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NCA&T Farm: Building a Geospatial Database for Planning and Development from the Ground Up

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  072085.(doi:10.13031/2013.23222)
Authors:   Katherine R Suda, Maurice T Washington
Keywords:   aerial photography, agriculture, animal wastes, computer software, developing, geographical information systems, GIS, global positioning system, GPS, mapping, planning¸ research, training, university

The North Carolina A&T State University Farm, spanning some 565 acres, has recently undergone a change in management coupled with an overhaul of the facilities, with more renovations planned. The primary goal of this project is to provide an ArcGIS database of the farm to be used as an aid in planning future land use as well as a geospatial reference for the School of Agriculture and Environmental Science and the University as a whole. Data points were collected on the farm using Garmin GPS units to obtain the building footprints and to delineate boundaries of crops, pastures, forests, hydrology, roads, structures, research plots, and of the overall farm. The points were then uploaded into ESRI ArcGIS, and shaped files were created through the process of digitization. Hydrology and the farm boundaries were verified using aerial photos from the NC Center for Geographical Information and Analysis and a survey of the A&T farm. In addition, information on land use, crops, livestock and their associated maintenance costs was gathered from the farm unit managers, agriculture researchers, and extension personnel. The finished project, a digital map and its related data, gives a comprehensive view of the farm in its current use and can be easily manipulated for future demonstrations, training, security, and research and development plans.

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