KDSmart - How to Score Trials and Nurseries

KDSmart enables you to score or record Traits (usually phenotypic information although this could be anything you wish) for Trials and Nurseries. The scoring panels that are presented allow measurements to be recorded very quickly - usually with a single touch.

Quick Reminders

Continue Scoring The Previous Trial

The name of the Trial being scored is displayed on the KDSmart main screen. Just touch the ‘play’ image0 button or the Trial name to continue from where you were previously scoring. KDSmart remembers the position or Plot when you last exited the Scoring activity for the Trial (see the next section) and will present that Plot to you.

Quick Stop for a Break

1. If in auto-advance mode, exit using the “Home” button in the top left corner:
2. In the main scoring screen, exit using the “Home” button in the top left corner:
3. Confirm the exit by touching the “tick” mark in the popup:


Swap Between Light And Dark Background

Visibility settings can be changed using the following buttons:

Change Visibility Settings
Use: Button image4 Button image5
Result: image6 image7

Changing the visibility setting using these, image4 and image5, buttons on the main screen will affect the Trials, Traits or Tags display if accessed by the three buttons on the main screen.

What is stored?

A Trial consists of Plots and you can score measurements for multiple Traits for each Plot. Furthermore, KDSmart allows you to score each Trait multiple times within a Plot.

For example you may wish to score Leaf_Length three times: after 3 weeks, after 5 weeks and after 7 weeks. You can either:

  • Define three different Traits (e.g. Leaf_3, Leaf_5 and Leaf_7)
  • Alternatively define three Instances of the single trait Leaf_Length: Instance 1, Instance 2 and Instance 3.

A Measurement is stored for each Trait Instance in each Plot and includes the:

  • Date and time when the Measurement was taken
  • GPS coordinates (if this is enabled)
  • Value of the Measurement

Collection Parameters

Scoring a Trial has various options that must be selected before you begin:

Collection Order

You choose:

  • Which corner of the field to begin. The four quadrants separated by the grey bars identify the corner of the field where to begin walking.
  • The direction of travel (horizontal or vertical)
  • Whether you will be using a Serpentine path or not; e.g. if you are not actually walking but are scoring plants in a tray in a greenhouse
Plots per Group
Choose more than one Plot at a time; e.g. working to the Left and then Right of the path you are walking through the field.
Lock Scored Traits
  • This helps to prevent accidentally overwriting Traits that have already been scored. Measurements can still be changed although more screen touches are required.
  • Otherwise KDSmart‘s high speed scoring technology might allow you to change values you really didn’t want to.
Improved Visibility
The default dark background used when managing data in KDSmart does not work well outside in bright sunlight. This option presents the scoring panels with a white background this reducing the reflected glare.


Which Traits to Score
Touch the “TRAIT INSTANCE” tab at the top of the screen or Swipe left to see a list of the Traits that have been assigned to the Trial. You may then choose which of these (and in which order) you wish to score them in the current Collection or Scoring activity.

Trait/Instance Selection

A Trait defined within KDSmart may be used by one or more Trials/Nurseries and each Trial/Nursery may contain many Traits. Traits assigned to a Trial can be set to Active or Inactive as and when required.

Setting a Trait as inactive helps declutter the scoring screen. Traits are displayed ‘Just In Time’ when required in the field. This prevents unnecessary scrolling through a lengthy list of Traits (e.g. Not much interest in scoring Anthesis soon after planting).

Note: Setting a Trait to Inactive does not affect the data it contains. It simply hides the Trait from view in the Scoring Screen.


Active and Inactive Traits

The filled in stars important identify Traits that will be Active for scoring in the current Collection. Hollow stars not_important mark those that are Inactive for scoring in the current Collection.

Touch the stars to change them.

Scoring Order You may also change the order in which Traits are presented for scoring. This could be useful if you are scoring 3 traits that are at different positions on a Plant; e.g. Leaf Colour, Root Lodging and Plant Height. It may make the scoring task easier if the Traits are presented in the order:

  • Plant Height
  • Leaf Colour
  • Root Lodging

as the scoring may be performed by working from the top of the plant to the bottom.

Changing Trait Collection Order

The order in which the Traits will be presented is the same as that on display in the above example.

To change the Trait order either:
  • Touch the buttons on the right edge of the row for each Trait name to display options to move the Trait up or down one position; or
  • Select the menu image12 button, select Change Order then drag the Traits into the desired Scoring Order.

Screen Orientation

Either Portrait or Landscape orientation can be used in KDSmart if the devices “Orientation Lock” is switched off.
The orientation in use when the Start Scoring or play image13 buttons are selected will determine the presentation of the scoring screen.


Trial scoring on Phone-sized device in Landscape mode and “right-handed setup”

Examples below are of the same Trial on the device in Portrait mode.

Left-Handed Setup Right-Handed Setup
The scoring and navigation controls are moved to the left side of the screen. The scoring and navigation controls are moved to the right side of the screen.
image15 image16

How to Start Scoring

From Trial Details

When viewing the details for a Trial, the menu bar at the top of the screen will present a “play” button: image17.

Touching this button will present the Configuration screen where you will choose Collection Parameters then select Start Scoring.

From the Main Screen

The name of the last Trial being scored will appear along the bottom of the main screen with a “play” button image18 to the left.

Touch either the Trial Name or the “play” button to resume scoring from where you left off.

If you wish to change any of the Collection Parameters, use a long press instead to show a popup where you can choose the Start Scoring button which will present the Configure panel.

If you are having difficulty reading the screen because of glare, use the image19 button to switch to a white background. The icon changes to image20 to let you change back.

Demo vs Production - Where is Your Data Stored?


For your real work, make sure you are using KDSmart’s Production database and not the Demo database.

It is important to remember that KDSmart contains two separate local databases on the tablet/mobile. You should do your real work in the local Production database. KDSmart helps you identify which database is active in a number of ways:

  • If you see the image21 button on the main screen then you are using the Demo database.
  • When the Configure screen is presented, the Start Scoring button contains [DEMO db] at the bottom.

The image22 button demonstrates the Lockdown mode of operation. This mode allows you to control the scoring task without enabling users the ability to change settings or trial attributes.

Use this mode when someone else is to perform the scoring and that is ALL they are to do.

To exit Lockdown mode a four-digit passcode is required. When the Production database is active, Lockdown mode is enabled from the Settings page: image23.

Demo vs Production Local Database
  • Pre-installed demonstration data provided with KDSmart to allow users data to experiment and test KDSmart functionality before working with real data.
  • The Demo database can be reset any time using the Settings screen; use the image23 button on the main screen to display the Settings and choose the Reset Demo Database checkbox.
  • On return from the Settings screen KDSmart changes to the Demo database and reinitialises the demo data.
  • The local KDSmart database to store your real Production work. KDSmart installs with an empty Production database.
  • To commence using the Production database touch image23 button on the main screen to display the Settings screen and choose the Active Database preference then choose the Production option.
  • The selection will be active on return from the Settings screen KDSmart.

Trial Details

Selecting a Trial from the KDSmart Trial list will display the Trial’s Details. If in landscape orientation these details will be displayed in the right hand panel.

When viewing Trial Details those Trial attributes that can be edited will have an adjacent edit-action pencil icon .

Trial Attribute Description
Trial Name What the Trial will be named in KDXplore or KDSmart
Abbreviation An abbreviated Trial name for display purposes
Planting Date Shown in the following highlighted example at Setting the Planting Date.
Note: Planting Date must be set before scoring can commence.
Plot & X/Y Axis Names Determines the Trial Element Names that are to appear on scoring screens.
These will be names for Plot, X and Y axis names, depending upon the what was imported.
Plot Identification What will appear when scoring - from import
Trial Layout: Plot[1,50]  
Organism Type Provides a choice of symbol to represent the organism on screen.
Note A text note for the Trial.
Traits Trials may have many Traits, however it is not necessary or desirable for them all to be visible when scoring.
Traits can be made visible or hidden as required.
The blue highlighted panel, near the bottom of the Trail Details display lists the Trait Instances available in the Trial showing:
important Traits currently selected for Scoring or
not_important Not selected or hidden and
half-important Trait Instance(s) selected.
Trial Attributes Non editable from import
Plot Types Non editable from import
Plot Attributes Non editable from import

Setting the Planting Date

By setting a value for the Planting Date the ELAPSED_DAYS Trait data type can be used (see Trait Data Types ).
This makes the task of data entry easier and less error prone for Traits such as Flowering which may be recorded as Days Since Planting. The entry task is made easier in the field as no calculation is required by entering values from a selection list such as +2d, +1d, Today, -1d, -2d.

The steps to set the Planting Date are as follows and illustrated in the following illustrations:

  1. Select the pencil icon (highlighted next) to the right of the date field;
  2. Use the displayed calendar to select the required date; and
  3. Confirm the date setting by selecting the ‘tick’ button.

Trial information showing the Trial Planting Date

Select the required Planting Date using the calendar and confirm to save the setting and return to the previous Trials window. Notice that the required Planting Date is displayed.


Using the Calendar to Set the Trial’s Planting Date

Scoring and Plot Navigation


When scoring a Trial, KDSmart begins in the corner of the field and proceeds in the direction you have chosen for the Collection Order. As you are positioned at each Plot (or group of Plots) the screen will look something like this:


Touch the:

  1. Empty space next to a Trait name to popup a dialog to enter the Measurement value for that Trait.
  2. Trait name to see the description of the Trait.
  3. new_label_btn button to add or modify the Tags that you wish to apply to the Plot.
  4. image28 and the image29 buttons to take a picture attachment for this Plot. button to add or modify the Tags that you wish to apply to the Plot.
  5. image30 button to change the state of a Plot from Active to Inactive. If a Plot is marked as Inactive you can still modify the Tags but all of the Traits will be hidden.

Auto-Advance Scoring

Auto-advance allows you to concentrate on only those Traits for which you have not yet provided a Measurement value.

When you provide a value for a Trait, KDSmart moves the focus to the next un-scored Trait, skipping over those Traits (and sometimes entire Plots) which have already been scored.

Begin Auto-Advance

  1. Touch the image34 button in the menu bar to turn on Auto-Advance Scoring.

  2. Begin scoring by touching the blank area next to an un-scored Trait. KDSmart will bring up a new screen with the data entry “form” for the Trait on one side and the Plot Information on the other side.

  3. The Plot identification buttons and the advance/retreat buttons are no longer available but there are skip-backward image35 and skip-forward image36 buttons along the bottom that may be used if you don’t want to enter a Measurement for the Trait being displayed.

    If you end up skipping completely over a Plot then KDSmart will let you know this by:

    • Vibrating the device
    • posting a system notification
    • Displaying a popup message for you to confirm that you have reached the correct Plot to continue scoring.

As in the normal scoring screen, the presentation of the Auto-Advance scoring screen changes depending on whether you are:

  • Using a Tablet- or Phone-sized device
  • Using Portrait or Landscape mode
  • In right-handed or left-handed input mode

Using the Field View


Example of the Field View screen

The Field View provides a:

  • Visual overview of the Trial being scored as a rectangular grid of Cells;
  • Zoomable map to display more or less information;
  • Valuable visual representation of the Trial for different criteria (Heatmaps); and
  • Easy, graphical navigation to other Cells (i.e. Plots, Pots, Ponds, trial units, etc.).


Cells are used as a generic term for Plots, Ponds or other names to distinguish the unit within a Trial.

A number of zoom levels are available to vary between brief or more verbose information about the cells. The initial view displays a brief summary about the status of each Cell with details such as:

  • The percentage of Traits that have been scored;
  • If and how many Attachments are present;
  • The number of Sub-Plots in the Plot; and
  • If there are any Tags.

For brevity at some zoom levels, single character codes are used to display this information:

  • black5 - There are five Attachments
  • black3 - There are three Sub-Plots
  • black2 - There are two Tags.

The arrow symbols arrows indicate the direction of the Collection Path for that cell.

The percentage of scored Traits is also indicated by the shaded portion of the first line of the Cell view.

The values of Plot Attributes and Traits may also be listed at different zoom levels.

Cells with a yellow background indicate they have been selected using the ++ button that appears in the dialog when a Cell is touched or that cell was found using the Search button.

Use the Search button to find Cells that match a given criteria. KDSmart will let you choose a criteria and a number of associated values; e.g. choose a Plot Attribute and one of its values to select all cells where the Plot Attribute has the chosen values.

Find Recent Scores

To find the most recent scores the Field Map can assist. For example this could be used if an interruption has occurred whilst scoring and you need to quickly determine ‘where was I up to’.

Steps to Find Recent Scores
Step Action
1 Select the Field Map plotloc button then from the menu choose Find Recent Scores.
2 Select the number of Minutes since Scored from the selection list.
3 The cells matching the search criteria will display with a small clock symbol as illustrated in the next example.

Field Map Search Result

Using Tags

What Are Tags For?

Tags provide a quick method of applying predefined classification or annotation to cells (Plots or Sub-Plots). Main benefit of Tags are they:

  • Are simple to use - selectable from a list makes them quick and easy to assign;
  • User or Project definable;
  • Provide consistent annotation, avoiding problems with spelling or language; and
  • Deployable across multiple users, devices and locations.

This means the:

  • Users spend less time writing and repeating notes in the field; and
  • Data curators have more consistent, uniform recordings from multiple locations by different field workers.

Tags have the following characteristics:

  • User definable;
  • Consist of a Short Name and optional Long Description;
  • New tags can be created in the field;
  • Can be imported from a CSV file; and
  • Are exportable to CSV file.

A few Tag examples are shown in the following table:

Example Tags
Tag (Short Name) Long Description
BD Bird Damage
LDG+ General Lodging in plots-mild
LDG++ General Lodging in plots-moderate
WET Water logging

Where are Tags Available?

Tags are available in the following screens:

  • Scoring Screen;
  • Field View Searching; and
  • Managing Tags.

Using Tags

This section describes:

  • Assigning a Tag, or multiple Tags, to a Plot or Sub-Plot;
  • Removing an assigned Tag; and
  • Searching using Tags in Field View.

When Tags have been assigned to a Plot or Sub-Plot they will appear as shown in the following illustration, which shows part of the Scoring screen with two Tags assigned (at ‘1’) which is above the Trait column. Tags are assigned or reassigned using the Tag button (at ‘2’).


Example of two applied Tags on the Scoring Screen

Note: Within the Scoring screen a long press on any Tag will:

  • Display the Tag details; and
  • Allow the addition of another Tag.

Assigning a Tag

One or more Tags may be assigned (or added) to a cell, or reassigned, if required. To assign a Tag follow these steps:

Steps to Assign Tags
Step Action
1 In the scoring screen locate the cell you wish to Tag.
Select the Tag new_label_btn button.
Note: When Tags are already assigned to a cell, a Tag can be selected by a Long Press on the Tag which will display a window showing:
  • The Tag’s full description; and
  • Allow more Tags to be added.
3 Select one or more Tags (see the selection list example below) to assign them to the cell.
4 Select Apply to save your changes and return to the scoring screen.
5 The Tag short name will display above the Traits for the selected cell.

The following example shows the Tag selection list with one Tag selected and the Apply button.


Partial Tag Selection List

Removing a Tag Assignment

To remove an assigned Tag from the selected cell perform the following:

Steps to Remove a Tag Assignment
Step Action
1 At the required cell, select the Tag new_label_btn button.
2 Deselect the Tag(s) to be removed within the scrollable Tag list (see the selection list example above).
3 Select Apply to save your changes and return to the scoring screen.
4 The Tag will no longer be assigned or appear for the selected cell.

Searching in Field View

When Tags have been assigned they can be used in a search within Field View plotloc.

To search using assigned Tags perform the following:

Search Using Tags
Step Action
1 Within the Scoring screen select the Field View plotloc button to display the Field View of the Trial.
2 Select the Search search button to display the Find Plots window.
3 In the displayed menu bar select TAG to display the Tags that have been assigned. This will show the number of Tag assignments.
4 Select the Tag(s) to search then select the confirm accept-btn button. (For this example the WET Tag was selected.
The Field View window will redisplay with the cells highlighted in yellow as shown in the following illustration.


Field View Tag Search WET Search Highlighted

Managing Tags

This section covers the Management of Tags in KDSmart, which may be thought of as managing a list of Tags. The following actions can be performed at the Manage Tags screen:

  • Add a new Tag;
  • Edit Tag’s Long Description;
  • Delete selected Tag(s) (Note: Assigned/in use Tags cannot be deleted);
  • Import Tags from a CSV file; and
  • Export selected Tags to a CSV file.

Manage Tags Button

Tag Management is accessed from the main KDSmart screen by selecting the Tag button (highlighted above).

Use the:

  • edit-action action to Edit;
  • new-action action to Add a new Tag
  • Import action_download and Export action_upload actions to move/copy Tags in and out of KDSmart.

Touch a Tag to view it’s details.

While viewing a Tag Details use the Edit edit-action and Add new-action actions as required.

At the Manage Tags screen a long press of a Tag will select the item. This allows multiple Tag selection by long pressing on each Tag to be selected, as illustrated next. The number of selected Tags is displayed at the top - in the following example Selected:2.


Multiple Tag Selection
(Long Press)

Once one or more Tags are selected they can be:

  • Exported; or
  • Deleted (If unassigned).

Adding Tags

Tags are unique, so when you Add a Tag, using the edit-action action, you must enter an unused Tag Label. KDSmart assists as you type a Tag Label, showing existing Labels that match the text you have entered.

The Use button will only become active when your Tag entry does NOT equal an existing name. Select the Use button when ready to continue, then enter a Description. Confirm to save the new Tag.


New Tag Entry

At the cell where the new Tag is to be applied, select the Tag new_label_btn button then select the new-action action plus-action to display the Add Tag window.

Editing Tags

After a Tag has been defined only the description can be changed. To edit the Tag description:

  1. Navigate to the Manage Tags window.
  2. Select the tag then select the Edit edit-action action.

Importing Tags

Tags may be imported into KDSmart and KDXplore using CSV files. Data consistency is improved when using multiple KDSmart devices if the same Tag CSV file is used. Note: Tags can also be loaded into KDSmart using KDXplore

Import Format

The following table shows the CSV file format:

CSV File Format
Heading Alternates Mandatory
Label TagLabel, Comment Yes
Description TagDescription, Desc, CommentDescription Yes
DatabaseLabelId LabelId, Id No – Useful as a cross-reference to the originating database.