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.


Entering a Deed Call

“I have my property description with dms angles and I bought the deed calls app. I am having trouble figuring out how to use it. It looks like the description runs the opposite way the app lets me put in the calls.”

Before entering your property description, you would first set the Angle Unit to be DMS and the distance unit to be Survey Feet. Select “Bearing” for the angle system.

Did you enter the coordinates of the point of beginning? Please also enter the magnetic declination in the “Orientation” field.

When entering the deed calls, make sure to specify the correct bearing. If you entered E instead of W, that will cause the line to run in the opposite direction.

Apps for recording GPS points

“I have downloaded your Deed Calls application and it works great. However, I am looking for an additional feature and I’m unsure which product will get me what I would like. I need to enter deed calls AND use the GPS to set points all in the same area. With deed calls, it seems to allow me to set the starting point with GPS, but after that, seems that I have to have the deed calls.”

The PickGPS function just grabs one GPS fix. This, in combination with the GPS that comes with the iPhone and iPad devices, which lacks accuracy, will not give you an accurate starting point for your deed plot. You will want to check the deed plot against the satellite map to see it is located approximately correctly.

The Deed Calls Pro app provides both the ability to create a deed plot and the ability to digitize points using PickGPS.

Our Forester GPS GIS III and Farming GPS GIS III for use with iPad devices and the iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO apps for use with either iPhone or iPad devices, provide the Deed Calls function plus a GPS Point data collection function that will let you record multiple GPS fixes at one location and compute the average position.

The accuracy of your work will still depend on the precision of the GPS receiver you use. Some of our customers use the Dual XGPS-150 or the Bad Elf GPS 2200 to get 2-5 meter horizontal accuracy. Other customers use high-precision GPS receivers (iSXBlue II+ GNSS and EOS Arrow GNSS) to obtain better position accuracy.

How to use iCMTGIS PRO to extend a line beyond its end points?

“I have managed to join two nodes and get a straight shape line between them, but how do I do to extend the line on the outside of the nodes?”

There are a few ways to achieve this. Here is a quick way (but not precise): Tap on the existing straight line then select the Insert Node function on the Tools menu. Move the circular Node Tool to the end point of the existing straight line. Tap in the center of the Node Tool. Select “After” then tap on Next step. Now move the Node Tool to a new position, eyeballing the proper bearing, then tap in the center of the Node tool to add the new node. To extend the line in the other direction, select the start point of the line and select “Before” for inserting the new node.

A precise way is as follows: After you have created the initial line based on two existing points, tap on it then select View Deed Calls. Tap on the Calls tab then tap on Edit.

Increase the horizontal distance then tap the Back button.

Confirm to update the Feature. You will see that the Line Feature has been extended in one direction.

Now use the end nodes of the elongated line to create another line in the opposite direction. It will have a different Line ID. You can turn on Sheet View to see the two line records. Select the new line and use the View Deed Calls function to change the distance value. Confirm to update the Feature.

If you don’t confirm to update the Feature, then no change will be made to the original line.

I would create a new Topic (named “Long Line”, for example) into which to put the final long line. This will help reduce confusion when you are staking out in the field. Have this new Topic active and select the correct line when you are doing the Line Stakeout. (You could also delete all the other lines that you will not be using for stakeout.)


Cogo icon in CMT GPS/GIS iOS apps

“I have an icon in the deed calls area of the software for ‘Cogo’ but it is not selectable. How do I activate this functionality?”

The Cogo icon is just a toggle between a coordinate-geometry-based data data input mode and the normal screen mode. It can be found in some of our apps, such as the iCMTGIS PRO, Forester GPS GIS III and Farming GPS GIS III.

For the Create/View Deed Calls function, it is employed in the Feature Info screen. When you tap on the Orientation field. You will see the two greyed out icons activated. Tap on the “Angle by 2 Points” icon then tap on an existing node to indicate the start point of the direction line. Tap on another existing node to indicate the ending point of the direction line. Then the azimuth of the specified direction will automatically be entered into the Orientation field, and the Cogo icon is turned off to indicate that you are out of this mode of specifying a direction using two nodes.

For the Contour/Volume function in iCMTGIS PRO, when the cursor is in the Boundary Feature data input field, Cogo is automatically turned on for you to select an Area Feature. Once a selection has been made, this icon is greyed out so you won’t accidentally select some other Area Feature when you touch the screen. This toggle is similar to the Add icon for Add Point/Line/Area manually and Measure Distance/Area.

In Farming GPS GIS III, when the Cogo mode is active, you can tap the “Angleby2Points” icon to specify the direction for the Direction Cut function by selecting two existing Points or nodes as the starting and ending nodes.

If you are interested in using Coordinate Geometry to create new points, some of our PC mapping software programs, such as COGOCAD 09 and PCGPS 09, provide the COGO functionality. COGOCAD 09 can output Feature data in Shapefile format. PC-GPS 09 can work with .pmp files and Shapefiles. Its Feature List does not provide the ability to assign different symbols for different attribute values and its Sheet View does not provide a drop-down list capability.

What to do when GPS signals are blocked by heavy canopy?

“I am currently using the program to plot a property line for our vineyard. One of the corners of the property is tucked deep within some woods where satellite reception is poor. Therefore, the program is not allowing me to record the point. Is there any way to work around this? Perhaps increase the rms limit to within several feet so as to allow for data collection? Thanks for the help.”

This is why iCMTGIS PRO provides the Traverse function to deal with a situation where GPS signals are blocked by heavy canopy. How far is this corner away from a point at which you have good satellite signal reception? What you could do is to record a good point at the periphery of the wooded area then measure the distance and bearing from this point to that corner. Then you will use the Traverse function under GPS – Collect data to specify the GPS point as the starting point and enter the distance and azimuth or bearing information to create the corner point.

You could try and see if you could record the point by relaxing the RMS limit and the DOPS limit, but the position accuracy will be compromised.

If the accuracy requirement of this point is not strict, and you are able to identify the location of this corner on a background map, you could digitize it by using the Add Point Manually function. Zoom in to better place the point.

If you have a deed document including the property description (distances and directions around the perimeter), you could use the Deed Calls function to enter such information in iCMTGIS PRO to draw all or part of the property boundary as a reference for digitizing the corner point.

After you have created the corner point, you can add it to the remainder of the GPS’d property boundary Area by using the Insert Node function.

Plotting multiple deeds

“I have the Deed Calls Pro App for the Apple ipad. Is it possible to plot multiple deeds and place them adjacently next to each other? I am having trouble determining how create a new deed while still viewing a previous deed description. “

With Deed Calls Pro you can create multiple Features that represent the deed plots.  The Created Deed Calls function will create one single deed plot at a time. You can save the deed description in a file using a unique file name.

When you exit the function, the app will ask you if you wish to create a Feature. Answer “Yes”. Then an Area Feature will be created.
Tap on the Area Feature then tap on the Feature Properties icon.
Mark the Show Segment label check box to display the angles and distances.

Now, do not have any Area or Line Feature highlighted on the map.
Select Create Deed Calls to enter the First Node and deed calls for your next property. When you turn on the Snap to Node icon, you can pick an existing corner as the First Node. You can enter the deed call for a line segments that is shared by two properties.
When done entering the calls, again confirm to create the Area Feature then have the segment labels displayed.

This functionality is also provided by iCMTGIS III, Forester GPS GIS II/III and Farming GPS GIS II/III.