by Chris Neary
A global positioning system (GPS) is not just for finding the fastest route to a spring break destination. For Landscape Services, distance from point A to point B may not be longer than a few feet.
Since spring 2008, landscape technicians, including Professional Aide Adam Kingsbury, have mapped out all of the new trees and shrubbery that have been planted on campus using Munsys, a database used in conjunction with a GPS palm pilot device. The system uses four to six GPS satellites to pinpoint specific trees and groups of shrubs, aiding the department in new landscaping projects and renovations.
The department has been planning the project since Landscape Services Manager Gerry Dobbs was hired in February 2007, but didn't implement it until 2008.
"With this system in place, Landscape Services has received more mapping work to be done in a timely manner," said Dobbs.
In addition to creating campus plant inventory, Munsys compares projected construction areas to places where the plants were actually placed, allowing staff to monitor and reduce possible landscape construction inconsistencies.
Kingsbury said their goal is to create a campus "self-guided plant tour," allowing the public to enjoyably learn about MSU's naturally green campus.
(Above Photo): Professional Aide Adam Kingsbury records the location of a newly planted tree near the Urban Planning/Landscape Design Building on Wilson Road. Landscape Services has kept a database of all trees and shrubs on campus since spring 2008 using GPS mapping.
April 16, 2009