Canopeo is a rapid and accurate green canopy cover measurement tool. Use this app to quantify the percent canopy cover of live green vegetation for any agricultural crop, turf, or grassland based on downward-facing photos taken with your mobile device.
Source: Canopeo / Image: ©Canopeoapp
Runs offline: no
Last update: Android 20/07/2015 – iOS 17/11/2015
Website of the developer: Oklahoma State University
Notes: article update on 19/11/2015
Canopeo is a mobile application (developed using Matlab) that allows to track the growth of crops by calculating fractional green canopy cover. Its operation is based on colorimetry, offering in situ results much more accurate than visual examinations, similar to tools such as SamplePoint (free) or SigmaScan Pro. As is reflected in the project page, this tool has various utilities:
- Monitoring crop growth.
- Control over pastures used to grazing, being able to relate stocking densities and state of the pasture.
- Quantification of the effect of environmental factors such as hail, snow, water stress, nitrogen-based fertilizer recommendations, etc.
- Estimation of light interception.
The use of the application is very simple. Although not essential, Canopeo offers the possibility to register as a user. This option allow to save images obtained for further historical analysis.
The tool has three options: take photo, record video (only Android devices) or load from gallery. The images or videos should be taken with the phone more than 60 cm (it depends on the height of the vegetation), arranged parallel to the ground (the photograph that opens this article shows the correct methodology). If you prefer to record a video, the program decomposes the different frames for the analysis of canopy cover.
After a picture or video has been taken, the application displays the results almost immediately. The app presents the original image and the processed image, where canopy cover is rendered through white pixels. The possibility of seeing both images allows to compare them, being able to adjust the accuracy with a slider located at the bottom of the screen. However, the creators of the app say the default value is valid in most cases (there may be some variations depending on the prevailing lighting conditions). This image can be uploaded to your personal account, filling out different data to identify the sample, including the geotagging.
Images: Screenshots 10/10/2015. ©OSU
According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in 1999 “pasture and crops alone took up 37 percent of the earth’s land area“, with agriculture as one of the main consumers water on the planet. To maintain in the long term this activity and make it increasingly sustainable is a priority in a world that is heading towards 9,000 million of inhabitants by 2050.
Although initially it may give the impression that Canopeo is not an environmental application, after this analysis it is clear that can serve as support to achieve this goal of a more sustainable agriculture leading to a more rational use of natural resources. It offers major advantages as speed and ease of use, with similar results to more complex or payment programs, being able to analyze videos, format not supported by other alternatives. Furthermore, and although the main device for use of this application is the smartphone or tablet, its version of Matlab includes multiple utilities oriented to water and agricultural soils management, being much faster than the mobile version (the analysis is edited to include the confirmation received from Canopeo that they are studying to expand the initial intended use of the application to analyze aerial or satellite imagery by using the version of Matlab. Canopeo classifies anything of green colour, regardless of the nature of the object. However, a license of this mathematical software is required to perform this task).