Rangefinder Offset data collection in Collector

05-14-2015 09:56 AM
Status: Open
New Contributor II

Use the laser rangefinder measurement values (Azimuth/bearing, slope distance, horizontal distance, vertical distance and inclination) to calculate an offset point from a known reference point. Reference point can be set using GPS, established feature point, manually enter coordinates or map tap. Once could also capture/measure lines, curves and polygons as an offset function.
Also include a feature to capture height and pt to pt measurements from the laser rangefinder measurement routines.
This will increase your productivity and safety since you don't need to physically occupy the locations you have to record.

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Have you tried the Theodolite App?  I think this will accomplish what your suggesting.  The problem is you have to open two apps to get the job done.  Theodolite will record all the info you reference on your photo and provide a kml in an email link.  Wish this could incorporate the Theodolite app functionality as the default camera option in Collector.  problems solved no more opening two apps and attaching files.

When voting for this idea, please consider leaving a comment to share how you are using (or would use) offset collection in the field. What keeps you at a distance from the point of collection? How are you dealing with these limitations today?

Additionally, please include the platform you are predominantly using (iOS, Android, or Windows), and the laser rangefinder hardware you have or would consider purchasing.

As of today, it is possible to use Eos's Arrow devices with Collector for ArcGIS (iOS) to collect laser offsets.




We need to use our laser for GPSing addresses behind locked gates.  If this could be implemented, I would be able to cut a 3rd party software and streamline my addressing data collection workflow by using collector.


We have a lot of facility assets that are near buildings and/or under heavy vegetation so using our LRF integrated with the Trimble 7000 handheld would be great.  We could also greatly benefit from having a trilateration function in collector, for distance-distance positioning from two or more offset GPS observable locations.




We use a TruPulse range finder to quickly collect information about tree height and to measure distances for laying out restoration planting projects. It would be great if the device which has bluetooth and can connect to our tablet could also pass data directly to Collector instead of having to manually enter it after the device reports the data.  


We too use a TruPulse rangefinder that we previously used with ArcPad.  We really miss the ability to "throw" a point on an opposing ridgeline to look for references that tie to our Gigapan imagery collection.  Please allow this to happen without getting the data manually from another app.  We use a combination of iOS and Androids.


This has long been possible with Trimble devices, where we often occupy the only point where we can get a good signal, then shoot building corners (under roof overhang bad signal). Limiting the functionality to a single vendor is not a reasonable solution. Until the software can support vendor-agnostic offsets, we'll have to stick with the Trimble, not Collector, workflow. 


We use the Collector app om IOS in combination with the Häglof Laser Geo laser rangefinder. It’s a very accurate device for offset measurements in forestry applications. It would aprove data collection speed by 300% (no more walking time to each individual measured object) and the possibility to map objects (pests) in the treecrown.

The laser device sends data via NMEA protocol.


Trimble TerraSync software offers excellent rangefinder workflow. It has 3 methods, distance - bearing, distance - distance and bearing - bearing. Although distance - bearing is a one shot solution but not accurate sometimes because of the errors in compass. Distance - Distance produces the best results because it does not involve the compass at all, but i have to shoot the point from 2 separate locations. Line and polygon offsets are also very important.


Eos Positioning Systems offers a laser mapping solution built for Collector on iOS. It was developed by Eos for its user community of Arrow receivers and uses mainly the TruPulse 200x from LTI (because of its iOS compatibility). There is no manual data entry, except for the standard Distance/Azimuth/Inclination method where a manual input of azimuth is required (since the Trupulse 200X does not feature a built-in compass). 

There are two other methods: Range/Range Intersect and Range/Backsight using the TruAngle encoder for azimuth as can be seen in the following link:

Laser Mapping | Eos Positioning Systems 

A couple of case studies for users who are interested (one of them published in ArcNews Summer 2019):

Seattle Zoo Builds Basemap Around Lions, Tigers, and Bears 

Arrow Gold for Construction: DDSI Increases Profit w/ RTK Laser Mapping 

Hope this helps.