App for stakeout and data collection

“I have researched a number of your available apps, and would like your input on which would be most useful for basic point/line/polygon stakeout and data collecting…..I usually receive staking requests from our engineers with PLSS information and footage calls. Often there is an attached KMZ from which I can grab geodetic information. Are any of your apps capable of working with NAD83 State Plane coordinates? And which one would be best for importing data into a job?”

Based on what you write, we understand that you would like to be able to

1) work with NAD83 State Plane coordinates

2) use GPS to record point, line and area features and collect data for the features

3) stake out point/line/polygon using GPS

4) enter coordinates for the point of beginning and enter deed calls

5) import data into a job

6) do survey quality work.

The combination of the iCMTGIS PRO app for iPad and iPhone devices and either the SXBlue Platinum or the EOS Arrow Gold high-precision GPS receiver is what other users are using for this type of work. Our app provides the functionality that you are looking for, but it is the GPS receiver that determines the accuracy of your work.

iCMTGIS PRO will let you import data as Shapefiles, Excel file, DXF and KML. It will also let you import Point data into a Topic layer via a text file.


App to help plant trees?

“I am wondering if any of your programs could be used in my tractor as a way to guide me in driving a straight line when planting Christmas trees? Even if it doesn’t help me row by row could it be used to help me lay out a planting? Help to drive the first line across a field?”

The GPS system you will need to guide a tractor along a line to plant Christmas trees requires a high-precision GPS receiver used in conjunction with an app that will let you record a few reference points, draw the line on the map and guide the tractor along the line.

The actual equipment and app you select will depend on the accuracy you wish to achieve. Of course, a high-accuracy system comes with a high cost.

The SXBlue Platinum and EOS Arrow Gold GPS receivers can be used with iCMTGIS III to achieve sub-meter accuracy.

The SXBlue Platinum and EOS Arrow Gold GPS receivers can be used with iCMTGIS PRO and a RTK network to achieve cm-level accuracy.

As there will also be visual cues to guide the tractor, do you think sub-meter accuracy will be sufficient for you?

Both iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO will let you load a geo-referenced background map (*.tif. *.pim or *.bmp). These are useful as a general reference, but they are not accurate enough to let you pin-point your first point or line by digitization.

You could use iCMTGIS III with a SXBlue Platinum or an EOS Arrow Gold GPS receiver to record the property boundary and the starting point to sub-meter accuracy. iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO will let you create a grid over the property to indicate where the trees are to be planted.

iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO provide the Stakeout functions to guide you along the grid lines. These apps will display how far the tractor deviates from the line. You could also set up the apps to keep beeping as long as the tractor stays on the line within the specified tolerance.

Which EOS GPS receiver to get?

Please refer to the comparison chart at the following link:

Do you have an app with enough accuracy to walk a property line, stake it and build a fence?

We have such apps for use on iPad and iPhone devices. The accuracy depends on the GPS receiver used.

The iCMTGIS PRO with EOS Arrow Gold or iSXBlue II+ GNSS is for performing a survey-grade job with high accuracy. This system has a high price tag. Consumer-grade GPS such as the Dual XGPS-150A or a Bad Elf GPS only claim 2 – 5 meter accuracy and are much more affordable.

I was wondering if it is possible to use the gps receiver built in to an iPad with the iCMTGIS Pro program?

Yes, you can use the GPS receiver built into an iPad with the iCMTGIS PRO app. Please keep in mind that the built-in GPS receiver of the iPad is not quite accurate. If you just want to record a rough position or to have the app lead you to the vicinity of a location to find a stake, that is fine. In that case, you could just as well use a lower-priced app like the iCMTGIS III.

iCMTGIS PRO distinguishes itself by being able to interface directly with a couple compatible high-precision external GPS receivers to obtain accurate results. Some of our customers are using such a system in their RTK GPS applications.

Some GPS/GNSS receivers compatible with iPad and iPhone devices

Recently Geneq Inc. announced their new SXBlue Platinum GNSS receiver.

As you know, the accuracy of the work performed using an iOS GPS/GIS app depends on the GPS receiver used. The assisted GPS provided by the iOS devices are not adequate for serious work that are based on accurate locations. External GPS receivers with much better precision abound, but only a limited number of them are compatible with the iOS devices. Following are links to information on some of the external Bluetooth GPS/GNSS receivers that can work with iPad and iPhone devices. Not sureprisingly, higher precision equates to a higher price tag.

Using iCMTGIS PRO and EOS Arrow Gold to collect UAV ground control point data

“I have a UAV company and do lots of inspections and mapping with my drones, when I am doing the mapping in the past I have hired crews with total stations to get me my GCP’s so now I want to do this myself. I get the X, Y and Z data from them so I can input them into my Pix4D software. I know your software allows me to collect the X and Y data but can I also collect the Z data accurately?  . . . . .  Please see the attached GCP information sheet I get from survey companies. As long as I can get this data it will be great.”

These appear to be the coordinates for Point Features. So, you will want to first set up the coordinate system and distance unit to use. If you are using UTM, select the proper zone.

Now create a new Point Topic and give it a name, such as GCP (for ground control point). Then Edit the GCP Topic and add the built-in Attributes: Position_X, Position_Y and Elev_Z as well as the GCP ID attribute.

With the GCP Topic selected, turn on GPS and record a few points. After ending the point data collection, you can turn on Sheet View and look at the data in a spread-sheet arrangement.

You can export the point coordinates and attributes data to Shapefiles or a text file.

As the GCPs are control points, you will need to use the Arrow Gold GNSS receiver in RTK mode to get better accuracy.

Under Setup – GPS, select “Enable the External GPS” and select the protocol for the EOS GNSS receiver. This way, you will be able to see the RMS error of the GPS data output by the GNSS receiver displayed at the top of the Map View screen.