Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mapping My Gardens

Seventeen degrees out.  Time to chat about planning...

Becoming a bit obsessed with a map to keep track of what's planted where, I took to my trusty Mac to find software to help.

First let me recommend a vector draw program is much easier to work with that a paint program.  A paint program allows the user to sketch using the mouse or trackpad.  If you have a very steady hand and lots of patience I supposed you could make it work, but the draw program is much more forgiving.  There is a learning curve, but a few hours of fiddling and you'll have what you need.  Rectangles and ovals are snap. irregular shapes require laying down a series of points around the edge.

I captured a picture using the Google map satellite shot of my property (using Snapz Pro). In a draw program you create layers.  This became my base layer.  I then created a layer for outlining beds.  I zoomed in and combined this with measured sketches to draw the basic shapes,  Then by clicking on the points I dragged out handles (called bezier tools) that allow fine tuning of curves.

If you have a few hundred to give to the folks at Adobe, Illustrator is the gold standard. But after trying a couple of options I settled on iDraw.  It has everything I need (and more) and for $25-$30 it is a bargain. For another $8-$10 there is an iPad version.

Here's the overview I created.  I am using the same program to create detailed maps of each bed.  

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