Do I need cellular data for the app to work?

We received this question regarding the Deed Calls & Stakeout app, but the answer applies to our other apps as well.

The GPS data collection functions and most of the other functions will work without wi-fi and cellular data.

Some of our apps, like Forester GPS GIS III, Farming GPS GIS III, iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO will let you load a geo-referenced *.tif map and use it off-line.

Most of our apps provide a Map function to get and display the Map from Apple via wi-fi connection. However, you can cache the Map to use out there where no wi-fi is available. This means that you can call up the Map and display the area in which you will be working, turn off wi-fi then go out in the field. You will be able to view the Map while working with your app. As long as you do not play with the Map function while you are out there (such as switching from Show Satellite to Show Hybrid) or close Map, the background map should remain available.



“I’m hesitant to spend $300 for the pro app if the $95 or $200 apps will suffice but I’m having a difficult time finding a comparison of features among the apps.”

Built-in Attributes 512x384

The three apps in the iCMTGIS-series all provide real-time GPS/GIS data collection and mapping functions. They will let you add user-defined Attributes for the recorded Features either manually or via a Feature List (attribute table). They will let you import and export Shapefiles. The differences are in the additional functionality provided by the more expensive apps.

If you just need to use GPS to map Points, Lines and Areas and record their associated descriptions, iCMTGIS II will do. iCMTGIS II can display the built-in Apple Map as background. If you would like to use an off-line geo-referenced background image, you will need to first use the optional PC-GIS software to convert the GeoTiff, GeoJpeg, ECW or MRSID files to the .pim file format. The .pim map can work in the “moving map” navigation mode. (Many of our existing customers already have the PC mapping software.) iCMTGIS II only works on an iPad device. Its iPhone equivalent is the iGPSGIS II app.

iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO can run on iPad and iPhone devices. These two apps will let you load a GeoTiff image or a .pim image as background map. They also provide a built-in Attribute List from which you can choose as additional Attributes for the Features. One of the screen shots displayed here shows the current list of built-in Attributes that you may elect to include in the data records for the Features recorded using GPS. Other additional functions are also provided in these apps, which help you stake points/lines/areas, create Features by entering distances and bearings, as well as classify, sort or perform a search on the Features in a Topic layer, import and export Point Features via a text file, etc.

GPS surveying using iPhone

GPS surveying using iPhone

iCMTGIS PRO has all the functionality of iCMTGIS III plus the Contour/Volume and Create Buffer functions. What sets it apart from the other two apps is that it provides the ability to receive the NMEA message stream directly from a few specific external GPS receivers. When the “Enable the External GPS” option is selected, iCMTGIS PRO will get the GPS information directly from the external GPS receiver rather than the iOS CoreLocation. This enables it to display a GPS status bar in real time.

At this time, EOS Arrow GPS receivers and Geneq iSXBlue II + GNSS can work in the “Enable the External GPS” mode. To use the EOS Arrow 200 and iCMTGIS PRO for RTK work, you must use the free EOS Tools Pro app to connect to the RTK network.

Is WiFi required for iPad GPS to work?

When purchasing an iPad, besides considering which model to get (iPad, iPad mini or iPad Air), you will also need to think about whether you would like it to provide GPS capability. If you will be using a compatible external GPS receiver with your iPad, then you could just get the less expensive WiFi-only iPad device.

A WiFi-only iPad device does not provide GPS capability. However, it will provide Location Service when WiFi signals are available. This means that, if you turn on Location Service when WiFi is available, you will be able to sporadically get an approximate location using the GPS function in our GPS/GIS apps. When there are no WiFi MODEMs in the vicinity of your work area, then there will be no Location Service available.

A WiFi/Cellular iPad provides GPS capability. Many users wonder if they will need to purchase a data plan for the GPS to work. The answer is No. The GPS in such devices will work independent of WiFi availability and cellular data plan. (Same for the built-in GPS of an iPhone.)

Like a WiFi-only iPad, the iPod touch does not come with GPS capability, but you could use it with a compatible external GPS receiver to run our apps. External GPS devices will work independent of WiFi availability and cellular data plan.

I am looking to purchase an iPad app primarily to measure fields in remote locations. Would you able to advise whether or not your app will operate using gps signal as opposed to using wifi/3G.

If you are looking to measure fields by logging GPS positions, iCMTGIS II or Utility Data Collection is the app to get for your iPad.

Currently our apps are being updated for iOS 8 compatibility. If you have already updated your iOS device with iOS 8, please wait for our updated apps to be available before purchasing.

Please note that the built-in GPS of an iPad with GPS is not quite accurate. If you need about 1 meter to 3 meter accuracy, you could get an external Bluetooth GPS receiver such as the Bad Elf GPS, the Dual XGPS 150 or the Garmin GLO to use with the iPad. To get sub-meter accuracy, there is the iSXBlue II, which is very expensive.

The iCMTGIS II and Utility Data Collection apps can import and export Shapefiles. The Utility Data Collection is a newer app that provides the ability to export point data to an ASCII text file, and it will let you attach photos to the recorded Features.

Without wi-fi connection in the remote area, you will not be able to display the Apple Map as background. If you have a raster image for the remote area, you could get the PC-GIS software to run on your PC (or your Mac in PC mode) and convert it to a format that allows it to be displayed as background map in iCMTGIS II or Utility Data Collection.

Does the iGPSGIS II collect GPS data the same way as my L4 system?

It may surprise you, but the answer is a resounding “Yes“. The data collection parameter settings are the same on the iGPSGIS II and iCMTGIS II as on the premium CMT-HP-L4 GPS data collection backpack system of old. You can log a Point for a specified session duration. You can log a Line or Area by getting GPS fixes at a specified time interval or at a specified distance interval. You can log a Line or Area with Nested Points, and you can easily record a Static Line or Static Area by logging data only at the vertices.

The L4 system provides differential correction functions and yields much more accurate position information. But if you just want to do a quick preliminary survey of a job site using your iPhone or iPad, then iGPSGI II (for iPhone) or iCMTGIS II (for iPad) is the app to get.

What’s the difference between using the Pick GPS location tool and using iCMTGIS II or iGPSGIS II to log GPS data?

A number of our apps, such as Area – Distance, Stakeout iCMT, Partition – Distance – Area,  Buffer – Distance – Area, Grid – Distance – Area, Farming GPS GIS and Forester GPS GIS provide a Pick GPS (location) tool icon IconPickGPS in the measurement and digitization screens. While using a measurement function, whenever GPS is turned on and you tap on this icon, a temporary marker will be displayed at the GPS location. While using a digitization function, whenever GPS is turned on and you tap on this icon, a point or a node will be recorded. The point or node generated by the Pick GPS function consists of just one position fix.

Position accuracy generally improves if you log a number of GPS fixes at one location then have the average value computed. Such functionality is provided by iCMTGIS II and iGPSGIS II. These apps also provide other settings and options called for by a professional GPS/GIS data collection job. In addition, they will let you record Attributes/Values at the same time GPS position is recorded.

Can iCMTGIS II work without Internet access?

The GPS/GIS data collection functions in  iCMTGIS II and iGPSGIS II do not need Internet access to work on your iPhone or your iPad with built-in GPS (or with Bluetooth connection to an external GPS).

You can use iTunes to preload Shapefiles onto  iCMTGIS II and iGPSGIS II to use as background reference.

If you have PC-GIS PRO, you can use it to prepare raster images to load onto iCMTGIS II and iGPSGIS II and serve as background map.

If you want to use the built-in Map as the background, to email a job file, to send out files via ftp,  or to make use of Cloud storage, then you will need Wi-Fi network access.