Using MapWindow GIS with MMP Tools

Appendix A: Designing Research Plots

  A-1. Introduction

  A-2. Before You Start

  A-3. The Research Plots Wizard

  A-4. Output Options

A-1. Introduction

These notes describe how to design field research plots using MapWindow GIS and the MMP Tools plugin for MapWindow. They assume that you already know how to do the following things - if you don't, refer to the indicated section of the MMP Tools help:

Tip: If you're only interested in designing research plots, you can ignore most of the discussion of nutrient management in the MMP Tools help.

A-2. Before You Start

When you choose MMP Tools | Advanced | Design Research Plots, this starts the Research Plots wizard, which will prompt you for the information needed to design your plots. You should already have an idea about the following items:

Tip: You can run the wizard multiple times until you get your design just right. To start over, just select the plots layer that the wizard creates, then choose MMP Tools | Manage Project | Remove Layer and Delete its Files. Only the plots layer will be deleted; the other layers in the project will be unaffected.

A-3. The Research Plots Wizard

If you haven't already done this, you may find it helpful to choose MMP Tools | Zoom To | Fields to expand your field so it takes up the entire drawing area.

Now choose MMP Tools | Advanced | Design Research Plots, then follow each step's instructions, clicking Next to advance to the next step. You can click Cancel at any time if you get stuck or need to start over.

- Change the plot width if it's different from the default (60 feet). With row crops, this is typically a multiple of row width.

- Normally you leave the snap-to box checked if you want the first plot's boundary to coincide exactly with the field boundary.

- As indicated, click the +shp button twice on the MapWindow toolbar. The first click activates the toolbar, the second click activates the shapefile editor so you can start drawing.

- The wizard adds a temporary drawing layer named "design_edge" that you'll draw on.

- With the default snap-to option (see step 1), the line you draw will turn red when it's aligned exactly with the field boundary.

- You should now see your field divided into plots.

- Normally you leave both boxes checked to ensure that plots do not extend beyond the field boundary and to remove plots that are significantly smaller than the median plot size.

- You can delete one or more plots from the design, for example to remove unusable areas of the field from the design.

- In this example there are 21 plots in the field that will be divided into 4 block of 5 plots each, meaning the last plot will not be used in the design. Note that we could have deleted a plot in the previous step so there would be exactly 20 plots here.

- By default the wizard will assign treatments randomly to all blocks. Uncheck the first box to assign treatments to the first block in treatment order rather than in a random order.

- The wizard will color the plots in the plots layer based on assigned treatment number. If you check the second box, it will add a second layer called "plots by rep" where the plots will be colored by rep. Note that this only adds the underlying plots shapefile a second time to the project; it does not create a second shapefile.

- Enter a name for each treatment. Note that you can edit the treatment names later if necessary using the Attribute Table Editor on the MapWindow toolbar.

- When you click Done, the wizard colors and labels the plots, then exits.

A-4. Output Options


Use MapWindow's Edit menu to create the various elements of your map. See section 10 for more information.

To create a legend that shows your plots' coloring scheme, make sure the plots layer is displayed and uncheck any layers you don't want included in the legend, then choose Edit | Copy | Legend or Edit | Export | Legend. For example, the legend might look like this:

Tip: To change the plots' coloring scheme, right-click the plots layer and choose Properties from the popup menu. Then select Coloring Scheme in the Legend Editor and click the edit button. To change the degree of transparency for the color fill, change the Transparency Percent in the Legend Editor.

Exporting to a Mobile GIS

To use your plots maps with GPS or in the field, you can export the plots layer (and any other layers) to a file that can be loaded into iGIS or GISRoam on an iPad or iPhone. See section 16 for more information.

Last updated: July 5, 2013

Copyright © 2011,2013 Purdue Research Foundation.