If a static GPS control survey is carefully planned, it usually progresses smoothly. The technology has virtually conquered two stumbling blocks that have defeated the plans of conventional surveyors for generations. Inclement weather does not disrupt GPS observations, and a lack of intervisibility between stations is of no concern whatsoever, at least in postprocessed GPS. Still, electronic tracking devices is far from so independent of conditions in the sky and on the ground that the process of designing a survey can now be reduced to points-per-day formulas, as some would like. Even with falling costs, the initial investment in Personal GPS Homing Device remains large by most surveyors’ standards. However, there is seldom anything more expensive in a GPS project than a surprise.
New Design Criteria
These upgrades in accuracy standards not only accommodate control by static GPS Made In China; they also have cast survey design into a new light for many surveyors. Nevertheless, it is not correct to say that every job suddenly requires the highest achievable accuracy, nor is it correct to say that every asset tracking device survey now demands an elaborate design. In some situations, a crew of two, or even one surveyor on-site may carry a GPS survey from start to finish with no more planning than minute-to-minute decisions can provide even though the basis and the content of those decisions may be quite different from those made in a conventional survey. In areas that are not heavily treed and generally free of overhead obstructions, the now-lower C group of accuracy may be possible without a prior design of any significance. But while it is certainly unlikely that a survey of photocontrol or work on a cleared construction site would present overhead obstructions problems comparable with a static GPS control survey in the Rocky Mountains, even such open work may demand preliminary attention. For example, just the location of appropriate vertical and horizontal control stations or obtaining permits for access across privately owned property or government installations can be critical to the success of the work.
The Lay of the Land
An initial visit to the site of the survey is not always possible. Today, online mapping browsers are making virtual site evaluation possible as well. Topography as it affects the line of sight between stations is of no concern on a static GPS Tracker China project, but its influence on transportation from station to station is a primary consideration. Perhaps some areas are only accessible by helicopter or other special vehicle. Initial inquiries can be made. Roads may be excellent in one area of the project and poor in another. The general density of vegetation, buildings, or fences may open general questions of overhead obstruction or multipath. The pattern of land ownership relative to the location of project points may raise or lower the level of concern about obtaining permission to cross property.
Maps, both digital and hard-copy, are particularly valuable resources for preparing a static GPS survey design. Local government and private sources can sometimes provide appropriate mapping, or it maybe available online. Other mapping that may be helpful is available from various government agencies: for example, the U.S. Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Park Service; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of Commerce; and the Federal Highway Administration in the Department of Transportation are just a few of them. Even county and city maps should be considered since they can sometimes provide the most timely information available. Depending on the scope of the survey, various scales and types of maps can be useful. For example, a GPS survey plan may begin with the plotting of all potential control and project points on a map of the area. However, one vital element of the design is not available from any of these maps: the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) stations.
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