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Site Maps, what do you use? what tools to make them?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by bcomstock15, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. bcomstock15

    bcomstock15 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    We look after condo complexes mostly, lawn maint in summer, snow/ice mgmt in winter.

    I'd like to make maps that my guys will access via their iphones. It'll be a sat. map from google maps or whatever, showing them which equipment to use in which areas, special exceptions, etc.

    I'll use colour codes and the like probably, just wondering what others have used, and whats worked for you? how did you produce these maps and make them so that they could be updated as circumstances on the sites change?

    Thanks for your input! i have lots of them to make so i want to do it the right way the first time! :)
  2. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Im just thinking out loud here but couldnt you take a screen shot from google maps, print it and use markers giving your crews hard copies? Would be much easier for them to see with an A4 sized picture and you could quickly write notes where applicable. If you really wanted them to use the phones you could scan the pic and send it to them in a message or email.
    With hard copies, they could write notes for any issues they come across!

    If you only wanted a basic outline image you could open the Maps screenshot in a drawing type program as a layer, then on another layer you draw outlines of buildings, paths, color code areas etc then delete the original pic leaving just the outlines. That would be a lot of work though.
  3. bcomstock15

    bcomstock15 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    The idea with having them on phones is that they'll always be in sync, and impossible to lose (the paper maps, the phones will probably get lost :)) we use google drive, so we update a document in the shop, and its automatically propogated to the phones. also less clutter in the trucks etc.

    Just wondering how exactly to 'draw' on the maps most efficiently. I think i need something with layers like you mentioned, i thought about hand drawing and then scanning, but if something on the map changes, it would mean re-drawing the whole thing. If i could just remove a line/label on the pc, then edit and save, that would be a lot easeir.

    One of the reasons we'll be using maps is for when a crew needs to look after a site that normally doesn't do that site (ie, sick crew leader or new guys) so that i don't need to explain everything every time (ie we don't cut the back yd of #52, we use a push mower on the hill near #26, the walk behind tears it up).. and so on. or in winter, i can easily label where to pile snow, and what machines to use on what areas.. etc. so there will actually be two maps for each site, i guess, or if i had a 'layer' for each season i could just make the switch in summer/winter... i'm talking myself into a solution here, lol.

    I mostly just need to know the best software for this, im sure photoshop could do it, but i don't know how to use it, and i assume theres a map making software that's used by someone out there that does what i need. sorry for the essay.
  4. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Any program that has layers could do it, there would be free ones out there. I use a Mac so I cant help you with what to use!
    It will mean a lot of time spent drawing them up with large multiple sites, but I guess once its done, should be fairly easy to edit.

    Once you have the basic outlines etc, you could upload to Evernote then that will update each time theres a change, and its free!
    Evernotes a very handy program and worth looking into.
  5. Mayor of Mow Town

    Mayor of Mow Town LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    Wow, what a great idea!

    Inkscape.org has a free software download that is similar to Adobe Illustrator, and includes layers, which would help you with editing the maps when things change and for the change of season. It's not the easiest software to learn (although I think it's easier than Illustrator), but it could work for what you are trying to do.

    Google also allows you to draw on their maps, and save them as public or private maps. There's some info here: http://support.google.com/maps/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=62843 . I haven't tried this, so if you have a play with it, please let us know how it goes.

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