How are data structures used?

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GeoAgro GIS allows to manage data structures associated with a layer, enabling users to add or modify existing structures, and adapt them to specific needs for agronomic teams.

In this article, we'll review predefined structures and how to customize them, assign permissions, and what to do when importing an existing layer file in  .GIS, .LAY or .SHP, and the data structures do not coincide.

Why use data structures

GeoAgro GIS allows to work with data structures associated with the layers of a GIS project. These data structures allow to store data for each of the layer features. The main advantages are:

  • Unify the way that information is stored: Frequently, farm layers information comes from different sources, so it's necessary to adapt it to a single structure. For example, yield data layers are related with data coming from yield monitors with different brands and data structures, the monitor language and configuration, etc. Thus, GeoAgro GIS has a predefined Yield by Points data structure that can be used to unify yield data coming from various monitors.
  • Unify criteria within the team: the definition of a common structure implies an agreement on within the team on what data is require, in that way, the team works with the same data and information.
  • Enable Data analysis from different layers and crop seasons:if the GIS layers information is stored in appropiate data structures, it's possible to analyze it combining data from different layers (this is done usually as part of a crop season analysis). In this type of analysis we can combine data from yields, seeding rates, management zones, soils, or other layers.

When are data structures used?

When a new Vector layer is created using the Create Vector layer tool, a data structure is assigned. It's very important to select the appropiate data structure, to enter the right type of data associated with the layer. For instance, a sampling points layer should contain data to store soil properties (e.g.: pH, Organic matter, etc.) if the points will be related to soil lab results.

Predefined structures vs customized structures

When GeoAgro GIS is installed, a number of predefined structures are automatically created, and made available for all projects. These structures were created from recommendations by Agronomists and GIS Specialists.

It's recommended to start with these predefined structures, and as the use of GIS increases, start modifying existing ones or create new ones, to adapt them to the farm team requirements, and internal standards, if needed.

For more information on how to add, edit and manage data structures, visit Managing structures and permissions and Structures management.

'Cleaning up' structures

As the use of structures becomes more familiar, it's recommended to 'clean up' available structures by:

  • Eliminating all unused attributes
  • Renaming attributes for easier use.
  • Eliminating unused structures.

For more information visit Structures management.

Using structures permissions to control layer modifications

It's possible to assign permissions to the structures, which will be applied to layers using the corresponding structure.

Permissions that can be assigned are:

  • Add: for this type of permission, when a new layer is created, it's possible to assign the structure to the new layer, using the Create vector layer tool.
  • Delete: a layer with a structure with a Delete permission assigned can be deleted using the Delete layer tool
  • Edit: a layer with a structure with an Edit permission assigned, can be edited, and features in the layer can be modified using Drawing Tools.

For more informatoin you can visit the article Permissions managementof data structures.