On May 2, 2023, Plants Map announced the unexpected closure of their website due to a server crash. No data was lost, however, QR codes on plant tags became unscannable and the user portal was no longer accessible.

Plantsoon, a company specializing in a similar domain, explored the feasibility of taking over Plants Map’s data and operations to ensure continuity for the affected customers and users.  Given the similarities between the two platforms and data structures, Plantsoon decided to carry on the operations of Plantsmap. All of Plantsoon’s resources are now being devoted to getting Plants Map users back up and running as soon as possible. 

Below we try to inform you as clearly as possible about the progress of the migration and provide you with answers to frequently asked questions. We will also regularly send a newsletter to former Plants Map users explaining our progress and decision making. Are you also a former Plants Map user? Please contact us below and put “Newsletter” in the Message field.  

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Plantsoon at hello@plantsoon.com or via the contact form below. If you have an urgent need to have your QR codes scannable again, please reach out to us via heidi.bertels@plantsoon.com. We will contact you as soon as possible.  

The Plantsoon team

Migration progress

October 10, 2023
Over 40,000 plant records are migrated.
September 5, 2023
Migrated 50% of the plant records for organizations.
August 8, 2023
> 10,000 labels are scannable. The more plant records we migrate, the faster the migration process will go.
July 21, 2023
3,500 labels are scannable again. We continue to work very hard to migrate the next big wave of plant records.
July 11, 2023
Pilot using the migration process developed with test customer on small group of Plants Map customers
June 28, 2023
All > 700 tags scannable again at first Plants Map test customer
June 27, 2023
Started collaborating with a small group of Plants Map users to optimize general migration procedures developed with the Plants Map test customer
June 19, 2023
First plant tags can be scanned at the first Plants Map test customer
June 10, 2023
Started collaboration with first Plants Map test customer with > 700 tagged plants to develop general migration procedures
June 9, 2023
Plantsoon decided to continue the operations of Plantsmap
May 30, 2023
Plantsoon started investigating the feasibility of taking over Plants Map’s data and operations
May 2, 2023
Closure of Plants Map, Inc. and website due to a server crash


We will provide updates on the migration progress for prior Plants Map customers via the Plantsmap.com website. We will also regularly send a newsletter to former Plants Map users explaining our progress and decision making. You can sign up for the Newsletter via below contact form.

We believe that the risk of a server crash or other technical issue is considerably lower at Plantsoon for a variety of reasons including our team, our technology development, and our funding structure. We have a five-person founder team and two employees. All of our technical development is done in-house. Our team has extensive experience creating and managing international IT projects, including in the eco-sector. We use robust high-end back-up technology such as Microsoft Azure. To support our work, we recently received funding and recognition from the Belgian government as an innovative startup. We do not rely on any external investors, so we can focus first and foremost on developing a quality product and a sustainable business model.

The migration process entails five phases. We will first complete the full migration process for organizations before moving on to individual user accounts. We will not advance to the next phase unless the prior phase is complete for all organizational accounts. 

The full migration process will take place as follows:   

Phase I:  Migration of all organization’s plant records with one photo. The plant record will include:   

  • Your logo or the Plantsoon logo
  • Title you entered in Plants Map    
  • Botanical name
  • Plant family   
  • One photo   
  • Story   
  • Map if GPS coordinates were provided  

Phase II:  Collections

  • If your organization had any collections, we will re-establish those for you.     

Phase III:   Landing page

  • You will have an option to display a public landing page which will include information such as description, logo, banner, links to social media, and links to your plant records. If you have provided GPS coordinates, a geo map with clickable elements will also be available.   

Phase IV:  Migration of any additional photos you may have uploaded to Plants Map. 

  • Connecting the photos to the right organization and plant records entails a lot of manual work, which is why this effort is in a separate phase

Phase V:   Dashboard access

  • With dashboard access, you will be able to edit your plant records and add new ones.

Phase VI:  Go through the same migration process for individual user accounts. 

When your plant record is available again, the record will include:

  1. Your logo or the Plantsoon logo
  2. Title you entered in Plants Map
  3. Botanical name
  4. Plant family
  5. Photo
  6. Story
  7. Map if GPS coordinates were provided
  8. Other fields will be migrated at a later time

Here are some sample web scans of plant records we have migrated: 


Plantsoon has a focus on the ecological experience as well as a scientific approach. The Plantsoon database uses a core database with plant masters enabling the analysis and exchange of holistic data. Once a unique plant is entered into the system (genus, species, ranks below species, cultivar…), other users who have the same plant will link to that plant master. Our system is built this way to ensure that the scientific names of plants are correctly depicted and formatted and to enable research in the future. We use World Flora Online (https://www.worldfloraonline.org/) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (https://www.gbif.org/) as references to create our plant masters. We further consult specialized online databases to find correct trade names and cultivar names.

In case of any disagreement with organizations about the correct naming of a plant, we are happy to work with you. Please contact heidi.bertels@plantsoon.com.

Below we provide an example of a web scan and explain what information is imported directly from the Plants Map database and what information is added by Plantsoon.


Acer buergerianum ‘ABMTF’

This information is imported from Plants Map from the field “title.” Usually this includes the plant’s English name and sometimes also the botanical name.

Acer buergerianum Aeryn® (=’ABMTF’)

This data is added by Plantsoon and follows worldwide convention for plant naming, pulled from World Flora Online, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and specialized online databases.

The name includes:

  • The plant’s botanical name (genus and species).
  • If the plant name has any synonyms, those are mentioned between brackets.
  • Trade name
  • Cultivar name

Sapindaceae (Soapberry family)

This data is added by Plantsoon and follows worldwide convention for plant naming, pulled from World Flora Online and Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

We do not charge a fee to migrate your plant records.

To add or edit plant records, you will need dashboard access. We cannot provide dashboard access until the migration, including the transfer of all pictures and collections, is complete. That is because if organizations start making edits while we are still migrating, this creates discrepancies which in turn can create issues. If you have a time sensitive need to add or edit, please contact heidi.bertels@plantsoon.com. 

Yes. Public landing pages will become available in phase IV of the migration. 

Any ArbNet accredited arboreta that have used Plants Map for your labeling, please be assured that your accreditation is still valid during this transition period. Any questions, please contact ArbNet at – 

Our current QR tags do not redirect to other pages, so in that sense they are not dynamic, but the plant records can always be edited and updated. The most up-to-date information will be displayed when the QR code is scanned. We currently do not provide an option to use dynamic QR codes to customers because it introduces a dependency on another company’s platform. 

We have access to all the data logged at the time of the Plants Map server crash, including your plant records, pictures, and collections.

We have a few exciting things on our product roadmap.

  1. Experiences:
    • E.g. Arboretum Day Celebration, Celebration of Trees, Day of the Bees, etc
    • You will be able to create an experience around a theme. For example, for “Day of the Bees,” you could focus on plants which are good for pollinating insects.
  2. Virtual excursions
    • This would allow the public sharing of information in Plantsoon
    • Some hypothetical examples:
      • Bird nest with camera: Children in Japan follow a breeding bird in Canada
      • Belgian school follows the growth of a banana tree in Aruba.
  3. Subzones
  4. Access to multiple “clients”
    • Your private yard as well as the arboretum where you work
    • Right now this entails separate logins
    • In the future, you will be able to switch between profiles
  5. Community: feed between users (the development of this feature will depend on how we evolve as a company and demand)
  6. Scientific tools
    • Pedigree registration of fruit varieties
    • DNA registration and research
  7. Virtual assistant
    • When to prune, how to preserve fruit, when to pick fruit, …

Founding team

  • Roel Vanaelten is our Chief Executive Officer. He has degrees in applied economics, an MBA in entrepreneurship, and professional development in information science. He has over 20 years of experience in process and business automation, including 10 years with one of the largest tree nurseries in Europe. He also owns three tree orchards.
  • Roel Bergs is our Chief Technology Officer. He is a computer scientist with over 15 years experience as developer and solutions architect
  • Pieter Heyns is our Chief Commercial Officer. He is a bio-engineer with over 15 years experience in consulting and management. His parents are the owners of a garden center.
  • Kris Vander Velpen is our Chief Strategy Officer. He has degrees in philosophy and business engineering as well as an MBA from Cornell. He is a professor of entrepreneurship & innovation at Flanders Business School and a former advisor for the Flemish Minister of Economics, Science, and Innovation.
  • Heidi Bertels is responsible for business development in the Americas. She has degrees in product development and technology & innovation management (Stevens Institute of Technology). She co-founded and co-directs an early-stage entrepreneurship center at City University of New York.


  • Aaron Delange is our angular developer
  • Siel Van Biesen is our marketing expert

Plantsoon is headquartered in Belgium. The United States was on our radar for future expansion, but not our initial area of focus. However, this direction shifted dramatically when Plants Map encountered operational difficulties. Plantsoon stepped in to assist former Plants Map users.  We’ve had to make some tough choices in terms of what work to prioritize, and we decided that our number one priority was to get Plants Map users back up and running as soon as possible. The QR codes on the Plants Map signs oftentimes have educational or commercial uses, so we committed ourselves to the primary goal of swiftly restoring service for Plants Map users. To ensure the functionality of these QR codes and to cater to our expanding customer base, some other work had to be put on the back burner for now. We chose to inform former Plants Map users primarily via the Plants Map website while slowly improving the English language version of our website and marketing as time permits. To enhance our engagement with the U.S. market and streamline communication with American customers, we have brought Heidi onto the Plantsoon team. With her dual Belgian-American heritage and having spent the last 17 years in the United States, Heidi is exceptionally well-positioned to understand and navigate the nuances of this new and important market for Plantsoon.

Because of the Plants Map migration, our focus is entirely on moving former Plants Map customers onto our platform, so their plant records’ QR codes/urls regain functionality and their collections and public landing pages can be re-established. The migration is going well, but the number of records is quite high, and we are estimating to be able to onboard new customers in the latter part of the fall. At that time, you would be able to create an account, get dashboard access to add and edit plant records, and create collections. If you have a time-sensitive project, we can work with you by providing you with an Excel template for new plant records which we’ll upload from the back end. Please contact heidi.bertels@plantsoon.com. 

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Plantsoon at hello@plantsoon.com

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us at hello@plantsoon.com or via the contact form below.
We will contact you as soon as possible.

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