CompassTools Inc., a distributor of mapping and GIS products for field data collection, has installed a GPS reference station in Durango, Colo., to provide freely available differential correction data to GPS users in the Four Corners area of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. The correction data can significantly enhance the accuracy of location coordinates captured by GPS receivers used in mapping and surveying applications.
“We have many clients involved in GIS mapping projects for energy development, utility asset location and local government applications in the Four Corners region,” said CompassTools CEO Steve Chiles. “CompassTools set up the Durango reference station to help them complete their mapping projects with greater efficiency and accuracy and at less expense.”
CompassTools is a value-added reseller of hardware and software mapping solutions from Trimble, Laser Technology, Ricoh, GeoSpatial Experts, Esri, and CartoPac. Since 1994, CompassTools has sold, leased, repaired, and offered training on the latest GPS and GIS mapping products in an eight-state region that includes Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Minnesota, Nebraska, the Dakotas and parts of Texas. In addition, the firm provides expert GPS/GIS consulting and creates customized bundled packages to meet the specific needs of complex data collection projects.
The versatile and reliable Trimble NetR9 GNSS reference station installed by CompassTools in Durango is capable of receiving location signals from the U.S. GPS, Russian GLONASS and European Galileo navigation satellite systems. CompassTools established the unit as a Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) accepted by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and part of Mesa County Colorado’s Real Time Virtual Reference Network.
“The Trimble NetR9 broadcasts differential correction data in real time via a cellular signal,” said Chiles. “And the correction data is also posted automatically to the CompassTools website for post-processing.”
Chiles explained that this means the GPS user has the option – usually depending on the capabilities of their portable GPS receiver – to correct their location data and improve its accuracy in real time as they collect it in the field. Or the GPS user can download the correction data from the CompassTools website when they return to the office and process the data after the fact. An advantage of real-time correction is the user knows the accuracy of the GPS data being collected while still in the field.
“The ultimate accuracy of the collected location data depends on the quality of GPS receiver being used,” said Chiles. “We have many clients in Durango using mapping-grade handheld GPS data collection devices achieving accuracy better than 10 centimeters using the reference station data.”
For more information about CompassTools and its complete line of products, services and training, please visit www.compasstoolsinc.com. To learn more about the Mesa County Virtual Reference Network, visit http://emap.mesacounty.us/GPS_