Geotagging rare plants

While here at the National Park on Molokai, I donate some time and have created a data warehouse of rare and endangered plants.  We have been repopulating the coast and dryland forest with some very rare species.  It is critical that we know where these plants are located, and to do that all the plants have been tagged with aluminum (i.e., won’t rust in the salty air) tags and they have all been geotagged with precise measurements.

JohnOnCoast

Mountains behind me, headed towards the water geotagging plants.

In the course of doing this work, I soon realized that the handheld GPS units that the park service has are a few years old.  In 2010 as I recall, the Russians made their satellites available to US devices (probably as part of a deal or something), and you can now purchase VERY high grade (2ft) GPS units that lock into all those devices in the sky.  The one I have is mounted on my wrist.  It speaks bluetooth to my tablet computer, which I am holding and the tablet displays all the plant information on the map.

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