Here at Anatum Field Solutions, we pride ourselves on being field surveyors first, GPS and technical experts second, and lastly salesman.
The staff at Anatum Field Solutions have decades of experience conducting a wide variety of environmental surveys throughout much of North America. We have worked for government agencies, private developers, environmental consulting firms, and research projects; all with different data collection needs. For the last decade, we have made use of expensive GPS units to collect location data and limited amounts of survey data in electronic forms. While these expensive GPS units are great at acquiring location coordinates, they have a tiny electronic "brain" that makes them terrible at collecting additional electronic data. Not to mention their small screens and the need for a stylus. But with the advancement of the iPad and other tablets, and external GPS receivers, the game has changed.
iOS and GPS
Between 2010 and 2012, we used iPhones to help us navigate to the general area of our projects and use field guide apps. However, collecting electronic field data and getting accurate location data was difficult and not very reliable if we were in areas with poor cellular service.
New Bluetooth High-Accuracy GPS and iPads
Thankfully, technology has advanced to the point that submeter and even centimeter accuracy receivers are available. In 2013 we began using a submeter receiver Bluetoothed to our iPads. In addition, many iOS apps have been created that increase a field technicians ability to travel to the job site, navigate among project features, and collect specific data appropriate to you and your client's needs. This data can be collected in apps like iGeoTrak and Fulcrum and then saved to a project cloud, keeping client confidential project data off rental iPads. This isn’t possible with rental GPS devices, where it is up to the project personnel to wipe their device before returning it to those big impersonal rental companies.
Company Growth, RTK, and ArcGIS Collector Advancements
In 2016, Anatum added new employees and gained a working knowledge of RTK receivers for real-time sub-foot and centimeter grade work. Yes, real-time accuracy of 1-foot or less without post-processing! We also began assisting clients by adding high-accuracy Bluetooth GPS to rugged handhelds running their long-standing ArcPad projects on Windows Mobile rugged handhelds. But most exciting was the upgrade that ESRI added to their Collector app in the summer of 2016. That upgrade allows Collector to not only connect directly to the users external Bluetooth GPS receiver, but also automatically record satellite metadata like estimated horizontal and vertical accuracy, number of satellites used and fix type, and PDOP.
Anatum Field Solutions has a rugged tablet and GPS, GNSS, or RTK receiver solution to meet all your field data collection problems. We are excited to bring our experience with field surveys and mobile GIS to help our clients move from old handhelds to tablets and mobile GIS. We can help with any purchase or rental needs field users may have!