I'm interested in studying people's movement over time (24 hours), and would like to do so with devices that also measure elevation very accurately. I understand there's stuff out the where I can buy these for about $20 a piece, as I need about 30 of them. The data will be used in arcgis. Can someone recommend a specific brand to buy?
closed as too broad by Devdatta Tengshe, BradHards, Fezter♦, Ian Turton♦ Sep 5 '13 at 9:34
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The problem is that GPS usually have more uncertainty in altitude usually 1.5 times more than the uncertainty in latitude and longitude. The accuracy is normally +/- 23 meters, take a look to Joe Mehaffey's post in this site for a more detail explanation. Barometric altimeter usually have an accuracy of about 3 meters if properly calibrated. Modern device coupled both tecnologies to keep barometric altimeter calibrate with the temperature and barometric data for a specific position acquired from sattellites. Take in account that as Garmin says:
"GPS heights are based on an ellipsoid (a mathematical representation of the earth's shape), while USGS map elevations are based on a vertical datum tied to the geoid (or what is commonly called mean sea level). Basically, they are two different systems, although they have a relationship that has been modeled."
With twenty dollars I think that the only thing that you can do is to buy an app like Ultra GPS logger and eventually compare the data with a topographic map. If you want to know the floor in which your human cavia is, maybe you should think another approach: if you you plot the data of an accelerometer when you go up stairs you should see a series of waves. Of course you can see them even when you go down stairs so you should work to differentiate this two process. Coupled all things together maybe you can have what you want.