GNSS positioning technology has advanced considerably since it was first introduced into the market for high-accuracy positioning. Gone are the days of GPS-only receivers, long observations for post-processing, 10+ pound receiver configurations, car batteries needed to provide external power and cables connecting everything in sight.
With today’s innovations, you can walk outside with a lightweight handheld device and achieve 5 cm or better accuracy in less than five minutes while tracking multiple constellations. Manufacturers are constantly refining their measurement engines to improve performance as well as track the latest satellites. Even beyond GNSS positioning, we now see cool new applications for operating systems like Android, high-accuracy offset technology for difficult-to-reach features, and connections to peripheral devices like cable locators. All of these advances substantially reduce the amount of time that needs to be spent in the field collecting data.
There have also been considerable improvements in processors, RAM, internal memory and modems. Now it isn’t uncommon to see dual-core processors, gigabytes—not megabytes—of RAM, and modem speeds that allow for efficient data transfers from the field back to the office.
If you are having difficulty meeting project accuracy and workflow requirements in a timely manner, it’s time to take a look at what is currently available in the marketplace.
Easy-to-Use and Implement Software
It is no secret that field data collection hasn’t exactly been fun. In the past, survey hardware and software was often utilized for creating asset inventories, managing assets, and collecting general GIS data. The steps necessary to complete a workflow were extensive and tedious; in fact, new users often had to carry around a manual to be able to correctly store features in the field or get the data back into the GIS.
Thanks to software advances, that situation has changed. Today, a wide variety of software can be employed to fit your specific project, application or departmental needs. Software can be accessed in the cloud, provide real-time data to multiple users in the field and office, and is easy to learn for those who may not have experience with typical GIS software.
Real-Time Accuracy and Streamlined Workflows
Many organizations are currently operating GNSS hardware and software for GIS field collection that was purchased during a time when users had to post-process to meet a specific accuracy requirement, or that didn’t quite fit their needs but offered a workflow that could “get them by.” These tools are quickly becoming outdated.
Today, with the availability of both free and paid subscription based real-time GNSS networks, you can much more quickly and efficiently achieve the accuracy you require. Best of all, the adjustments take place in the field in real-time, improving the overall experience and reduce the time spent in the office.
Connected workflows are also much more common due to the cellular data capabilities of mobile GNSS devices. As a result, you can achieve a much more streamlined workflow compared to older technologies.
With all of the advantages provided by the latest GIS/GNSS data collection technology, continuing to use an older system is becoming increasingly difficult to justify. If you’ve been under pressure to work faster and smarter, you owe it to yourself to take a look at your options. Trading up to a new solution might give you exactly the edge you need. Click here to learn more about our trade-up program.