Capturing GPS Accuracy
Finding the ‘Right’ GPS Solution.
The iFormBuilder platform allows a user to capture location data using a device. While capturing the location data, it is important to understand how accurate the GPS coordinates are.
Below, you will find information on GPS device accuracy and GPS products on device GPS, Bluetooth “Consumer Grade” GPS and High Accuracy “Professional Grade” GPS systems. These products are just examples. There are many other products that meet the criteria.
Device GPS Accuracy
- In open sky 90% of the time, the integrated device GPS captures location data within 3 meters of accuracy.
- Battery drains quickly with location services turned on.
- Canopy areas (trees) will reduce accuracy significantly.
BlueTooth "Consumer Grade" GPS Accuracy
- External GPS Receivers connect to the device via Bluetooth.
- 1-meter accuracy 70% of the time.
- 3-meter accuracy 99% of the time.
- Battery drains slower.
- Some have SBAS capabilities, which improves accuracy. Click HERE for more information on what SBAS is.
GPS Receiver with SBAS
GPS Receiver without SBAS
High accuracy "professional grade" GPS
- Connect device to an external receiver with a GPS cable.
- GPS cable can connect to many high accuracy GPS receivers.
- Captures sub-centimeter accuracy.
GPS Cable Options
*Accuracy data and images were taken from the Esri ArcGIS Resources Blog post "Smartphones, Tablets and GPS Accuracy" by Jeff Shaner.
Help other users by leaving comments and/or suggestions about GPS products in the "Comments" section below.
REQUEST: Could iForm bump the number of decimal digits for latitude/longitude/altitude from 6 to 8?
This would enable high accuracy (sub-cm) GPS collection with iForm and the myriad high accuracy BT GPS receivers out there. We and our clients want to use iForm to map power and irrigation infrastructure with an extermal GPS unit, often for features that are within a foot of each other. Currently, the 6-digit limitation equates to the best possible accuracy to be no more than about 7 inches (at least at the latitudes where we and our clients work).
Consequently, this small platform change would enhance iForm's usability greatly, particularly given: (1) the limitations with the BETA Esri Connector, (2) the fact there is an increasing trend towards high accuracy external Bluetooth GPS receivers for iOS/Android devices that enable day-to-day field workers to collect sub-foot and even sub-cm data, (3) that fact those devices are becoming more affordable, and more manufacturers/models are available each year, and (4) because expectations for higher accuracy field collection continue to increase. Don't want iForm to miss the market opportunity here because of a couple of decimal points.
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