Our software creates a 'spatial inventory' of any group of objects; a fusion of map and database.
We build tailor-made solutions for Owners and Head Gardeners, enabling them to document and manage plant records and generate accurate mapping for gardens of all sizes. Memorial Gardens and collections with dedications can also be catered for.
Collect the data once, use it everywhere - on the desktop, mobile and web.
Every garden or collection has different requirements. We look forward to discussing these with you and understanding what resources you might already have that could prove useful. These conversations enable us to propose a range of options and ensure that our software is just right for your requirements.
Scroll down to see what you can do and how VantagePoint can help you do it.
VantagePoint is the premier, mapping-focused solution, the only one I know.Christopher Weddell, English Heritage
We have over a decade of experience, working with some of the most important gardens in the UK, such as these:
Being able to see where everything is and communicate it to others is an essential part of managing a plant collection. Whether you are one person or part of a team, VantagePoint/Garden will allow you to capture the essence of your botanic collection and secure the future of this valuable data.
Capture the knowledge and experience of garden staff for all to use. Extend it with a database that can hold any associated information including imagery, videos, PDFs and links to other databases. Build an archive and record changes to your site.
Manage your nursery and accessions, tracking plants and seed from germination to planting out and beyond.
Perform complex searches and analysis in both the map and the database. Import any existing electronic records and add them to the database; none of your work will be lost.
As with introducing any valuable resource, it will inevitably take some time to bring records into the database and prepare the mapping for your site. It’s a significant undertaking, but one which will pay off for years to come.
Good planning means spending more time in the garden and less in front of a computer, as our clients have told us!
We can find plants much more quickly so we spend time efficiently, doing the things that matter.Robert Jamieson, Head Gardener, Howick Hall
Use our differential GPS or your measurements to locate all objects of importance in large and small gardens to high accuracy.
Create a fully editable, layered map that is a precise and visually pleasing representation of your collection.
Working out where something is or how many and where they all are is crucial. Doing this quickly makes life easier.
Areas and perimeters for all surfaces are always available taking the guesswork out of the management of paths, roads, beds, lawns, rough grass and water features etc.
All your data can be shown on the map and is available whether the emphasis is on presentation or functionality.
Assists in the creation of promotional materials to increase your appeal to your visitors. Creates a consistent “picture” of the garden across different media that reinforces your image. Reduce effort by removing the need to redraw the map for new uses.
VantagePoint/Garden is the only solution of its kind, combining a map and a database to provide the biggest benefits. Some tasks need to begin in one and be completed in the other, for example, you might build a complex search in the database and then see the distribution of the plants on the map.
Good management of your collection means better efficiency - the Head Gardener at one of our gardens is able to spend 20% more of his time in the garden now that he can plan and record by using a database linked directly to an active map.
We enable our clients to capture the wealth of in-house horticultural knowledge accumulated by their staff and specialist researchers alike to improve the management of the site and demonstrate good practice to those funding development. Staff, visitors and investors all benefit from the professional presentation of the garden in print and interactively.
It's a tool to make your life easier and check the validity of your collection. It is something which will save you a lot of work.Darren Webster, Head Gardener, Thenford Gardens
As a result of our work at the National Memorial Arboretum, we have developed techniques for mapping and identifying arrays of tens of thousands of trees, which would allow us to tackle any similar situations with any kind of object.
In conjunction with The National Trust, we have developed VantagePoint/Capture, a set of tools for the extraction of data locked into DXF files that otherwise would have had to be keyed manually. This tool can bring older electronic maps into the present and allow them to become useful once again, saving the costs of resurvey and manual entry.
You can use VantagePoint/Garden on your Mac, PC and iPad. There are no proprietary file formats to trap your data. Your data is yours - always accessible and reusable.
Joel Sciamma and John Smith are the founding directors of VantagePoint Cartographics Ltd. and we survey, map and catalogue the botanic collections of parks, gardens and arboreta, large and small, across the UK.
We have been developing our techniques in conjunction with our clients for over 14 years, to build maps and databases that allow them to visualise and search their collections.
In addition to the botanic information associated with trees and other plants, we have handled large datasets for dedications and commemorations, irrigation systems, electrical utilities and tree safety with their information shared between the maps and the databases.
Our own databases put a premium on understanding the needs of our individual clients and we take usability seriously. We backup our efforts with high quality documentation, training and support so that our clients can genuinely have ownership of their solutions.
We focus sharply on product design and the user experience and ‘support’ is not a euphemism for keeping you at arm’s length from the people who know the answers. The best support is never needing to use it. We have installations that have been running with hard daily use for years without needing attention.
We believe that individuals should benefit from the use of technology, not be controlled by it. People still trump computers and VantagePoint embeds these principles in all its manifestations.
We continue to develop VantagePoint as we encounter new challenges.
If you have a garden or arboretum and feel the time has come to capture the experience of your people and record your collection for all to use, be it for education, research or simply enjoyment, please come and talk to us.
Joel and John, founders.
A joy to work with.Christopher Weddell, English Heritage
If you would like to see VantagePoint in action, we would be happy to visit you and put it through its paces and answer any questions you may have.
Click to download the following resources as PDF:
Screen shots of the databases on desktop and iPad.
VantagePoint is comprehensive but accessible, and the software is easy to use, even for someone with a ‘normal’ level of IT experience.Simon Gulliver, former Head Gardener, Birmingham Botanic Gardens & Glasshouses
The concept of VantagePoint/Garden arose from work that Joel Sciamma of Inventors Emporium was involved with for Major William Spowers and his arboretum at Windlesham, Surrey. Whilst creating a digital map based on the CAD application Vectorwork™, the point had been reached where accurate mapping of various features became essential. An introduction to John Smith of Mosaic Mapping resulted in the use of differential GPS survey to accomplish this.
From discussions bringing together their diverse skills of computer coding and field survey various software tools were designed. The purpose of these was to enhance and refine the way in which survey data could be used in the production of a visually satisfying and information-rich map of the arboretum. Realising that these techniques would have value to others, and that generally, digitally produced maps were very much poorer from the visual perspective, the software and processes were brought together in a product to be called VantagePoint/Garden.
During that period, Mosaic Mapping were undertaking extensive survey at the RHS garden at Wisley. Recognition by the RHS of the potential of VantagePoint/Garden to perform roles in both mapping and graphics lead to the purchase of licences for each of their four gardens. Meanwhile, the Birmingham Botanic Gardens acquired Vectorworks™ and now, with the digitisation of existing data complete, are moving to implementing fully the functionality of VantagePoint/Garden.
Following a presentation of VantagePoint/Garden at the PlantNetwork Conference at Kew, Thenford Garden began commissioning survey and digitisation work, contracting ourselves to produce maps with VantagePoint/Garden for publication in visitor leaflets. In 2011 this was expanded to a far more comprehensive project to survey, map and catalogue the whole arboretum.
A further PlantNetwork Conference allowed recent advances within the VantagePoint/Garden solution to be demonstrated including the direct linking from an object on a VantagePoint/Garden map to a database and back. In-house development by the RHS allowed linking of their BG Base database to the VantagePoint/Garden map with a bidirectional flow of data between the two.
A seminar, held at Wisley focusing on the methods used to capture data and update their VantagePoint/Garden map, also gave an opportunity to demonstrate a new tool that links map objects to locations displayed in Google Earth.
In 2008, The National Memorial Arboretum commissioned survey and digitisation with the provision of a custom database in concert with the implementation of a VantagePoint/Garden solution for their mapping requirements. 64,000 trees were plotted and recorded.
Whilst undertaking a survey of trees at the National Trust’s Tyntesfield Estate, it became apparent that whilst a great deal of information was held within CAD drawings, it was inaccessible for analysis. This prompted development of a suite of VantagePoint/Garden tools designed to locate and extract this information. This enabled us to extract data on thousands of trees, for which the only other option would have been to manually key them in.
We have recently introduced the VantagePoint/Go solution for the iPad so that the most modest garden can take advantage of the benefits of accurate mapping and inventories. The use of mobile devices with VantagePoint will be an increasing focus.