You are on page 1of 44

GPS Training Manual

for NFA Field Supervisors

Prepared by TSD, NFA January 2006

Preface
The manual is in three main parts. The first part introduces the user to GPS technology. This is intended to make the user grasp the basic principles of GPS technology, its versatility but also be made aware the limitations. The second deals with Datum (geoids & ellipsoids) and projections. Many GPS users fail to relate to existing base maps just because they lack basic understanding of this concept. The intention is thus to make the trainees get familiar with these concepts. In the third and most important part are a series of hands on exercises. More emphasis will be put using GPS in real field conditions and collecting data that relates to supervisors day to day work.

1.

GPS Technology ...................................................................................................................................5 Who is the user? .................................................................................................................................5 What is GPS? ........................................................................................................................................5

1.1.

The three Segments of GPS ...................................................................................................6 The Space segment: ............................................................................................................................6 The control segment ...........................................................................................................................8 The User segment .............................................................................................................................10 How GPS works? .......................................................................................................................10
Position of Satellites ........................................................................................................................10 Distance to Satellites.......................................................................................................................11 Two-dimensional Trilateration ........................................................................................................12 Three -dimensional Trilateration ...................................................................................................13

1.2.

2.

GPS Limitations .................................................................................................................................14 Sources of Errors .............................................................................................................................14 Dilution of Precision (DOP) and Visibility ....................................................................................16 Solutions ..............................................................................................................................................17 Differential Correction ....................................................................................................................18

3.

Datum and Projections ....................................................................................................................20 Projection of a Sphere onto a Cylinder. .......................................................................................24

4.

Exercises .............................................................................................................................................29 Collecting data with a GPS...............................................................................................................29 Main GPS features: ...........................................................................................................................29 Map reference....................................................................................................................................29 Data capture .......................................................................................................................................30 Exercise Ia, Familiarising With Garmin GPS functional keys..................................................31 Switch on the GPS .............................................................................................................................33 Garmin V Display Screens ................................................................................................................34 Exercise II, Navigating With Garmin V .......................................................................................35 Navigation and data capture exercise ..........................................................................................35 Exercise III, Averaging and storing a point with GPS V .........................................................36 Exercise IV, Identifying GPS Functional Limitations ...............................................................38 Exercise V, Building a standard data coding System (Participatory approach) ..................39 Exercise V, Data uploading & Downloading using 1)MN DNR and 2), Mapsource ...............40

5.

Further Reading ................................................................................................................................41 GPS Grades and Costs ......................................................................................................................41 The Differential GPS (DGPS) .........................................................................................................42 Civil user (or Recreational) Versus Professional GPS ................................................................42 Accuracy ..............................................................................................................................................42 Other Considerations .......................................................................................................................43 Confidence: The Final Differentiator ...........................................................................................44

Table of figures
FIGURE 1. AN EXAMPLE OF A NAVSTAR SATELLITE ....................................................................................5 FIGURE 2. SATELLITE CONSTELLATION.........................................................................................................7 FIGURE 3. GROUND CONTROL SEGMENT ...........................................................................................................8 FIGURE 6. AN EXAMPLE OF A (2D) TRILATERATION ...................................................................................14 FIGURE 8. POOR SATELLITE CONSTELLATION .....................................................................................................1

PART I
1. GPS Technology

Who is the user?


GPS technology is rapidly changing how people find their way around the earth (on land, at sea and in the air) for all sorts of activities. GPS applications range from specialised fields like military, resource managers, surveyors to any one else who wants to know where they are where they have been or where they are going e.g., the nearest airport, nearest hospital, or locate points of interest for fun, for fishing etc.

What is GPS?
GPS is an acronym for Global Positioning System. The system is comprised of a constellation of satellites (figure 1) or space vehicles (SVs) that continuously transmit coded radio information to GPS receiver units. The receiver units utilise this information to calculate their1 locations on earth.

Figure 1. An example of a NAVSTAR satellite

Note that the calculated position is the position of the GPS receiver antennae

GPS technology is owned by the U.S department of defence. The U.S has invested billions of dollars in the launch of the GPS satellites and their maintenance. Prior to the 1980s GPS use was a preserve of the U.S military and its allies. Up to day the US Department of Defence reserves the right to down grade GPS signals of those it thinks are a threat to the US security.

1.1. The three Segments of GPS


The GPS technology owned by U.S Department of Defence is known as NAVSTAR2 (an acronym for Navigation Satellite Timing and Ranging) and is composed of the space segment, a control segment (the ground stations), and a user segment (GPS receiver and its user).

The Space segment:


The space segment consists a constellation of 24 satellites. The satellites are in what is known as a high orbit i.e., 120,000 miles (19,300 km) above the earth surface. Operating at such high altitude allows the signals to cover a greater area (figure 2). The satellites are in six orbital planes (4 satellites each), equally spaced (60 degrees apart). This step-up provides 4-8 SVs visible from any point on earth.

Other Systems are 1), GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) of Russia which operates on similar parameters to the U.S. based GPS and 2), GALILEO the EU non-military system which is expected to be fully operational in 2008.

Figure 2. Satellite Constellation

The satellites are powered by solar energy and are equipped with backup batteries in case of solar energy failure (solar eclipses etc). They travel at speeds of 7,000 miles an hour which allows them circle the earth once every 12 hours (two complete rotations every day).They have small rocket boosters to keep them in the correct path.

The control segment


Any satellite can slightly travel out of orbit, so the ground control segment keeps track of satellite orbits, altitude, location and speed. The ground control segment consists of a Master Control Centre, and a number of widely separated monitoring stations. The Master Control facility is located at Schriever Air Force Base (formerly Falcon AFB) in Colorado (figure 3). The monitor stations measure signals from the SVs, which are incorporated into orbital models for each satellite. The models compute precise orbital data (ephemeris) and SV clock corrections for each satellite. The Master Control station uploads ephemeris and clock data to the SVs. The SVs then send subsets of the orbital ephemeris data to GPS receivers over radio signals (Figure 4)

Figure 3. Ground Control Segment

Figure 4. SVs, Ground Control and GPS Receiver Data Follow

The User segment


The user segment consists of the GPS receiver and the user. Navigation in three dimensions is the primary function of GPS. Navigation receivers are made for aircraft, ships, ground vehicles (figure 5), and for hand carrying by individuals. Apart from navigation, GPS receivers are used for positioning, time dissemination, and other research.

Figure 5. An example of a user Segment, Navigating ones way using a back ground map

1.2. How GPS works?


The GPS calculates its location based on two things; 1) the position of three or more satellites and 2), the distance to those satellites. The GPS receiver figures both of these things out by analyzing high-frequency, low-power radio signals from the GPS satellites. Better units have multiple receivers, so they can pick up signals from several satellites simultaneously.

Position of Satellites
Position of satellites isn't particularly difficult because the satellites travel in very high and predictable orbits. The GPS receiver simply stores an

10

almanac (a time table) that tells it where every satellite should be at any given time. Things like the pull of the moon and the sun do change the satellites' orbits very slightly, but the Department of Defence constantly monitors their exact positions and transmits any adjustments to all GPS receivers as part of the satellites' signals.

Distance to Satellites
Radio waves are electromagnetic energy, which means they travel at the speed of light (about 186,000 miles per second, 300,000 km per second in a vacuum). The receiver can figure out how far the signal has travelled by timing how long it took the signal to arrive. Distance from a given satellite object equals the velocity of the transmitted signal multiplied by the time it takes the signal to reach the receiver (i.e., Velocity X Travel Time = Distance). Note that the GPS signal is a radio wave (speed of light) and is

thus a constant (186,000 miles3).


In order to make this measurement, the receiver and satellite both need clocks that can be synchronized down to the nanosecond. To make a satellite positioning system using only synchronized clocks, you would need to have atomic clocks not only on all the satellites, but also in the receiver itself. But atomic clocks cost somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000, which makes them too expensive for everyday consumer use. To overcome this problem, the GPS clock (an ordinary quartz clock) is constantly reset to match the highly price satellite clocks by utilizing information from incoming signals from four or more satellites. In away, the GPS receiver gets atomic clock accuracy "for free".

Needs to be adjusted for atmospheric disturbances. The Earth's atmosphere slows the electromagnetic particularly as it goes through the ionosphere and troposphere.

11

Travel time measure


To measure signal travel time, the satellite begins transmitting a long, digital pattern called a pseudo random code4 at a particular time (let's say midday). The receiver begins running the same code also exactly at midday. When the satellite's signal reaches the receiver, its transmission of the pattern (code) will lag a bit behind the receiver's playing of the pattern. The receiver then compares the two codes to determine how long it needs to delay (or how much to shift) its code to match the satellite code. The length of the delay is equal to the signal's travel time. The receiver multiplies this time by the speed of light to determine how far the signal travelled. A GPS receiver's job is to locate four or more of these satellites, figure out the distance to each, and use this information to deduce its own location. This operation is based on a simple mathematical principle called trilateration. Trilateration in three-dimensional space can be a little tricky, so we'll start with an explanation of simple two-dimensional trilateration.

Two-dimensional Trilateration
Imagine you are somewhere in central Uganda and you are TOTALLY lost. For whatever reason you have absolutely no clue where you are. You find a friendly local and ask, "Where am I?" He says, "You are 87.5 km form Packwach. This is important information but it does not tell you much of where you are. Supposing you ask somebody else of where you are, and she says, "You are 183 km from Fort Portal. Now you're getting somewhere. If you combine this information with the Packwach information, you have two circles that intersect (i.e., some where between eastern RDC and Hoima).

A predictable but different pattern of values (random numbers) that the GPS receiver can track.

12

If a third person tells you that you are 123 km form Kakoge, you can eliminate one of the possibilities, because the third circle will only intersect with one of these points. You now know you are exactly at Nyabyeya Forestry College, Hoima (figure 6).

Three -dimensional Trilateration


Fundamentally, three-dimensional trilateration isn't much different from two-dimensional trilateration, but it's a little trickier to visualize. Imagine the radii from the examples in the last section going off in all directions. So instead of a series of circles, you get a series of spheres. If you know you are 10,000 km from satellite A in the sky, you could be anywhere on the surface of a huge, imaginary sphere with a 10,000 km radius. If you also know you are 15,000 km from satellite B, you can overlap the first sphere with another, larger sphere. The spheres intersect in a perfect circle. If you know the distance to a third satellite, you get a third sphere, which intersects with this circle at two points. The Earth itself can act as a fourth sphere -- only one of the two possible points will actually be on the surface of the planet, so you can eliminate the one in space. Receivers generally look to four or more satellites, however, to improve accuracy and provide precise altitude information.

13

Packwach
#

87.5 Km

Nyabyeya Forestry College, Hoima

183.1Km Fort Portal


#

123.3Km
#
K a k o e g

Kakoge

Figure 6. An example of a (2D) Trilateration

2. GPS Limitations

Sources of Errors
This system works pretty well, but inaccuracies do pop up. For one thing, this method assumes the radio signals will make their way through the atmosphere at a consistent speed (the speed of light). In fact, the Earth's atmosphere slows the electromagnetic energy down somewhat, particularly as it goes through the ionosphere and troposphere. The delay varies depending on

14

where you are on Earth, which means it's difficult to accurately factor this into the distance calculations. The ionosphere is the layer of the atmosphere from 50 to 500 km that consists of ionised air (figure 7). This can affect accuracy up to 10 metres. The troposphere, the lower part of the atmosphere (especially the ground level of from 8 to 13 km) experiences changes in temperature, pressure, and humidity associated with weather changes. This can result in about 1 metre error.

Problems can also occur when radio signals bounce off large objects, such as tall buildings (a factor known as Multipath), giving a receiver the impression that a satellite is farther away than it actually is. Multipath is difficult to detect and sometime hard to avoid. This can result in 0.5 metre accuracy.

Figure 7. Signal travel through the ionosphere and Troposphere

15

Other minor errors are due to software or hardware failures (e.g., satellites sending out bad almanac data, misreporting their own position) or human errors e.g. incorrect geodetic datum selection.

The major source of error of GPS position data, is unfortunately intentional. This when the US DOD intentionally degrades satellite signals meant for the civil users considered a threat to US security. This process is called Selective Availability (SA). The original potential accuracy of 30 meters is reduced to 100 meters (two standard deviations).

Dilution of Precision (DOP) and Visibility


DOP is a description of the purely geometrical contribution of the uncertainty in a position of fix. Geographical Dilution of Precision GDOP is computed from the geometric relationships between the receiver position and the positions of the satellites the receiver is using for navigation.

For planning purposes GDOP is often computed from Almanacs and an estimated position. Estimated GDOP does not take into account obstacles that block the line-of-sight from the position to the satellites. Estimated GDOP may not be realisable in the field (figure 6).

Figure 8. Poor satellite constellation

16

DOP factors depend on the parameters of the position-fix solution. Standard terms for the GPS applications are: PDOP = Position Dilution of Precision (3-D), sometimes the Spherical DOP. HDOP = Horizontal Dilution of Precision (Latitude, Longitude) VDOP = Vertical Dilution of Precision (Height). TDOP = Time Dilution of Precision (Time).

Figure 9. Good satellite constellation, sharp intersection

While each of these GDOP terms can be individually computed, they are formed from covariances and so are not independent of each other. A high TDOP (time dilution of precision), for example, will cause receiver clock errors which will eventually result in increased position errors

Solutions
Solution to bias- errors: Since the GPS calculated positions (false positions) oscillates about the true position (figure 7), averaging closes in to the true position. Although

17

averaging reduces bias, good results might require averaging for a long timemaybe more than three hours. 100m

True position Z Y X

Figure 10:GPS false positions about its true position (i.e., due to atmospheric phenomenon & SA )

Differential Correction
Errors caused by atmospheric phenomenon and due to Selective Availability5 (SA) can be corrected by differential correction. By differential correction, bias errors at one location are corrected with measured bias errors at a known position. Data recording by the reference station and roving receiver must be performed during the same time frame. Differential corrections can be applied on the fly, i.e., real time differential, or later, using postprocessing techniques i.e., Post processing differential correction.

Since the end of the cold war (May 200), the US is no longer applying SA but reserves the right to do so when deemed necessary

18

For Real-time differential, the master reference station, at a known position, decimetre accuracy, transmits differential corrections to rover units over an internal radio or an external one. Timing of the correction is so critical, so the differential correction is time stamped before transmission. The rate of change of the differential correction values is calculated and transmitted to roving units. It is possible to get signals form private services e.g., FM sub-carrier broadcasts, satellite links6, or private radio beacons for real-time applications. In Post processing procedure, a reference station records information to be used to generate a correction file at same time as rover units collect data. Data is then processed on your personal computer by post processing software (such as Grafnav, Postpoint, or Centipoint) to remove position error7. Correction files for a particular time period may also be available from public and private agencies (e.g. bulletin board service) that record dGPS corrections for distribution by electronic means. With differential correction, position error is reduced to sub-metre.

Currently, real time differential signal supplier for Sub-Saharan Africa is only Oministar of South Africa This a cheaper solution but needs dedicating personnel and equipment to ensured that whenever data is being collected, base stations are up and running
7

19

PART II
3. Datum and Projections
GPSs are increasingly becoming surveying, navigation and mapping tools. Planning of these operations and mapping is easily done on flat surfaces. The earth, on the other hand, has a highly irregular and constantly changing surface (both land and sea) Thus irregularities (hills and valleys) along the measuring surface can cause ambiguities in distance (and thereby,

location).To alleviate this situation, it has long been a common practice to reduce all measurements to a more regular measuring surfacea reference

surface. Geoid
The oldest reference surface used for mapping is known as the geoid. The geoid can be thought of as mean sea level, or where mean sea level would be if the oceans could flow under the continents. More technically, the geoid is an

equipotential surface of gravity defining all points in which the force of


gravity is equivalent to that experienced at the ocean's surface. Since the earth spins on its axis and causes gravity to be counteracted by centrifugal force progressively towards the equator, one would expect the shape of the geoid to be an oblate spheroida sphere-like object with a slightly fatter middle and flattened poles. In other words, the geoid would have the nature of an ellipse of revolutionan ellipsoid.

As a reference surface, the geoid has several advantagesit has a simple physical interpretation (and an observable position along the coast), and it defines the horizontal for most traditional measuring instruments. Thus, for

20

example, leveling a theodolite or sextant is, by definition, a process of referring the instrument to the geoid.

Reference Ellipsoids
Unfortunately, as it turns out, the geoid is itself somewhat irregular. Because of broad differences in earth materials (such as heavier ocean basin materials and lighter continental materials,
Figure 11: Smoothening out earth surfaces

irregular distributions such as mountains,

and isostatic imbalances), the geoid contains undulations that also introduce ambiguities of distance and location. As a result, it has become the practice of modern geodetic surveys to use abstract reference surfaces that are close approximations to the shape of the geoid, but which provide perfectly smooth reference ellipsoids (Figure 11). By choosing one that is as close an approximation as possible, the difference between the level of a surveying instrument (defined by the irregular geoid) and the horizontal of the reference ellipsoid is minimized. Moreover, by reducing all measurements to this idealized of shape, distance

ambiguities

(and position) are removed. There are many different ellipsoids in geodetic use. They can be defined either by the length of the major (a) and minor (b) semi-axes (Figure
Figure 11.Ellipsoidal Parameters

12),

or

by

the

21

length of the semi-major axis along with the degree of flattening [f = (a-b) / a]. The reason for having so many different ellipsoids is that different ones give better fits to the shape of the geoid at different locations.

Geodetic Datums
Selecting a specific reference ellipsoid to use for a specific area and orienting it to the landscape, defines what is known in Geodesy as a datum (note that the plural of datum in geodesy is datums, not data!). A datum thus defines an ellipsoid (itself defined by the major and minor semi-axes), an initial location, an initial azimuth (a reference direction to define the direction of north), and the distance between the geoid and the ellipsoid at the initial location. Establishing a datum is the task of geodetic surveyors, and is done in the context of the establishment of national or international geodetic control survey networks. By contrast to local datums, we are now seeing the emergence of World Geodetic Systems (such as WGS84) that do try to provide a single smooth reference surface for the entire globe. Such systems are particularly appropriate for measuring systems that do not use gravity as a reference frame, such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS). However, presently they are not very commonly found as a base for mapping. More typically one encounters local datums, of which several hundred are currently in use.

Datums and Geodetic Coordinates


It is common to assume that latitude and longitude are fixed geographic concepts, but they are not. There are several hundred different concepts of latitude and longitude currently in use (one for each datum). It is important to bear in mind about local datums is that each defines a different concept of geodetic coordinates latitude and longitude. Thus, in cases where more than one datum exists for a single location, more than one

22

concept of latitude and longitude exists. It can almost be thought of as a philosophical difference. For example if one were to measure latitude and longitude according to WGS84 and compare it to the ground position of the same coordinates in the ARC1960 system, the difference is about 300 metres in the northing and about 30 metres in the easting. Note that over 90% of data mismatch by

GPS users is due to specifying a datum that does not correspond to that of a base map. Projection
A globe is the only representation of the earth that does not distort its geometry-except, of course, its size. Unfortunately, for many purposes a globe is an inconvenient way to display geographical relationships: e.g., shortest routes and equal distances are difficult to measure on curving surface.

The process of transforming spheroidal geodetic coordinates to plane coordinate positions is known as projection, and falls traditionally within the realm of cartography. Originally, the concern was only with a one-way projection of geodetic coordinates to the plane coordinates of a map sheet. With the advent of GIS, however, this concern has now broadened to include the need to undertake transformations in both directions in order to develop a unified database incorporating maps that are all brought to a common projection.

23

Projection of a Sphere onto a Cylinder.


The mercator cylindrical Projection projects the earth surface into a cylinder that shares the same axis as the earth. The meridians are equally spaced but the parallels are not (figure).

In Secant Cylindrical Projection In the secant case, the cylinder touches the sphere along two lines, both small circles (a circle formed on the surface of the Earth by a plane not passing through the centre of the Earth). When the cylinder upon which the sphere is projected is at right angles to the poles, the cylinder and resulting projection are transverse. Transverse Mercator maps are often used to portray areas with larger north-south than east-west extent.

24

Figure 12

The Universal Transverse Mercator projection was developed to set a universal world-wide system for mapping (and is probably the most commonly used map projection). The cylinder of projection was rotated such that its axis passes through the equator and was turned in sixty positions to create sixty zones around the world, each six degrees in width. Eastings begin at 500,000 on the centre line (central meridian) of each zone. In the Northern hemisphere, Northings begin at the equator (0) and increase as they move towards the pole. In the southern hemisphere, Northings begin at 10,000,000 at the equator (to eliminate negative numbers) and they decrease as they move towards the pole. To determine where your location on the globe, you must know which hemisphere and zone you are in, as co-ordinates will be identical from each zone to zone without the zone number and zone grid latter (e.g., 36 N 0493,245E / 40,085 N)

25

UTM system divides the Earth into 60 zones each of 6 degree of longitude wide. The zones define the reference point for UTM grid coordinates with the the zone. UTM zones extend from a latitude of 80o S to 84 o N. In the polar regions the Universal Polar Stereographic (UPS) grid system is used. UTM zones are numbered from 1 to 60 starting at the International Date Line, longitude 180o, and proceed east.

Each zone is divided into bands of 8o latitude lettered south to north beginning with C (omitting I and O) and ending with X. Latititudal band X, the only exception spans 12 degree. When using UTM coordinates, these zone letters are included in the description as well as the band number e.g.

36 N '0493245 UTM '0043245

36 M '0493245 UTM 9940845

or

26

Zone 35

Central Meridian

Zone 36

Central Meridian

27

Zone 37

Central Meridian


References and Further reading


Eastman J. Ronald, 1995, Idrisi for Window, Users Guide Version 1.0 Clark University, USA GPS Joint Program Office. 1997. ICD-GPS-200: GPS Interface Control Document. ARINC Research.Available on line from United States Coast Guard Navigation Center. Global Positioning System Standard Positioning Service Specification, 2nd Edition, June2, 1995. Available on line from United States Coast Guard Navigation Center. Hoffmann-Wellenhof, B. H. Lichtenegger, and J. Collins. 1994. GPS: Theory and Practice. 3rd ed.New York: Springer-Verlag. Institute of Navigation. 1980, 1884, 1986, 1993. Global Positioning System monographs. Washington, DC: The Institute of Navigation. Kaplan, Elliott D. ed. 1996. Understanding GPS: Principles and Applications. Boston: Artech House Publishers. Leick, Alfred. 1995. GPS Satellite Surveying. 2nd. ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons. National Imagery and Mapping Agency. 1997. Department of Defense World Geodetic System 1984: Its Definition and Relationship with Local Geodetic Systems. NIMA Navtech Seminars and GPS Supply 6121 Lincolnia Rd. Suite 400, Arlington, VA 223122707 USA - (800) 628-0885 or (703) 256-8900). Fax: (703) 256-8988 TR8350.2 Third Edition. 4 July 1997. Bethesda, MD: National Imagery and Mapping Agency. Available on line from National Imagery and apping Agency. NAVSTAR GPS User Equipment Introduction. 1996. Available on line from United States Coast Guard Navigation Center. Parkinson, Bradford W. and James J. Spilker. eds. 1996. Global Positioning System: Theory and Practice. Volumes I and II. Washington, DC: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Wells, David, ed. 1989. Guide to GPS positioning. Fredericton, NB, Canada:Canadian GPS Associates.

28

PART III
4. Exercises

Collecting data with a GPS


Main GPS features:
The alpha-numeric keys used to initiate modes and functions, to respond to software generated in put prompts, and to enter names, numbers, attribute, features, reference points and anything needed for data entry. Display screen (may be crystal display) displays prompts from the system. The antenna may be internal or external. Signals from SVs are via the antenna and the position displayed on the GPS screen is that of the antenna. Power supply (battery or AC adaptor) for powering the unit. Memory (RAM and for data storage). In some systems the main memory and storage media are separate. In some systems data has to be transferred by hooking on to a PC while others systems can read and store data on PCMCIA cards.

Getting started (Switch on the GPS unit): 1. The unit might need to be initialized the first time it is switched on. This is to speed up the process of acquiring satellite signals. If you have not used your unit for long (e.g., 6 months) or have changed location (off the continent for example), satellite acquisition may take several minutes longer. 2. The menu selection gives you a number of options.

i)

Settings

a) You may need to select a datum that best suits your location

Map reference
b) The map reference or map coordinate type mainly UTM (metres north and East form reference point) or Geodetic (Degrees, Minutes and Seconds in relation to Centre of the earth) i) ii) Location or Position option (This options displays coordinates of your location on the screen) File manager / Library. Depending on the system, it is where you design the format in which you want capture data and store it. For example, 29

Point, Arc or Polygon attributes. In some systems you can even define the data base fields. ii) Most GPS have the Navigation and Route options. You need to known the grid reference of the starting point and end point. You may also put in a number of waypoints. Averaging: In some systems, averaging of data being recorded is independent of averaging on the display screen.

iii)

Data capture
Before capturing data, be sure of the way data is going to be processed. Bare in mind that, even with post processing facilities, common GPS receivers need averaging for a bout half an hour. Thus, depending on the level accuracy needed, mapping line features might require averaging a set of points along the line. If data is going to be post processed, the Base station has to be running at same time as data is being collected. Depending on the software, data for post processing has to be of the right format (e.g., Centipoint needs Post Data Raw format). In some cases, an accuracy of within 100 meters radius is acceptable. In instances when post processing is not needed, the unit is said to be in stand- alone mode. Note that some expensive GPS have real time differentially corrected positions and averaging of very few minutes (not more than five) is good enough. For whatever receiver used, obstacles reduce the quality of GPS positioning. Make sure that the unit is clear of obstacles like tall buildings and big trees.

A clear view of the horizon gives the best satellite constellation for good triangulation.

Figure 12. Avoid obstruction

30

Exercise Ia, Familiarising With Garmin GPS functional keys


Zoom in out Page Find Power Quit Menu

Rocker keypad

Enter Mark

31

32

Switch on the GPS

33

Garmin V Display Screens


Garmin V has three main display screen (pages) viz the GPS Satellite status screen, Map display Screens and the Trip Information Screen (co-ordinates page). The Satellite Status Screen gives information on Satellite location and satellite number (or space vehicle number), signal strength, receiver status.

34

Receiver Status;
Before use ensure that the GPS has acquired at least three satellites (preferably four or more). A GPS that has not been in use for over six months requires a bout 15 minutes to download new information about SVs.

Exercise II, Navigating With Garmin V Navigation and data capture exercise
1. Explore the available GPS settings especially datum, projection, simulation mode and GPS mode 2. Find and display waypoints loaded in the GPS (by name & by nearest) 3. Navigate to Waypoints already loaded in the GPS (loaded using data transfer cable fixed to a PC)

35

4. Navigate to area of interest picked from a paper map 5. Navigate to area of interest from uploaded background maps and shapefiles 6. Load and navigate to x,y co-ordinates using rocker keypad and virtual keyboard 7. Navigate to object Ficus natalensis 8. Navigate to object Directional Trench (DT_002) 9. Navigate to Mound (MD) 05 10. Identify special point features in the field and save them as waypoints 11. Identify special line features in the field and save them as tracks 12. Identify special line features in the field and save them as a series of points

Exercise III, Averaging and storing a point with GPS V


1) When the GPS is ready as described above, move to with in 3-5 meters from the building with the solar instillations. 2) On the Press the Menu button once. 3) A pop up menu will appear showing various commands. Use the down arrow key on the rocker button to scroll down and select the Average location option then press the enter button. 4) Let the GPS calculate you current potion by making 10 to 15 samples. These appear in the filed labeled measurement count. 5) Select save option (if not already) and press the enter button 6) Now record the coordinates (Easting and Northing) on the filed form provided.

36

7) Scroll from the OK upwards 3 times and once to the right to select the waypoint name and press the enter button. (The way point name is usually a 3-digit number). A virtual keyboard appears. 8) Use the appropriate arrows up, down, left or right to select the characters making up the clients name from the virtual keyboard. After highlighting the desired character, press the enter button and the cursor will automatically jump to the next space. Continue till the name is fully entered. 9) When you have finished, scroll to the OK option on the virtual keyboard and the press the enter button. 10) The display goes one step backwards to a dialogue box. where you recorded the coordinates from. Scroll down to select the OK option and press the enter button. 11) Your information is now stored on both paper and in the GPS memory. You are now ready to visit the next client! Note In all cases, please remember to write on the form the file name for the point you save in the GPS. This will help us relate the GPS data to what is recorded on the on the form during the cross checking exercise.

You do not have to type in the full client name into the GPS. Use the shorter name or abbreviation, which must also appear on the form or note book.

37

Exercise IV, Identifying GPS Functional Limitations


1. How many points were you able to access or navigate to 2. How many points were you unable to reach and why were you unable to navigate to them 3. How many satellites were available under object Fcus natalensis 4. How many satellites were available under object (DT_002) 5. What do you think is the cause of difference between 4 and 3? 6. What do you think are the solutions to the above limitations 7. Practice using offsets (using other navigational tools e.g. compass & measuring) 8. Compare results of averaged points with un averaged points

Dos and Donts


Dos Donts Do not experiment or tamper in any way with the GPS settings. You may render the GPS unusable or even damage the unit. Do not drop, hit or shock in any way the GPS unit. Do not leave the GPS unit on (running) unattended. You risk damaging the unit and running down the batteries in the field. Though the unit is water proof and ruggedly built do not expose the GPS unit to rain Do not hold the GPS unit by the strap. This may cause breakage or power disruption of the unit. Do follow all the instructions you were told/given If you find yourself on a page you dont understand, press the Quit or Page button till you get to the coordinates page.

38

Exercise V, Building a standard data coding System (Participatory approach)


Boundaries:
Boundary line description and status; i. opened ii. changed bushy iii. date opened iv. opened by v. disputed segment Boundary types: River, road, paths, cut line, wetland, shoreline, fire line.

Planted areas:
Forest Reserve description and Area allocation Forest reserve area allocation and General area description; i. Soils type ii. Terrain Flat Undulating Hilly Mountainous iii. Drainage Good Seasonally wet Water logged Total reserve in hectares 1. Area plantable i. Roads ii. Harvested iii. Burnt iv. Never planted before v. Damaged by a) Pest attack b) Fire c) Wind d) Land slide e) Animals f) Drought Planted area categories i. by species ii. by age iii. by operation a) weeding b) pruning c) thinning d) fire line maintenance, harvesting

Area not plantable:


Area not plantable

39

i.

ii.

iii.

iv. v.

Conservation area a) Natural forest b) Wetland Settlements a) Scattered homesteads b) Villages Impediments a) Rocks b) Sand c) Shallow lime bed rock layer Steep slopes Poor soils

Exercise V, Data uploading & Downloading using 1)MN DNR and 2), Mapsource

40

5. Further Reading

GPS Grades and Costs


Receiver costs vary depending on capabilities. Small civil user receivers can be purchased for under $200, some can accept differential corrections. Receivers that can store files for post-processing with base station files cost more ($2000-5000). Receivers that can act as dGPS reference receivers (computing and providing correction data) and carrier phase tracking receivers (two are often required) can cost many thousands of dollars ($5,000 to $40,000). Military standards receivers may cost more or be difficult to obtain. Other costs include the cost of multiple receivers when needed, postprocessing software, and the cost of specially trained personnel. Project tasks can often be categorised by required accuracy which will determine equipment cost. Low-cost, single-receiver for civil users (10 metres. Goes up to 100+ meter when SA is on) Medium-cost, can support differential processing (1-10 meter accuracy) High-cost, single-receiver authorised users (20 meter and below even with SA on) High-cost, differential carrier phase surveys (1 mm to 1 cm accuracy)

41

The Differential GPS (DGPS)


In this section you will see how a simple concept can increase the accuracy of GPS to almost unbelievable limits.
Typical Error in Meters(per satellite) Satellite Clocks Orbit Errors Ionosphere Troposphere Receiver Noise Multipath Standard GPS 1.5 2.5 5.0 0.5 0.3 0.6 Differential GPS 0 0 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.6

Civil user (or Recreational) Versus Professional GPS


Good decisions require good information. For GIS users, the quality of information coming out of their systems depends on the accuracy of the data going in. Confident decision making leaves no room for doubt over data accuracy. The last thing GIS users need to worry about is whether the data collected by GPS meets the accuracy requirements of the intended application. Given the large number of products on the market, selecting the right GPS receiver can be difficult. With budgets tightened everywhere, some GIS users have begun looking at and buying less expensive recreational GPS products that are popular with outdoor enthusiasts. New features, such as ruggedized cases and differential correction, and a price tag often below $500 make these units attractive compared with higher-priced professional-grade GPS receivers. But beware, as is true with most products, you get what you pay for. There is a significant difference in the accuracy of location data acquired by recreational GPS receivers versus the professional units. The 10-meter error typical of a recreational model won't cause a major problem for a hiker in the woods, but such inaccuracy may not be acceptable for GIS applications.

Accuracy
Recreational and professional GPS units are designed and built for different purposes. A recreational GPS unit is designed to acquire a location fix quickly without the need for pinpoint accuracy because hikers can find their campsite once they get within 10 meters of it. GIS users, on the other hand, typically require extremely accurate placement of features often to within a meter or less so that data layers can be overlaid and intricate spatial relationships can be determined.

42

Although recreational products are not specifically designed for GIS mapping, they can be used successfully in some applications. And for some GIS users, the recreational products may be the most cost-effective choice. In choosing between a recreational and a professional GPS receiver, GIS users should answer the following questions to be certain the selected unit will meet their application needs. * Do you need to integrate data seamlessly with a GIS? If you will be converting GPS points to a specific GIS format, such as shapefile format, you should purchase a professional-grade GPS receiver. Some newer units can even convert points to popular GIS formats on the fly during downloading. Most recreational receivers cannot convert data to other formats. * Will you be collecting attributes along with location points? Many GIS users have found that accurate attribute collection is just as crucial as location acquisition. Only the professional GPS products offer customizable interfaces and routines for detailed attribute collection. * Is five-meter accuracy sufficient for your application? A recreational GPS is typically able to achieve 10-meter accuracy in autonomous mode, but some now can handle real-time differential correction capable of sharpening accuracy to five meters or better. In this situation, the most cost-effective purchase may be the recreational unit. * Is submeter accuracy required for your application? For many GIS users, accuracy is measured in centimetres. In these cases, professional GPS units are the only ones capable of performing the differential postprocessing required to achieve this level of accuracy.

Other Considerations
After price, data quality and accuracy are the main differentiators between recreational and professional units that influence the buying decision of a GIS user. Engineering, design, and construction characteristics account for the variation in capabilities among GPS receivers. Professional units have been engineered and built to acquire more accurate location coordinates. Although many design features contribute to this higher level of performance, three factors quality control, electromagnetic shielding, and antenna technologyset GIS-grade products apart from recreational receivers.

43

Quality ControlProfessional GPS units give users control over the quality of the position points that are collected. Through a simple interface, the user can establish specific thresholds for acceptable data quality. For instance, the user chooses the number of satellites and position above the horizon needed to achieve suitable accuracy. The user can also program the receiver to disregard any satellite signals that suffer from too much noise interference. These quality control settings essentially allow the user to filter out any potentially poor data that may degrade the overall quality of the location coordinates, resulting in greater accuracy in the final dataset. Electromagnetic ShieldingSignals from GPS satellites are very weak and can easily be degraded by interference from nearby electronic devices such as laptop computers or personal digital assistants (PDAs). Given the fact that many GPS receivers and GPS cards are linked to computers and PDAs, this can pose a serious problem. High-end GPS products have built-in shielding technology that minimizes the effects of stray electromagnetic signals from other equipment. Antenna TechnologyWeak GPS signals requires a sensitive antenna, especially when receiving transmissions in urban canyons and under tree canopies. The antennas provided with professional grade GPS units are designed to pick up signals in almost any environment. More important, highend antennas protect against interference from multipath signals. These signals from GPS satellites have been degraded by bouncing off buildings and other overhead features on their way to the receiver on the ground. Multipath signals can significantly reduce the accuracy of location calculations. However, antennas on professional receivers recognize and filter out multipath signals.

Confidence: The Final Differentiator


For GIS users, settling for a receiver that collects data less accurate than is required by the GIS application will cast doubts over management decisions based on the information coming out of the system. While shopping for a GPS receiver, GIS users should honestly compare the needs of their GIS application with the GPS receivers in their price range.

44