News

TatukGIS Customer Develops Agricultural Management Solution for Unilever in the UK

Mansfield, U.K.
September 01, 2006

TatukGIS customer IES Group has recently used the TatukGIS Developer Kernel to develop and implement an agricultural related IT solution for the food and consumer products giant, Unilever, in the United Kingdom. The solution is designed to coordinate the annual pea harvest in the U.K. and assist with crop rotation and sustainable farming practices. As a major customer of the annual pea crop, Unilever has a long-term cooperative relationship with a large number of U.K. farmers.

This solution was developed using the TatukGIS Developer Kernel (DK) ActiveX edition in a Visual Basic 6 development environment and SQL Server 2000. It takes advantage of the DK 'in memory' feature to display agricultural parcels (plots) as polygon shapes on top of raster Ordinance Survey maps stored as georeferenced TIFF files. The parcel data is stored in a central SQL Server database and buffered locally in MS Access to allow users to work while disconnected from the SQL Server. The DK 'in memory' functionality provided the means to connect to the already existing parcel data on the SQL Server which is in a proprietary data format not directly supported by the DK. Users add and modify the agricultural parcels as required and then upload the updated data to the SQL Server when connected. Reports from the SQL Server provide a detailed analysis of the whole harvesting operation.

Users can also add tracks and gateways to the maps. These are then printed and provided to lorry drivers to aid with the logistics of the harvest collection. A GPS tracking system is currently being trialed on the lorries to display their current locations on the maps.

Comments IES project developer Gavin, "One consideration that helped our DK based solution win over the customer is that we were able to replace a previous system which was less convenient and more expensive because it required a license for each user. I should add that the support received from Tatuk - including the intensive training with the DK product that I received at the TatukGIS offices in Poland - allowed us to overcome all issues with this large and complex project for our multi-national client. We are quite satisfied with our selection of TatukGIS over the other leading GIS development products which we had evaluated."

The IES Group, with offices in the UK and Ireland, develops many such management enterprise systems - some with GIS functionality - for its worldwide customer base. For more information about IES, refer to the Company web site at: www.iespca.com

 

The working area in the map window includes several shape polygons representing agricultural parcels. Note the context sensitive help on the right side - in this case the method for 'Adding a new plot'.
 

A number of zoom methods are supported, including dynamic, window, and multiplication zooming. The help is showing how to use the window zoom method.
 

The mapping options window. Here the user can save personal settings for label and field size, the information displayed in the labels, and the number of pages used for printing.
 

A parcel is selected and the parcel details, called from database, are presented in the middle box on the right. The connection status to the SQL server is shown at the top right. The coordinates of the current view extent are presented at the bottom right.