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Thread: GPS receivers for mapping public works infrastructure?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    GPS receivers for mapping public works infrastructure?

    Recently, I became the mapping guy here in town as my direction takes another step away from planning.
    After rounding out the year updating zoning maps, tracking foreclosed and vacant properties and mapping irrigation zone locations in the town's parks, I held a meeting with staff to get some new ideas from them for other maps.
    Our Public Works Director stated that mapping all town signs, water lines, valves, manholes, fire hydrants, etc would be great. Included with the data for mapping these items, would be dates of install, warranty info, and other stuff. It'll be a good, long and fun project for me.

    Now, I have been tasked with getting a GPS receiver or two for the town. We will equip some of our PW staff and myself to go and mark things as time allows.

    Any recommendations on a good, inexpensive reciever? Keep in mind, we're a small town with a small budget. We don't need anything really sophisticated, but would something easy to use and accurate.

    Thanks in advance.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  2. #2
    Dan Staley's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    Recently, I became the mapping guy here in town as my direction takes another step away from planning.
    After rounding out the year updating zoning maps, tracking foreclosed and vacant properties and mapping irrigation zone locations in the town's parks, I held a meeting with staff to get some new ideas from them for other maps.
    Our Public Works Director stated that mapping all town signs, water lines, valves, manholes, fire hydrants, etc would be great. Included with the data for mapping these items, would be dates of install, warranty info, and other stuff. It'll be a good, long and fun project for me.

    Now, I have been tasked with getting a GPS receiver or two for the town. We will equip some of our PW staff and myself to go and mark things as time allows.

    Any recommendations on a good, inexpensive reciever? Keep in mind, we're a small town with a small budget. We don't need anything really sophisticated, but would something easy to use and accurate.

    Thanks in advance.
    Sorry to hear about the pigeonholing. Castle Rock is doing this now (may be done), via the Utilities Dept. Give them a ring and see how their equipment is working out.for them.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan Staley View post
    Sorry to hear about the pigeonholing. Castle Rock is doing this now (may be done), via the Utilities Dept. Give them a ring and see how their equipment is working out.for them.
    No need to apologize about the pigeonholing. Planning is not doig it for me anymore and it is a welcome change.

    I will follow up with Castle Rock, thanks.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  4. #4
    Dan Staley's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    No need to apologize about the pigeonholing. Planning is not doig it for me anymore and it is a welcome change.

    I will follow up with Castle Rock, thanks.
    Don't blame you a bit. Good luck!

  5. #5
    I've used a Trimble handheld before and it was lightweight and easy to use.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Second the trimble handheld. We will be using one as a part of a proposal to map out items for a city's RFP (if you want more info pm me since our interview is next friday). It is pretty kick arse and imports data into gis.

    http://trimble.com/geoxh.shtml
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Hey Z,
    Why don't you go for a camera with GPS. We LOVE ours. You just bring it in and plug it in and it makes the map for you. Plus you can take a picture of what ever it is you are mapping for inventory purposes. We started with 2 then bought a third. Now we are getting another 4 through a grant. FEMA even borrowed them during the clean up after the tornado. I think the new ones are directional so you can map the target of the picture or where the photo was taken.
    You might think that direction thing sounds funny but when you have someone out taking the pictures and someone at the office mapping, you have no blessed idea where they were.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I'll give another vote for the Trimble. It's what we use here and have had no major issues or complaints (not sure on the price though).

    I also like Queen B's suggestion for a GPS enabled camera. I have been looking around at them for personal use and they seem like they would be a great fit for the work you are deciding, and if your budget is small, you would have the added functionality of an easy to use office camera. (I have no idea how hard or easy it would be to input the data and photos from these camera into a GIS program though).
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    I just saw this thread and it reminded me of some work my last company did for Collier County in Florida. While this project had a big budget, the resulting system actually saves the County money through increased efficiency and fewer water and sewer line problems. They also have some pretty cool tablet PCs.

    http://www.esri.com/news/arcnews/fal...er-county.html

  10. #10
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    You have to decide what kind of accuracy you need. If you need survey grade for sewer lines, it will cost a lot more than if you only need to get within a couple of feet of valves, signs and such.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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