ArcPad vs. Collector App

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07-18-2014 12:47 PM
AdamInglis
Occasional Contributor II

I'm working on a municipal infrastructure GIS update project that is going to involve survey crews collecting 5 cm accurate GPS data.  Traditionally this has been done with ArcPad loaded on a capable GPS unit, but is the Collector App on an iPad able to replace this set up?  One of the hurtles I'm dealing with is finding a GPS unit that I can pair with the iPads that would be accurate enough.  iSXBlue II is getting close and the SXBlue III GNSS has the accuracy, but I'm not sure about the compatibility with iOS devices. 

 

Putting the possible hardware issues aside for a minute, is there a good reason to stick with ArcPad instead of using the Collector App?  Collector seems to have a lot of advantages in map display and integration with ArcGIS Online.  I'm pretty unfamiliar with ArcPad, so any opinions would be appreciated.

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BryanMcIntosh
New Contributor III

We've used ArcPad for years, but have recently switched to Collector. GPS units that connect to Apple devices need an extra registration with Apple (and not free). However most GPS devices have this feature due to the market reach of Apple.

We use the iSXBlue II with our iPad and it works great. We also use the inexpensive Garmin GLO since it is still better than on-board GPS in iPad. If you want higher accuracy, the SXBlue III would be great - however it doesn't have the apple protocol (the missing "i" in the name actually denotes this). Crazy how they markup the Apple protocol so much in price at Geneq - while the entire GLO works with Apple and doesn't even cost as much as the markup difference - sorry for the vent. However, you still have options...

Some of the same engineers who worked at Geneq (maker of SXBlue), created their own company called EOS. They sell very similar devices (almost too similar), and they all have the Apple protocol on all devices (called Arrow): Comparison Charts – Eos Positioning Systems

A few other devices to check out are from Bad Elf although not sure if they get to the level of accuracy you are working with (Bluetooth GPS - Bad Elf ).

And finally, here is a breakdown of some devices and accuracy when using an iPad with GPS:

ArcGIS Collector External GPS Options - Spatial Times

Hope this can help.

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5 Replies
DanielEstrada
New Contributor II

Adam,

Did you get any feedback from your question. It's been a year since you posted what did you decide to use for your project?

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AdamInglis
Occasional Contributor II

Hi Daniel,

We didn't end up being the successful bidder on the project that would have required the GPS accuracy provided by the SXBlue III GNSSso I didn't have to go down this road.  However, since then we have deployed several iPads with Collector for field work and are pleased with the results.  Paired with a Bad Elf GPS Pro+ the accuracy is more than sufficient for our mapping requirements.

-Adam

BryanMcIntosh
New Contributor III

We've used ArcPad for years, but have recently switched to Collector. GPS units that connect to Apple devices need an extra registration with Apple (and not free). However most GPS devices have this feature due to the market reach of Apple.

We use the iSXBlue II with our iPad and it works great. We also use the inexpensive Garmin GLO since it is still better than on-board GPS in iPad. If you want higher accuracy, the SXBlue III would be great - however it doesn't have the apple protocol (the missing "i" in the name actually denotes this). Crazy how they markup the Apple protocol so much in price at Geneq - while the entire GLO works with Apple and doesn't even cost as much as the markup difference - sorry for the vent. However, you still have options...

Some of the same engineers who worked at Geneq (maker of SXBlue), created their own company called EOS. They sell very similar devices (almost too similar), and they all have the Apple protocol on all devices (called Arrow): Comparison Charts – Eos Positioning Systems

A few other devices to check out are from Bad Elf although not sure if they get to the level of accuracy you are working with (Bluetooth GPS - Bad Elf ).

And finally, here is a breakdown of some devices and accuracy when using an iPad with GPS:

ArcGIS Collector External GPS Options - Spatial Times

Hope this can help.

View solution in original post

DanAllen
Occasional Contributor III

I think the Arrow 200 by EOS is the only one that can get you survey grade with collector on ios.  A client of ours just got one but we have not set it up to check against our Trimble RTK unit.  http://www.eos-gnss.com/

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NickHetrick
Occasional Contributor II

One advantage arcpad has over collector is the ability to snap features. We currently use collector for some tasks but collecting a utility network is painful due to the lack of snapping capability creating more post collection work. If Collector is great for some tasks but still needs work in some areas.