Best GPS Receiver

03-23-2022 07:25 AM
Occasional Contributor II

I am planning to use Field Maps to collect environmental data in a remote area and have two questions based on a recent experience.

1.  What is a good GPS receiver to pair with an iPAD to get at least sub-meter locations in the field, preferably real time using GNSS?  Preferably bluetooth, but open to any suggestions.

2.  Is there a good video tutorial to setting up and using field maps offline?  I need to be able to download background imagery so I don't need to rely on a good mobile connection in the field since coverage is spotty at best.



5 Replies
Occasional Contributor II

Justin, we use iPads and iPhones for field environmental work as well as other field applications. We have had good luck for several years with the Trimble R2 and R1 receivers paired with the Apple devices and we also have some Android phones that use the Trimble equipment as well. I am aware that Trimble has a new offering they call  DA2/Catalyst where they completely rely on the Apple mobile device application software for all the position processing while using the low cost Catalyst antenna. 

There are several GPS manufacturers and I am sure other brands work well. One thing Trimble does is that they have a specific ESRI/Trimble team dedicated to the Collector/Field Maps process that is helpful in resolving issues and faster implementation of enhancements. Your choice of a supplier with a good support record should also be a factor. 

We have also done some disconnected offline data collection and have gotten it to work. Your danger there is data loss prior to synching back up to the server once back in cell signal range.  Check the forums on those issues.

The R2 unit will do centimeter level accuracy under the right conditions and availability of an internet based correction signal. The R1 is a submeter pocket style receiver that also integrates with the iOS/Android devices without the need for a correction signal. The R2 will operate in the GNSS mode and collect elevations in NAVD88 if your setups are all correct.

Hope that is helpful. Good luck. 


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New Contributor II

We have been using Eos Arrow Gold GNSS for several years and are a solid GNSS receiver.  Highly recommend any of their recievers.

They also have some tutorials on setting up things in Collector and Field Maps on their website as well.

Occasional Contributor

We have been using Leica GG04 GNSS Receivers since 2018. We are now up to 5 units and I have been really happy with them. You can't really go wrong with any of the big three options above (Trimble, Leica, Eos). For using realtime RTK corrections and getting to cm accuracy all of the units seem to be around the same price ($8,000+). Well worth it for the ease of use with Field Maps (and formerly Collector). We've collected over 22,000 points with few issues.

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New Contributor III

Hi Justin - We opted for the Emlid Reach RS2. This unit is not very expensive considering its capability and has worked fantastically. We get cm accuracy most of the time with differential correction accessed through an onboard SIM. Under canopy in woodlands we achieve about 20cm accuracy on average. 

This integrates  well with Survey23

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Occasional Contributor

Justin, We have used the Trimble R1s for quite a few years. I've been disappointed in the workflow since moving from Collector to Field Maps with the R1s. We just bought 2 Juniper Geodes and have been much happier with those. Any new devices we buy moving forward will be the Geodes. The entire workflow is simpler and more user friendly, which is important for our users as it's not something they do daily.