The GPS Waypoints is a multi sector surveying tool for professional and personal purposes. The application configuration and the three main functionalities are described hereafter:
- Location and satellites status
- Waypoints surveying
- Paths and Areas surveying
- Backup and Restore
- Upgrade to Premium
The application can be configured to use either the internal GNSS receiver or an external GNSS receiver. The default configuration uses the internal receiver but it can be re-configured to use an external one.
The internal GNSS receiver configuration takes advantages of the new smartphone’s receivers, with improved accuracies from 1.5 to 5 meters, using GPS and GLONASS satellite constellations. It allows users to perform simple surveying activities using the location service from Android devices. The configuration when using the smartphone’s builtin GPS receiver is presented in the figure.
The application also allows professionals to use Bluetooth external GNSS receivers to attain better accuracies (e.g. <1m). First, setup the external receiver to use Bluetooth connections with NMEA messages and pair the device with your Android smartphone. Finally, on GPS Waypoints Settings you need to select the “External GNSS Receiver” option and the desirable Bluetooth paired device.
Current location and satellites available: the application identifies the location provider network (cell tower and Wi-Fi) or gps (satellite), the satellites acquisition status and the information of the current position.The dashboard shows the information of the current position in wgs84 format. The information is calculated from the visible satellites and includes the coordinates, bearing, speed, accuracy and time of acquisition. The altitude presented is relative to the Mean Sea Level (MSL) and thus represents the height in meters above mean sea level.
Waypoints Surveying: collects Points of Interest on the field to build a business/personal mapping database. The points acquired can be exported and shared to other applications (e.g. Dropbox/Google Drive). The Share option is more convenient and popular since the Export option will require access to your device’s internal storage, typically on the folder “/gps-waypoints”. Finally, after getting the exported data, you may view and process it with any geo-spatial tool, such as Google Earth for the general consumers.
Waypoints thematic surveying: allows to collect thematic points for cartographic, environmental or urban planning purposes. The thematic surveying uses the tagging functionality that can be customized with the specific thematic data model. The waypoints can be classified according to the data model and can be exported with all metadata to a KML file. In some surveying activities the mobile precision may be enough but in others, requiring better precision, the application can be connected with an external bluetooth receiver (Professional Survey).
In-situ validation of thematic maps: collects field points (including both location and classification tags) that are used to validate maps derived from airborne or satellite imagery (Professional validation).
Share a waypoint: share waypoints location with another person via messaging application. It could be useful in situations such as visit my office on this location, meet me at this coffee shop, check out the issue I found, etc…
Get me back to a saved point: you can get directions to waypoints available on your database that could be useful in tourism situations such as I want to go back to my hotel.Import a waypoint: you can import waypoints to your database by searching for a Point-of-Interest or for an address. After confirming the search results with the coordinates of the place, you can save it as new waypoint and then check the directions to it.
Auto Path tracking: allows to track an moving activity such as bicycle ride, run, car drive or flight, building automatically an order sequence of points (path) and measuring distances of the activity. The exported result in GPX format can be loaded on sports platforms.
Areas surveying: allows building polygons of the land properties on the field and measures their perimeters and areas.When better accuracy is needed (such as in cadastral surveying), an external receiver could be used .
The backup and restore of user’s data is a professional feature for saving your work. It is specially useful when acquiring a large number of points or for transferring/migrating data for one device to another.
The upgrade to Premium is a software activation feature on the same application. It can be performed with Google Play online subscription services or using local license activation paid via Paypal. An example of using Google Play is provided in picture.