampling sites for several years will have the same information associated
This has multiple advantages, among them we can mention:
- Unify the way information is stored: is pretty common that the GIS information layers comes from various sources they must be adapted to a single structure to be able to analyze it properly. For example, information related to yields layers have different structures depending on the yield monitor brand, internal data dictionaries, amount of columns for the associated data, etc...., For this case GeoAgro GIS has a predefined data structure called Yield points which contains the most common set of fields/columns found on yield monitors from leading vendors.
- Unify work criteria: the definition of the data structure implies a consensus within the working team regarding the amount and type of information needed to be saved for each GIS layer, this way the entire group shares the same criteria avoiding data gaps.
- Ability to compare information from different layers: if the GIS layers are stored in the appropriate structures you can perform analysis by combining information from several layers; we like to call this the Campaign analysis". In this analysis you can combine yields layers with productivity, or soil type, or depth of water table, etc. Then you'll be able to analyze the influence of environmental variables on yields.
Predefined vs. customized data structures
Upon install, GeoAgro GIS comes with a set of data structures designed to meet the majority of today’s agronomic efforts. It is advisable to use the predefined structures while you get familiar with the use of GIS; adapting them to your specific needs and/or standards within the working group as you make progress in the use of the system.
As you become familiar with the use of data structures, is convenient to streamline them.
- By eliminating those columns/fields you're sure you'll not use.
- By renaming the columns to make it easier to identify the information stored in them. For example, is common to store some information in auxiliary structures/columns/attributes as you import data from different sources, in this case would be appropriate to rename those to describe the type of information stored within.
- By completely eliminating those structures inapplicable to your type of activities.
For more information regarding Data structures please visit this article: Structures management
Using structure permission settings to control layer editing
Its possible to assign specific structure permissions, those will be applied to the layers using such structures. Its a simplle way to control layer editing capabilities; as the Structure Manager is available only through user authentication. You can set the following permissions for each different structure:
- Add: By setting this you can choose this structure at the time of creation of the layer by using the Add layer and Create vector layer tool.
- Eliminate: If the structure has this level of permission, it'll be possible to delete those layers associated. This setting is used when you need to prevent users from deleting certain types of layers (by turning it off).
- Edit: You'll be able to edit those layers associated to this structure.