The timber cruising app.
Easy. Fast. Free.
No Training Required
We built the first version of Plot Hound back in 2010 when smartphones and "apps" were just taking off. We were contracting out all of our cruising work and wanted a simple cruising system that anyone could learn in minutes. So we designed Plot Hound to just work - no training required. If you can email, you can use Plot Hound.
Watch the short video below and you'll be ready to cruise!
Integrated with SilviaTerra Canopy
Coordinating plot locations and cruise data is a nightmare for many cruising organizations. In the bad old days (before Plot Hound), we used to get faxes of tally cards. We've even heard stories of meeting up in McDonald's parking lots to plug in Palm Pilots to transfer data. The horror!
With Plot Hound, you can pull down your plot locations and send back your completed cruise data with the click of a button. It's that easy.
As soon as your cruise data is synced back to Canopy, your teammates will be able to see which plots you've completed. Once all the plots are completed, Canopy will automatically run your cruise reports for you.
“I was set up and cruising in minutes. Having an app on my phone was a huge win and saved me from having to buy an expensive, dedicated data collector.”
Shane Hetzler, MF
“My team of cruisers took a whole 5 minutes to learn how to cruise with Plot Hound. It made working together on a big cruising project easy.”
Fuller Natural Resources - Savannah, GA
“Plot Hound is still hands-down the best cruising tool I have used.”
JM Land & Timber - Dublin, GA
Cruise your way
Plot Hound doesn't lock you in to cruising with a particular device. You can use Plot Hound on any smartphone or tablet running Android or iOS. With hundreds of devices and accessories available, you can customize your cruising experience to be as rugged or as lightweight as you need.
At SilviaTerra, we usually cruise with our smartphone, a battery-extender case and screen protector, and a bluetooth GPS. Want more details? We've got a whole cruising hardware post on our blog.
Plot Hound runs on iOS and Android devices, both smartphones and tablets. The interface displays a bit more information on larger tablet screens, but many cruisers actually prefer to use smartphones because they're easy to palm when throwing a tape.
The most cost-effective way to cruise
Plot Hound is FREE
Whether you're part of a 50 person team or a one-man shop, Plot Hound is the most cost-effective way to cruise. You can use the smartphone you already own and Plot Hound itself is free.
So what's the catch?
There is no catch. At SilviaTerra, we spend our "marketing" dollars investing in Plot Hound rather than spamming you with ads. We originally built Plot Hound to solve our own cruising problems and put it up on the App Store after several of our contractors asked us if they could use it on their other cruising jobs. Plot Hound is now widely used by everyone from large TIMOs and REITs to forestry students just starting out. And when you cruise with Plot Hound, your data 100% belongs to you - we keep your data completely private and only use it to generate your cruise reports.
What about other cruising systems?
Here's how Plot Hound stacks up to a couple other options:
|Hardware cost||License Fee||Total Cost|
And this doesn't even include the cost of all the GIS licenses and other tools you need to set up a cruise (Canopy does cruise setup for free).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Plot Hound free to use?
Yes, the Plot Hound app is free to use and you can always get your raw data back free. However there may be charges depending on what Canopy reporting/support subscription level you have.
Does Plot Hound work without a cell signal?
Yes, Plot Hound will work without a cell signal or data connection. The only times you need a data connection are when you initially download your cruises and when you upload your cruise data at the end of the day. However, the map imagery will not load if there is no coverage. If you know you are going to be in an area with poor or no coverage it would be a good idea to cache your imagery before heading out. See below for instructions on to cache imagery.
Does Plot Hound provide any reports that summarize my cruise data?
Yes, if you have a Free Canopy subscription then you will receive basic stand summary reports including trees per acre and basal area per acre summaries. If you are subscribed to our Premium reports then you will receive reports that provide volume estimates.
I recently created an account and logged into the Plot Hound app, but I don’t see any of the cruises I have created.
Make sure you've created cruises on Canopy first. To pull in your active cruises you will need to use the ‘Download Cruise Info’ option found at the bottom of the Plot Hound home screen. Once you click on the download button a map will be displayed. Zoom into the area where the cruise/cruises are located and click on ‘Download data’ found in the top right hand corner of the page. This will download all the active cruises that are located in the map bounds. Stand boundaries are not shown on this map page.
When will my summary reports be run?
Cruise summary reports will be run automatically once all the plots in a cruise have been completed and uploaded to the Canopy website.
How do I upload my plot data from the Plot Hound app to the Canopy website?
On the Plot Hound home screen there is a box at the bottom of the page giving the option to ‘Upload Cruise Data’. In this box, the number of unsynced plots is listed. Click here to upload your data to the Canopy website.
How often should I upload plot data?
It is a good practice to upload plot data at least once a day - preferably several times throughout the day. You will need a data connection to upload plot data.
What is the difference between ‘Your’ cruises and plots, and ‘All’ cruises and plots?
‘Your’ plots are the plots that are assigned specifically to you. ‘Your’ cruises are the cruises in which you have assigned plots. ‘All’ cruises and plots are all the active cruises for your organization.
Can I collect data for a plot that hasn’t been assigned to me?
Yes, you do not have to be assigned a plot to collect data for it. Once you collect the plot and upload the plot data, the plot will automatically be listed as yours.
Can I change the measurement units?
Yes, the measurement units can be changed by going into ‘Settings’ found in the top right hand corner of the Plot Hound home page. Here you can change the units for diameter, merchantable height, total height, and distance. Note that the ‘Log’ option is based on an 8 foot log, not 16 foot.
Is there a way to cache the aerial imagery for times when I am out of cell service?
Yes there is a way to cache map tiles to use when you are out of coverage. If you go to the map page for an individual cruise when you have coverage and zoom in and out, it will cache all the tiles that load at those zoom levels.
Is there a way to display a topo map instead of an aerial?
Currently topos are not available. We plan to have them as an option though in the near future.
Can I use Plot Hound to navigate to plots?
Yes, Plot Hound makes it easy to navigate to plots using GPS. To view a list of the plots in a cruise, first navigate to the cruise list (either by selecting ‘Your Cruises’ or ‘All Cruises’). Choose which cruise you would like to work on. The next page will display a list of plots and a map of the plot locations. From the list, choose which plot you would like to go to. This will bring up another map that displays your current location, and the distance and bearing to the plot.
How do I collect data?
Once you are at plot center, click on the ‘Edit Plot’ option in the top right hand corner of the plot navigation page. This will bring up the plot tally page.
Do I need to collect values for all the data fields in the tally sheet?
No, all that we require is that you enter a species and diameter. All the other fields are optional. However, the more information you can provide, the better the stand level estimates will be.
How do I pick what products are available?
Products are defined in the ‘Merch Specs’ section of the Canopy website. Here you can create any product you would like and then assign the specs to cruises. Note that if you alter the specs for a cruise that has already been downloaded to the app, you will need to redownload it for the specs to take affect.
Can I edit the species in the ‘Species’ pull down menu?
Currently you cannot edit the species that are listed in the ‘Common’ section of the ‘Species’ pull down menu. This list is automatically populated with the 25 most common species in the cruise area, based on U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis data. If the species of interest is not located in the ‘Common’ section, it will be found in the ‘All’ section.
Why do I have to call the exact species instead of just hardwood or pine?
We made this change a few years ago to improve the accuracy of our height and volume predictions. If you aren’t really interested in species-level breakdowns, it’s fine to just pick one generic species to represent each category you’re interested in (sweetgum, loblolly pine, etc.) and use it to represent more than one species - this won’t have any impact on your tpa and basal area calculations, but will result in more generic height and volume calculations. See here for more information.
Can I edit a plot that I have already completed?
Yes, you can edit a completed plot if it has not been uploaded to the Canopy website. Simply, go back to the plots tally sheet and make your edits. If the plot has been uploaded then you can make corrections from the Canopy website.
Aren’t you stealing my data and using it to make all sorts of nefarious investments with my enemies? Are you big brother?
Absolutely not! We take data privacy and security very seriously. When you cruise with Plot Hound, your data 100% belongs to you - we keep your data completely private and only use it to generate your cruise reports.