Some days ago I was asked to mention solutions in the usage of .agdata files when the user had no corresponding software available (paid software). Honestly, I give the guy the best answer from my knowledge, but I have to admit that after that I spent a couple of days thinking: there should be a better way to work with this. So, as always, i began the search.
Part of my answer also mentioned that this was one of the traditional questions of the users, since, over the years we keep using the same tools. In fact, this is the part that was wrong in my answer, because there is a new development, in fact, there has been over the years. I also mentioned that some brands evolve to the usage of modems directly connected to the monitors on the combines, that directly export the data to web portals. And, that I supposed that they had to have paid something to the companies owners of the file types.
In fact, what they had been developing is a shared standard for a while now. They are US branches of this, and also Europe branches. They create over the years a system for all different proprietary types of files to be able to share and then made it available through APIs (Application Programming Interface). So, for example, AgGateway which is a non-profit consortium of businesses promoting, enabling, and expanding eBusiness in the agriculture industry, create “ADAPT” program (Agricultural Data Application Programming Toolkit) https://adaptframework.org/companies-supporting-adapt/. This includes a combination of open source and proprietary data conversion plugins.
As I mentioned there are also European examples of these endeavors, such as AgroEdi Europe and others, that are well explained in the following article https://www.aspexit.com/standards-and-data-exchange-in-agriculture/.
What this means in practical terms is that now companies such as the traditional farm equipment builders John Deere, Case or New Holland (CNH), Ag Leader, Raven, and others dedicated to the farm management, such as Agrian (Echelon in Uy. and Arg.), Climate (FieldView), and a list of new companies growing, now share this Industry Standard. That means that they can read and share the files.
This also means that as an open-source user one can build (theoretically) a personal application to use harvest files from a file or even develop a modem communication with the harvest monitor to upload to the web and process, through this Standard, the harvest files. This would probably take some time, but in any case, would be a better solution than the current one. More information here https://aggateway.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/ADM/overview .
So the key question right now is, are there available non-paid options using this protocol for the user to upload .agdata (or any other proprietary file) and export it as .shp?
So far I have been experimenting with John Deere Operations Center, and the good part is that I can create a free user and upload CNH files without problem, but, when exporting is attempt you begin to find the hidden industry hands. Of course, they know, nobody wants to export the files as .pdf but non the less either you can’t or the .shp option is very well hidden. In the past I have had similar experiences with Agrian’s Echelon, in that occasion, I had to use a paid user to be able to export harvest files.
Todays lesson, things are allways evolving..we still have interesting things to keep ourselves buisy.