Mapping of Farm

Hi Consultants,

I need somebody who could do a mapping (GPS based) of my farm not only the perimeter but at the same time area of each plot. There are around 20 plots with lots of slopes and unused land right now and I wanted to get good understanding of exact area of each plot, area of slopes and area of currently unused land which I need to convert into usable land soon.

In case needed, I have my own GPS device which can geocode but basically I need somebody who could do a professional mapping, zoning and if possible contouring.

Let me know if you have experience in such areas, if yes please send some examples of your current work too.

Best Regards

I would be interested in this too.

I have spoken to a couple of civil engineer surveyors over the last few days who are able to use ‘Total Station’ for a detailed survey, which I understand can provide accurate area calculation and contour map that can be imported into some of the GIS/CAD software. Looks like the guys are expecting a huge packet to do this.

I have also fixed up an initial session with a Government (chain) surveyor who says he can provide part of the info that can be imported into some software. However my primary objective of this exercise is to get an authoritative demarcation of the land I am looking at, though I might need to follow this up with another private survey for the details.

I have tried doing an indicative GPS mapping using the phone and google maps but the accuracies are limited of course, and the contour lines have a 1m precision only.

I will keep you posted on what I find.

Hi Chandra,

You are right about total stations. How I wish, I stayed in my earlier job.  :'(  :'( I had access to such hifi equipment. 

Tremble and Leica make such eqips. Go thru their websites and you will find some info and demo software to map contours. Arc GIS etc are some software. I will send some freeware once I lay my hand on to my office laptop backup.  :'(  :'(

Based on my earlier exp you can also use your Mobile GPS for such jobs. GPS works like, that it needs to be in its place for more time to get an accurate fix. The more time it spends at one place the more accurate its reported positions.

Even Garmin GPS we used to use needs to stay for hours at one Base Station Place so that the other takes this as reference for geo spatial mapping.

My suggestion, if your land is near by some NH, regularly for some reason or no reason, these NH’s get surveyed by some civil contractors, who use Leica Total stations. Use your charm and they will lend it or do it free for you. Once you set it up, its a cake walk, You just move around with a hand held terminal with a poloraid reflector. keep pressing a button at the point you need to record. Come back and on your lap top you have the map of where all you roamed around with that poloriad staff and where you pressed for recording. Its a totally different science, made simple by these IT stuff. All over at how fast you move around.  ;D Once you have a fix on base station, rest is just relative to that. The software makes it a cake walk.

More over you can interact with them and they will show some fixed GPS reference points on NH. You can use these are base reference for conventional survey.

Other legal way is to apply for a “Hadhbusth” or a check boundary in local revenue office. and pay some fees. The surveyor will issue some notice to all your neighbors and in their presence will fix your boundary points. Then use your charm to do some internal survey. But these guys use chains. Crude methods to trace and map contours  :'(  :'( .



Thanks Murali, that is good info.

I am trying to play around with QGIS - it seems to be an ocean! It is a shame we don’t have the detailed elevation data available freely like in some of the western countries.

Yes, I paid for the Government Chain Survey you mention - let us see what they will give me. And yes, I am trying to get some guys who have the equipment to be friends too!

If nothing works, an A frame certainly will! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Chandra,

You did not mention that you got your dream land. Well lets hear some story about that. Picked it up ??.

If so my congratulations.  ;D  ;D Getting land is half the job done. Half of the victory  ;D  ;D Even if it takes time to develop the land no problems. You can do it at your leisure.

Well I think this approach has made me lazy  :'(  :'( . Procrastinating or relaxing as the first major hurdle is passed.  ;D  ;D A feeling that the land is your and any day you can do what you want to do with it.

Major problem with education is you want to learn everything A to Z before you start off. May be we educated are afraid to FAIL, that makes us not to venture  :astonished:  :astonished:



Thanks all for quick replies.

As I shared, I have one handheld GPS which is fairly accurate. If you are interested you can see details here -

My farm labor was quite excited to walk around with the handheld to get some initial readings too. It works well - can give fairly accurate coordinates, height etc. However what I need is a full solution - which can overlap with maps (Google satellite worked fairly well) give me accurate information on a map (using arcgis or mapinfo etc) which I could use to manage and develop my land.

I don’t mind sharing unit with limited # of persons :slight_smile: if I could get help on second part.

Basically I dont live near my farm and I dont get much time to go to farm and do it myself due to my work commitments but I know what needs to be done and how could we do it. I need somebody who could do it for me and would be good if that person/consultant could have experience in agriculture mapping.

Also what we could do is we could develop a solution as whole for the people who are interested in this forum and reduce our cost. Ideally I want a farm management software where we could have the base as all the plots with information like soil condition, slope, height etc and we can track per plot what are we growing, costing etc. and this mapping would be base for the same.

Looking forward for replies.

Hi Murali, getting there; these are my pre-purchase checks :slight_smile:
The detailed survey is still in planning. Will post details once closer.

As I shared, I have one handheld GPS which is fairly accurate. If you are interested you can see details here -

… It works well - can give fairly accurate coordinates, height etc. However what I need is a full solution - which can overlap with maps (Google satellite worked fairly well) give me accurate information on a map (using arcgis or mapinfo etc) which I could use to manage and develop my land.[/quote]
Hi Aditya, what is the accuracy you get for the elevation with this one? I find it 1m in google maps - how about this one?
Also, how much is the GPS accuracy on X and Y axes? I manage 6-10m with my Nokia E7 phone.

…I know what needs to be done and how could we do it

…Ideally I want a farm management software where we could have the base as all the plots with information like soil condition, slope, height etc and we can track per plot what are we growing, costing etc. and this mapping would be base for the same.[/quote]

Tell us more about it. So we do the field maps for demarcating the plots and overlap it with maps from other sources in a software such as ArcGIS/qgis to get these parameters? I did not think the data for India at farm level is available in sufficient detail? I was able to grab an outline using GPS and overlay it as a layer overlapping google hybrid, but didn’t have additional detail data I could overlay.

Or would you measure the parameters yourself on field and load them to the software? If so, how would you measure soil condition etc.?

Good idea. My impression is that most tools are already there as opensource and the idea is to bring together and create a usable solution with a handheld such as what you have - is that how you see it?


Hi Chandra,

Am attaching picture of showing the location along with height. I dont know whats the exact height (google earth says only 293 m which is incorrect). However when I overlaid the points on google earth, it matched quite well. I am sure accuracy is within 3 meter range. There are equipment we can get below cm accuracy but they are very expensive.

Regarding the overall usage, let me put my thoughts and share…


mr aditya verma i would like to know where you get the navigational equipment that you have indicated

regards abiraman

Hi Abiraman,

I bought from China.


Hi All,
  please let me know if there is any software to draw a layout of land along with slopes in it.
I would like to share with you all, land details am in process to acquire .
This land is having slopes and a big gulley in it.
I need advice how to use these slopes effectively along with plantation.

Below are the things that are in my mind .

Rain water harvesting (Probably a small gulley dam that will create a pool ).
A water tank to be used for irrigation (If needed).
Pits for creating compost.
A shade for few cows .
Servant quarter and a small farm house, place to store the produce.

I am fairly new to the farming so need your valuable advice .


I have been playing around with qgis ( on Linux for a while now and it should do the job you have in mind - it is free and open source and runs on Windows too. However I have not scaled it enough to tell you how to build the slopes - though I am pretty sure it is possible with the contour plugin etc. For US, detailed elevation data is available free that you can load over your map and create a contour map, but there is no data for India. There is an option to create elevation data in a spreadsheet that can be loaded over your map - my guess is that Total Station should be able to create that spreadsheet for you.

There is a good listing of mapping tools at, but of course, they all have significant learning curve. Other than qgis, I have tried installing and playing around with Grass, MapWindow and Google Earth, all pretty fantastic software.

Hi Murali & other Software Background members,
This is what I am expecting from you tech people and indicating you people to contribute something innovative technology to Agriculture sector.

I use my Nokia C5 in which Iam getting the following.
Position of

Alt. Accuracy:-

Which can change from position to position if network is sufficient to work Internet pocket Data.

Now see the potential of software implementation in to Agriculture?
Many more technologies like VC to know updates/ progress in farmland by sitting in your office any where in universe. Hydrology, meteorology geology etc  are very much required for agriculture as govt services in these sector are either out dated or expensive and too much follow ups required in govt offices.

Please take risk of finding solutions from software to address all of our agriculture sector.

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, we should find a good consultant and I guess we all are full of ideas and with combined solution, cost could also be cut down easily (per person)…

Hope to find some good software company soon…

Chandra, any idea on Google SketchUp, i am trying to create contour lines for my farm, not yet successful, but the idea is to get the terrain info from wikimapia and load into SketchUp,  and create my own contour lines for the farm alone.

Another interesting tool,  you can measure your land using this. Seems accurate.

Hi Hegde, tell me about it - how do you get the terrain info from wikimapia? I found the google earth topography data for India has a +/- 1m accuracy which I thought is is no good for building contour lines (I think wikimapia uses the same data?).  If this is the data you are looking at, you could draw a line across the farm in google earth and get the elevation at each point on the line without any loads.

More than the tools to do the mapping, it appears to me getting the data is the real issue. We could use A-frame to create the contour lines on the field but there is no way to actually measure the elevation, is there? I am thinking a laser level is the only way to get the DEM/elevation data. Once we have the data, the contour will be drawn automatically on loading into one of the GIS software.

Google sketchup - I thought was a 3D modelling tool and have not tried so far. Do you see an automatic contouring based on any structured data input?

I have used … r-tool.htm and it gives similar results for area too.

Sorry, more questions than answers. … ional.aspx

Create maps quickly and easily! Terrain Tools® Recreational Version is the ideal tool for outdoor recreationists, real-estate professionals,[color=red] farmers[/color], ecologists, archaeologists and others who need to create basic maps, calculate areas, lengths, bearings and distances. Overlay GPS tracks on scanned images such as USGS or Canadian NTS topos. Import and export images and linework in a variety of formats. Novices can start straight away. Within hours you can learn how to assemble, draw, edit and print basic maps.

Terrain: Import/Export and Coordinate Systems

Direct interface to Garmin GPS devices.
Thinning and coordinate transformation on import.
Assignment of symbology, breaklines, and modelled properties on import.
Support for coordinate systems including Lat/Lon, UTM, State Plane, Albers Equal Area and many others.
Conversion between coordinate systems and datums using NADCON or NTv2 grid shift files.

Terrain: Mapping

Creation and plan display of linear or point features.
Entry of features by coordinate or bearing and distance.
User defined attributes.
Calculation of areas, lengths, bearings and slopes.
Feature  formatting (annotation, linetypes, symbols hatching), and manipulation (move, size, rotate, break, join etc.).
Curves, buffering and clipping.
Feature/point densification and simplification.
User definable symbols, linetypes and bitmap hatching.
Image cropping, resolution control and rubber sheeting.
Creation of output sheets including plan, profile, title blocks, legends etc.

Terrain: Output and Reporting

Creation of plan/profile sheets with automatic legends, title blocks, logos etc.
Export coordinate and attributes to Microsoft Excel.
Overlay design or survey information on Google Earth.

[color=red]Cost Canadian Dollar 129[/color] … age=page-1

3D surface modelling … ols3D.aspx

here’s the link to the video … eling.html

hope this can be of some use to you

Hi Chandra, i am not yet successful in doing anything, i tried with kmz files too.
Yeah, have used google maps to get hte elevation,  i tried it for perimeter, lines etc but did not have any idea about contours.

Talked to local surveyer, but he is not SW literate, may be we will try A-frame.  I am not sure any guy doing later based contour there.

Teaching videos say that you can create contour lines using SketchUp, and even import from google maps.  As you mentioned accuracy isn’t 100 %.

Certainly questions help to think thru.

thanks again,
hegde gg