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Trimble GPS Used to Create Purdue "Train Maze"
Corn Maze Created for Farm Progress Ag Show
LAFAYETTE, In., Sept. 25, 2001 - Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) is helping make the Farm Progress Show this year truly a-maze-ing. That's because specialists from Purdue University chose Trimble's Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to help create a train maze in a five-acre cornfield just south of the Lafayette Show. In addition, visitors will be able to try to navigate the maze's miles of trails using Trimble GPS receivers.
The "maze masters," as Purdue has dubbed them, used Trimble AgGPS® 132 DGPS receivers and field mapping software to draw the design in the cornfield. Accurate to within a meter, the Trimble AgGPS 132 receiver was able to intricately reconstruct the design of Purdue's Boilermaker Special train engine displayed at many athletic events and other gatherings. Purdue and Farm Progress logos are also carved into the sides of the maze. The maze holds a wide array of educational exhibits and crop trivia challenges for show visitors.
Trimble GPS has been used worldwide to create intricate mazes that help communities raise money, build libraries, give scholarships and gain attention. From California to Maryland, Canada to Switzerland, hundreds of corn mazes are being accurately and quickly created with Trimble GPS.
The Purdue maze took several months and a team of faculty and staff from Purdue's Site-Specific Management Center to plan and create. Purdue specialists used GPS and field mapping software to display a digitized copy of the maze design on a hand-held computer in the field. They used Trimble GPS to mark the coordinates of the four corners of the corn field for their mapping software; they then 'fit' the maze design to these corners and mapped out the design.
"Once the design was georeferenced, we hooked up the Trimble GPS to our handheld computers and simply marked the GPS points on the ground," said Purdue agronomist Bob Nielsen. "Even though we've worked with GPS for years, even we were impressed with how it turned out."
After painting in the GPS points, Nielsen and another agronomist mapped the pattern again with Trimble GPS. It was right on target. Maze masters then used a pair of lawn mowers to cut out the design in the corn.
"By the time we started mowing the design, we knew the lines were accurate," said Nielsen. "GPS made this project faster, more accurate and a lot of fun. We've used GPS to do extensive research in crop management and variability for years so we've known its capabilities. This was a completely new application - and it was pretty impressive."
While the maze is challenging, visitors who get stumped can find their way out via Trimble GPS, as well.
"We'll make sure we have about a dozen Trimble GPS receivers at the maze," Nielsen said. "We're hoping to show people how the system works - and also help them find their way out of the maze." Those who successfully navigate the maze will receive "I survived the Boiler Mazer" stickers and posters.
For more information on GPS applications in agriculture, check out Purdue's Site-Specific Management Center Web site at http://www.purdue.edu/ssmc
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808