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We have been using Trimble XT/XH for years now, but we are at a time when we need to upgrade and do not want to drop another $8000 for another Trimble that only causes us headaches and not very user friendly. We have begun using the ESRI collector App and Garmin Glo for some of our projects that don't require sub-meter and everybody seems happy with it. However, since we can't post-processes this data it won't be submissible for some of our projects that require documentation stating the data's accuracy level (e.g. wetland delineations).

From what I've gathered from the research of the newer sub-meter bluetooth units, they are capable of real-time differential correction, but the data can't be post-processed like Trimble Pathfinder/ESRI GPS Analyst. Are there any units that will do both real-time differential correction and post-processed differential correction?

  • Hate to bring you back but we use Trimble Pro6T. It does real-time correction and has the option to collect additional data for post-processing. We use their SDK to get the data so there haven't been too many problems with it. – Branco Aug 11 '15 at 18:24
  • Do you mean with "unit" an integrated device like XT/XH? Topcon, Leica, and Ashtech have rather similar units. There are also good receivers in the Smart antenna category but then you must acquire a rugged field device and more user-friendly software with post-processing capabilities separately. – user30184 Aug 12 '15 at 8:38
  • By "unit", I actually mean a separate bluetooth GPS receiver that can be used with the ESRI Collector App that is installed on a tablet/smart phone. Something like this: eos-gnss.com/category/arrow-series – Ellen Aug 12 '15 at 18:52
  • The Trimble Pro looks like something we should consider. I hate to keep giving them business though- what a racket. Can you explain what their SDK is? – Ellen Aug 12 '15 at 18:56
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I have been researching sub-meter bluetooth recievers that can work with Collector, and found the Bad Elf 3300 GNSS Surveyor might do the trick. They claim 10-50cm accuracy after post processing: http://bad-elf.com/pages/be-gps-3300-detail

Pair that with a decent tablet running Collector and a lifeproof case, and you have sub meter data collection for under a grand.

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The Trimble R1 might be what you need, more expensive than the other players in the game (it IS trimble) but it also works pretty seamlessly with Collector or any other ipad app using GPS.

I also have experience using the Bad Elf Surveyor, though not with Collector, but with GIS Kit and other ipad apps, and didn't have very good results. However I also used their Bad Elf Pro + model and got surprisingly good results. However i was testing the unit under canopy which the Surveyor is not intended for, it needs a clear shot at the sky for the PPP to work. I have seen some new features showing up in the Bad Elf app to turn off PPP and favour other algorithms to deal with this kind of thing, but overall would still recommend the Pro+ over the Surveyor, unless you have $3500 then get an R1. I haven't had success post-processing the output from the Surveyor, but haven't looked into that in a while, I know Bad Elf was looking to have a third party handle that side of things, but I haven't seen an app show up that does it yet.

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Just reading your comment about the Bad Elf Pro+ I'm looking for a reasonaablly priced GPS for collecting tree locations for H&S surveys and was wondering about the Bad elf products. I had assumed the Bad Elf Surveyor would be the better product, but from what your saying it struggles under tree canopy??

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