GPS Waypoints Use Cases

GPS Waypoints is a multi-purpose application that has being used in various professional and personal surveying activities. The tool supports the following main use cases:

  • Site survey for thematic mapping and planning –  users can make field surveys by collecting points, classifying them with relevant thematic tags and exporting all data to a CSV/KML file to be further analysed with geographical information tool;
  • Insitu observations for validating or reclassifying existing places – users can import multiple Waypoints (through coordinates or addresses) and obtain navigation directions and distances to these points using the ‘Get Me There’ feature;
  • Define field areas and routes for geoplanning – users can create polygon shapes on the field (‘Paths Polygons’), determining their areas and perimeters; users can also create multi-lines on the field (sequence of points forming opened Paths) to define a route and determine their time and distances. Both polygons and multi-lines can be exported to be further analysed with a mapping tool;
  • Track a moving activity – users can track moving objects either with a vehicle or personal outdoor activities (‘Auto Path’), and export it to a GPX file to be further analysed.

The Professional usage depends on the accuracy of the GNSS receiver that is being used. You can use an internal receiver (medium accuracy positioning) or an external receiver (higher accuracy). The most relevant professional sectors are:

  • Agriculture & Forest – planning and measure areas, monitoring crops and vehicle tracking
  • Urban & Real State – urban valuation and planning
  • Infrastructures – roads and utilities planning and maintenance
  • Emergencies – disaster mapping 
  • Other – environment & biodiversity, natural resources, aerial vehicles, archaeology, health surveying, etc…

The Personal usage is typically satisfied with the accuracy provided by the smartphone’s internal receiver (while some demanding personal users may also use external receivers). The most common personal activities are:

  • Outdoor entertainment – track exercise during hiking, cycling and running activities; plan or find control points in orienteering, etc…
  • Travelling – save and find places
  • Day-to-day life – meet me here, maintaining personal Points-of-Interest

Professional Activities

The professional activities are performed by specialists from various sectors (not only geographers), typically to perform land surveying, land areas and routes definition. Some real case studies from the most relevant sectors are presented hereafter.

Agriculture & Forest 

The GPS Waypoints is being used in Agriculture on both planning and monitor cultivated areas. It is used to measure new crops areas for planning the next season and estimate production (create Manual Paths/Polygons), measure and plot new tubing layouts for the future expansion of sugar maple trees pipes (create Manual Paths), identify and classify the infested trees on olive groves (Add Waypoints with custom tags).

Define and measure a new plantation area Sugar Maple Trees
pipe planning
Olive Trees infestation monitoring
Urban & Real State 

The tool is used in Real State to measure land properties by owners, evaluators, etc…  It can determine areas and borders of land properties for planning and valuation purposes. The user must collect sequential points of the land surroundings (Add Point to Path) and close the path to build a polygonal area. 

Define and measure a land property area for sale or land-use change

The tool is used in Urban Planning to validate thematic maps of urban areas. The user collects the validation points on the field, tags them using his mapping classification system and exports the results to a desktop for validation of classes and determination of the mapping accuracy. 

Emergencies 

Useful in emergencies with the support of volunteers to map and classify the object found on disaster area. By collecting the points where the wreckage and other objects were found, GPS Waypoints can help you by providing accurate coordinates and create disaster mapping.

Disaster debris mapping

The application becomes particular relevant in these activities where it is needed to collect data widely and fast, such as with the involvement of volunteers. 

Infrastructures

The tool can be used for planning network infrastructures and maintaining them for producing incident report data.  Two known infrastructure use cases are the road pavement maintenance and the planning of electric distribution systems, as depicted in the figures below.

Road pavement classification for maintenance Planning medium-voltage and low-voltage distribution systems

The road pavement maintenance professionals need to evaluate and classify the road status. They can identify pavements distresses with exact coordinates of the failures and associate a tag based on their own classification model. The model can be adapted for each country, using different levels of detailed. For instance, pavement distress model for asphalt concrete surfaces could be as simple as:

  • Cracking
  • Patching and Potholes
  • Surface Deformation
  • Surface defects
  • Miscellaneous Distresses

The planning of electric distribution systems needs to define in Autocad the new the medium-voltage and low-voltage networks and change the existing ones. The GPS Waypoints is used to collect the waypoints on the field, export them to KML for later conversion to Autocad (automatic export feature to Autocad will soon be available). The collected waypoints will support the drawing of new planning diagrams.


Personal activities

GPS Waypoints can also be used for personal entertainment, like outdoor activities, geocaching, travel and other non-professional activities. This application enable easier orientation on map by adding, tagging and exporting the Points of Interests (POI).

Outdoor entertainment
GPS Waypoints is perfect for people who practice hiking, biking, running, hunting, golfing, skiing, and other activities, that want to track their activity and also mark their places of interest at same time. The Auto Path feature allows to track automatically the outdoor activity, measure distances and to export results to GPX files. The exported tracking files can be then uploaded to the user’s favourite tracking application such as Endomondo and Strava. 
Auto track a walking route
with GPX export to Endomondo
Auto track a cycling trail
with GPX export to Strava

This application can be used by Geocaching players too. Geocaching players can add and tag the points where they find a geocache.

Travelling
Travellers who want to plan & find places and/or just want to save the places (e.g. monuments) that they liked to locate later on google maps. For planing and finding, the user needs to introduce the waypoints (Import Waypoint) and check directions to them during the travel (Get Me There).  For saving visited places, the user just needs to Add and Tag a Waypoint and revisit the points later with a mapping desktop application. A useful and typical use case for travellers, is to save the hotel location and get directions back to it, without internet connection. 
Save the location of your visited places Save your hotel location and get directions back to it
Day-to-day life

GPS Waypoints is convenient for mass market users to save their Points of Interests (office, home and other typical meeting places) and share their locations with someone else (they want to meet) via any messaging application e.g. SMS or E-mail. The meeting person can check the place clicking on the shared URL with place location and check the PoI address (geocode feature). Furthermore, a user can easily send someone else their current location to be found (Find me).

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