Landmapp – is the Netherlands based startup developing a mobile platform that provides smallholder farmer families in Ghana with documentation of their land. For smallholder farmers securing their land is very complex and an enormous challenge. Landmapp makes this simple, providing an end to end service from the farmer signs up till they hold a legal land certificate in their hands.
One of the Landmapp app key features is a high accuracy positioning to build reliable maps with farms boundaries. To bring this feature to life Landmapp needs RTK grade survey system however for the efficient project execution several field teams should work independently and in this case, the cost of traditional RTK equipment will be out of any budgets. The implementation of high accuracy positioning feature would have been much more complicated and expensive if Landmapp hadn’t found Reach RS. Field-ready receiver perfectly fits Landmapps needs and allows to keep service at affordable prices.
We’ve been inspired by the idea of delivering affordable land rights documentation to rural communities and provided Reach RS units to Landmapp team working in Ghana.
Taking the Reach RS to the field
In February Landmapp took a pair of Reach RS units to the field, to introduce it to their mappers and get the first data collected. It wasn’t all new to the field team, as they’ve already done tests with the Reach RS compact version – Reach in 2016.
In the cocoa plantations mappers have to deal with a dense canopy, which blocks satellite signals and makes it hard to move with heavy equipment. Luckily cocoa doesn’t grow too high, so by putting the receiver high enough Landmapp staff can still receive a strong GNSS signal. To enable the mappers to move safely on motor-bikes and on foot through rough terrain and vegetation, Landmapp has custom-made carbon-fiber poles. Featherweight and extended up to four meters, poles helped to catch a decent positioning signal in difficult conditions.
Landmapp field staff Firi and Samuel are reaching for the signal above the canopy, on this photo still with a heavy surveying pole
Integration in Landmapps mobile workflow
Landmapp integrated the Reach RS data-collection into their GeoODK based app. Before starting mapping, the app prompts to connect to the Reach RS. When recording points, the mapper is showing a countdown and the satellite view to make sure to collect enough data for post-processing. The GNSS data is uploaded to Landmapp servers, where it is post-processed automatically and validated by the Accra (the Capital of Ghana) office staff.
Getting ready for roll-out
In tests, the accuracy reached for the residential parcels turned out much higher than acceptable 1-foot deviation. With the more vegetated cocoa parcels Landmapp are still confident to reach average accuracy within a meter.
Landmapp also performed a device-calibration with the Ghana Lands Commission in Accra, making sure the Reach RS complies to the national standards. In the coming month, a startup from Amsterdam is rolling out Reach RS to all their mappers for farm and residential plots in Ghana.