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GPS Handhelds. Erin Miller Suzette Stone. Introduction. At one time all GPS units attempted to cater to everyone. Currently more specialized units are available. You need to understand exactly what you intend to do with a GPS unit before you buy one.

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Gps handhelds l.jpg

GPS Handhelds

Erin Miller

Suzette Stone


Introduction l.jpg
Introduction

  • At one time all GPS units attempted to cater to everyone.

  • Currently more specialized units are available.

  • You need to understand exactly what you intend to do with a GPS unit before you buy one.

  • It is a good idea to explore a few features beyond the basics. 

  • Today we are focusing on lower-end GPS handhelds with an accuracy generally less than 15 m. These can be used for outdoor recreation, navigation, the marking of landmarks or other points, but not for survey grade applications.


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Things to Consider

  • The many uses of GPS 

  • Computer interface to be able to download data.

  • Uploading maps of areas you intend to visit.

  • A unit with an interface that you are comfortable with.  

  • What is most important to you? Are the datums you require available? Which paper maps, if any, will you be using along with your unit? What type of interface? Do you need additional software and cables? Do you want internal maps? What uploading capabilities and amount of space is available? Battery life? Waterproof? Available accessories how accurate do your downloadable maps need to be? Need DGPS? WAAS?


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Keep in Mind

A navigation receiver is not a survey device but it more accurate than most of the digitized maps you use it with. Remember many of these maps were digitized using paper maps.


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The Comparisons

  • Garmin Etrex Series

  • Other Garmin units

  • Thales Navigation units (formerly Magellan)


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The Potential of WAASWide Area Augmentation System



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In closingFor the types of uses we were searching for

  • Basic functions for primarily recreational use

  • Ability to contain some basic street information as well as uploading features

  • The accuracy that is possible with WAAS technology

The Meridian GPS by Thales Navigation seems to be the best choice.


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References

  • Garmin www.garmin.com

  • Thales Navigation www.magellangps.com

  • Yahoo Shopping (for prices not listed on corporate sites) www.yahoo.com

  • www.gpsinformation.net

  • Trimble www.trimble.com

  • “Receiver Survey” GPS World January 2001


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