IS GPS SURVEYING THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOUR PROJECT?
What is GPS?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) was developed in the 1970’s by the Department of Defense with the primary goal of overcoming the limitations of previous methods of navigation on land and in the air. GPS is a space-based navigation system using earth orbiting satellites to provide location anywhere on the surface of the Earth when there is an unobstructed view of at least 4 or more satellites.
The first GPS receivers where expensive, bulky and only available to the U.S. Military. Fast forward to today and GPS receivers are readily available to the public in many shapes and sizes and have become a “must have” in the land surveyor’s tool box.
What is the latest GPS technology?
The biggest development in GPS technology within the last 10 years is the establishment of state wide real-time GPS networks. RW uses the Iowa Real-Time Network as well as the Nebraska Real-Time GPS Base Station Network on a daily basis to improve work flow and efficiency.
Both networks simplify survey work by allowing field personnel to arrive at the job site, turn on a GPS receiver, connect to the network via a cell phone and achieve repeatable centimeter level positional accuracies in real-time. One major advantage in collecting surface positions via a real-time network is the data is easily imported into city and county Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with little to no modification in the data structure.