Development of an online planning tool for designing terrace layouts
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A web-based conservation planning tool for terrace layouts was created by modifying a terrace location program (TERLOC), developed originally by Sudduth and Gregory (1982) and revised by Ghidey et al. (1992). Development of a terrace system is complicated by the time-intensive manual layout process, which can take up to 50% of the total design time. TERLOC is a conservation planning tool designed to locate terrace layouts using digital elevation data and minimal user input. arcgis enables users to automate the terrace layout procedure, potentially saving time and money in the terrace design process. Program availability and ease of use was greatly enhanced by integrating TERLOC to a web-based ArcGIS interface. Existing design procedures were modified to accommodate fields with irregular boundaries, topography, and orientation. Additional design options were also included to select a best layout design: variable terrace spacing, non-erosive channel grade, underground and interconnecting outlet selection, and the option for multiple key terraces. Analysis of the program was performed by comparing the program layout results to manually located terraces. The program and manual terrace layout results were found to be similar, especially for fields with large drainage areas. Terrace spacing was found to differ the most, with the program spacing typically larger than the manual result. Finally, the software quality of TERLOC was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. The presence of specific user and overall software requirements in TERLOC were found to increase program performance and utility.