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GPS 4 GIS

Tips, Tricks and Tarpits

Garmin

Pro XR

GeoExplorer 3

Trimble

Joel Cusick
National Park Service
Alaska Support Office
PLGR
Outline
Dictionary of Terms
How GPS Collects Data
Overview of Main GPS Receiver Types
The Right Tool for the Job
Tarpits
Assumptions
You collect or receive GPS data collected in
Alaska
You try to minimize
positional errors along
the way
Ultimate goal is a GIS
dataset
Dictionary of Terms
Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
Differential GPS
Real-Time Differential GPS
Post-Process Differential GPS
How GPS collects Features in the Field
GPS Space
Segment
Tracking a
GPS Satellite
Vehicle (SV)
28 Satellites
Distance =
12,0000 miles
Speed =
6000 mph
http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/realtime/jtrack/3d/JTrack3d.html
GPS Ground Segment

Mapping Grade
Receivers

Pro XR

GeoExplorer 3

Trimble
Recreational Grade
Receivers

Garmin
Dictionary of Terms
GPS
Not for navigation anymore
Since Selective Availability SA was turned off..
$300 unit can map at 1:24,000 scale (+/- 12m)
in the open
but not under canopy

http://www.fs.fed.us/database/gps/ Garmin
Dictionary of Terms
Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS)
Any system that can remove atmospheric errors in a
GPS solution (greatest error after SA)
Realtime
or back in the office - Post-Process
Dictionary of Terms
Real Time Differential GPS
CORS BASE Stations
In Alaska - depends on where you are at and how
lucky you are
Dependent on the CORS Network - Gulf of Alaska:
Hit / Miss
Not dependable
Dictionary of Terms
Real Time Differential GPS
WAAS
Wide Area Augmentation System
Designed for high flying aircraft
2 Geostationary satellites (parked over equator)
3 meter solution (if the GPS is enabled)
Hit / Miss in AK
Poor under any canopy

Tip: Other Satellite DGPS systems


like StarLink do not cover AK
Dictionary of Terms
Post-Process Differential GPS
Dependent on the CORS Statewide Network and
community base stations
Increasing coverage
Prudhoe Bay on line
Kotzebue soon?
Baselines have
significantly decreased

Tip: For every 100km between


base and rover, add additional
0.1m of error
Dictionary of Terms
GPS View of the World

How a digitizing tablet is


used today
Dictionary of Terms
Digitizing Terms

Traditional Way GPS Way

Tablet Earth
Puck GPS Antenna
Nodes / Vertices Positions

GRAIN or WEED Logging Rate


{*| DEFAULT | distance}
Dictionary of Terms
A GPS View of GIS Features
Point features are one or more positions averaged into
a point
Mapping Grade Receivers : Called Points
Recreational Grade Receivers : Called Waypoints

String of positions converted into a line / area


Mapping Grade Receivers : Collected directly in the field
as a line / area feature
Recreational Grade Receivers : Collected as a TrackLog
then converted back in the office
Line and Point Features

Waypoint1
N 61 13 9.0
W 149 53 28.4
A GPS Line or Tracklog
= Vertices

Distance is the logging rate

Start
Collecting Points or Waypoints along
the Way

Multiple positions
averaged into a point
What a GPS Mapping Receiver
Should Do
Hardware
Software
What a GPS Mapping Receiver
Should Do
Hardware
Accuracy (How close to Truth)
Meet National Mapping Accuracy Standards:
1:63,360 (32meters)
1:24,000 (12 meters)
1:5,000 (4 meters)
Precise (How reliable)
Rugged
Able to Average Positions into a Point
External Antenna Options Tip: A Pause button is
crucial to creating clean
Good on Batteries line/poly data in the field
What a GPS Mapping Receiver
Should Do
Software
Export in GIS Friendly Formats (shapes, coverages, DXF)
Capable of Controlling Attributes in the Field
Data Dictionary (Name, Trail Width, Comments)
Capable of Datum Transform - To NADCON 27
Mission Planning
Sky Plots
Planning the day
Able to Differentially Correct (Realtime or Post-
process)
Overview of Main Types
Recreational Grade GPS - Garmin
Mapping Grade GPS - Trimble
Y-Code Receivers - Rockwell PLGR+96
GPS/GIS Field Mapping Tools

Nerd Factor
Recreational Grade GPS - Garmin
Features Include:
Accuracy:
Autonomous < 15meters 68%
DGPS ready 1-5 meters 68%
User Friendly
Garmin
Many models
Garmin GPSIII+, GPSMap76, eTrex
Moving Base Maps (1:100,000 scale)
Mapping Grade GPS - Trimble
Features Include:
Accuracy:
Autonomous < 15meters 68%
Post-Process DGPS
3-5 meters 95% (Geo3)
1 meter 95% (ProXR)
Pathfinder Office Software
Data Dictionary, Mission
Planning

Trimble
Y-Code Receivers - PLGR+96
Features Include:
Accuracy:
Autonomous < 15meters 68%
Club Fed Only
Good under Canopy

PLGR
GIS/GPS Field Mapping Tools
GPS unit + Handheld PC(CE) +
ArcPad:
Realtime display of vector /raster
data
Hook to any GPS
Unlimited Storage (dependent on Garmin
and
storage capacity of device)
IPAQ
Instant shapefile creation running
Application builder($1500) ArcPad
GPS for GIS - Pros and Cons
Garmin III+
Pros
Cheap and consistent 15 meters positions - okay under canopy
Good Point tool
Fun / easy to use and easy to navigate with
Integration into ArcView - relatively straightforward
Battery usage is great
Cons
Cheap
No GPS Filters (2D Fixes Given, SNR, PDOP, MASK Angle set to 5)
Position accuracy not recorded
Not designed for GIS Mapping - relies on 3rd party software
No Data Dictionary capability
GPS for GIS - Pros and Cons
Trimble GeoExplorer 3
Pros
2-5 meter mapping tool
Point/Line/Poly Tool
Rugged
Collect data for 16 hours
Exports in coverage or shapefile
Excellent software (Pathfinder Office)
Cons
Requires additional training
$4000
Under Canopy issues - Velocity filtering / Use Antenna
Need to post-process after the field (internet connection)
GPS for GIS - Pros and Cons
Trimble Pro XR
Pros
Top-of-the-line GIS Mapping Tool
Submeter to 2 meter Tool
Real-time DGPS
Point/Line/Poly
Excellent under Canopy
Rugged
Exports in coverage or shapefile
Excellent software (Pathfinder Office)
Cons
Requires additional training
$8,000 - $10,000
Big/Bulky
Need to post-process after the field (internet connection)
GPS for GIS - Pros and Cons
PLGR
Pros
Good Point tool
Records error and Datum
Integration into ArcView - relatively straightforward
Cons
Older technology - Phasing Out
Heavy
Does not store an AVERAGED solution
Terrible on batteries
Club Fed only
No Data Dictionary capability
GIS/GPS Field Mapping Tools
Pros and Cons
IPAQ / ArcPad
Pros
Now can select GPS Filters (SNR, PDOP)
Creation of shapefiles
Pen-based digitizing from the air
Measure distances in field
Cons
Not a tight package (GPS, cables, ipaq, cradle, software, data)
Small screen view
Purchase of ruggedized collectors($900 - $3000)
GIS skills support is high (design forms, maintain/move data)
Battery usage poor
Right Tool for the Right Job
Sorry Its a Multi - Tool Environment
Garmin
Trimble
..PLGR
Need to learn enough about each system to know
when to use the tool
Right Tool for the Right Job
Mapping Scenarios:
Garmin / PLGR
Mapping sheep from the air?
Record cabin (points) location for fire
Photo control for georeferencing an AHAP (1:60,000) photo
Mapping study sites; Inventory and Monitoring

Garmin\PLGR\Trimble
Mapping a trail from a fast moving vehicle or by air (moving)
Right Tool for the Right Job
Mapping Scenarios cont:
IPAQ/ArcPad
Mapping fires from the air - need to know position now
ARC IMS connectivity to mothership???

Trimble
Mapping a Road while collecting point features along the way
Mapping a trash can lid
Mapping complex attributes?
Photo control for larger scale maps (1:12,000)
Updating of existing GIS layers
PLGR
In Dense Canopy (but prefer XR)
Right Tool for the Right Job
Putting it another Way:
If accuracy is the key...
Map a SUV - Garmin or PLGR
Map a small Subaru - Garmin (Average) or Trimble
Map a bunch of scooters - Trimble and post process
Map the four corners of an archeology dig (10 meters across)
Pull out the Survey equipment
If mapping features is the key...
Map a trail network - limited funds, inexperienced personnel -
Garmins
Map a campground - tentpads, sign posts- Trimble
What is Best?
Ask Yourself
1) What are your accuracy needs?
A) resolution of the other data types
B) anticipated data for the future
2) Project Needs
A) What are the crews GIS skills
B) Is it just you dealing with the data
3) What part of Alaska are you working in?
4) How much money do you have?
TARPITS

Cleaning the data


Datums
When to Hang it up
QC / Clean Tarpit
Coverages
Set Precision to Double Double
Check out the data tolerances first -measure distances
between vertices
Watch for places where a GPS was left on and dropped
a bunch of vertices
GPS Datum Tarpit
Whats the big deal
Differences:
WGS84(NAD83) to NADCON Alaska 27 = 100-150meters
3parameter NAD27 to NADCON Alaska 27 = 1.5 - 8 meters
#1 - KNOW the Datum
Accept that 1.5 - 7 meters might not be a big deal
Depending on the GPS, method of acquisition, scale of base
data etc.
In your mind, switch WGS84 with NAD83
GPS Datum Tarpit
How to deal with it
Ask? Demand the Datum be written down
Know how the Data arrives to the PC
Garmin - Garmin Protocol - WGS84(NAD83)
Garmin - via NMEA - up to the Display
Airplane
If a Trimble GPS is
Handle datum in Software - FOR NAD27 always
EXPORTS
! USE NADCON27 ALASKA WGS84
Datum Solutions
Use prj files to eliminate the define projection
step
Keep a set of NAD83 and NAD27 prj files around
Copy the prj alongside the *.dbf, *.shx, *.shp

GEOGCS["GCS_North_American_1983",DATUM["D_North_American_1983",
SPHEROID["GRS_1980",6378137,298.257222101]],PRIMEM["Greenwich
,0],UNIT["Degree",0.0174532925199433]]
GPS Data Tarpits
When to Hang it Up
Effective GPS for GIS purposes requires
In Super thick canopy or canyons?????
Attentive field personnel (A Field Nerd)
Mapping may be more efficient by..
remote sensing
heads-up digitizing
Summary
GPS not for navigation alone
Rapidly evolving technology - Migration to
Windows CE and mult-tasking environments
GPS Toolbox may require several tools to get the
job done
Instead of waiting for an updated Map product do
it yourself and enjoy the outdoors