Is GPS Analyst absolutely necessary?

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07-19-2010 12:41 PM
AaronScott
New Contributor III
My organization needs a field computer, GPS unit...  I feel the Trimble Juno SB is the best fit for our budget.  I see it available through ESRI pre-loaded with ArcPad and GPScorrect, which does not seem like a bad deal.  What I am having a hard time deciphering is whether or not GPS Analyst is required in order to gather data, correct it, and import it?  I gather from the sales info that it streamlines all of this but, is GPS Analyst absolutely necessary.  We have a pretty tight budget..  I am still using 9.2, and 2000.00 dollars for another extension is hefty. 

Thanks
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8 Replies
ZoltanKovacs1
New Contributor
Hi,

First thing first, you don't need GPS Analyst in every case. You have to decide - based on your needs and budget - what do you need: field accuracy or post-processed accuracy. If you satisfied with field accuracy only (2-5 m), you don't need the ArcGIS extension. If you need the better, post-processed accuracy (1-3 m), you have to buy GPS Analyst. With the extension you can process your field data (positions captured in shp files and GPS measurements logged in ssf files by GPScorrect for ArcPad) in ArcGIS desktop. (Anyway, for the latter case, you need to create a geodatabase and you have to GPS-enable it before import and post-process your field data.)

So to make it clear:
GPScorrect for ArcPad - enables the option to use real-time correction sources (e.g. EGNOS/WAAS/MSAS depending on wherever on Earth you are) to correct your GPS positions and collect features using them AND to log GPS measurements for post-processing, if you needed.

GPS Analyst for ArcGIS Desktop - enables the option to post-process your collected data from field using those measurements that GPScorrect logged during your work. This is the streamlined option to do this in ESRI environment.

So if you don't want to post-process your data with or can't afford GPS Analyst and you're happy with the maximum 2-5 m real-time accuracy, you don't need this Desktop extension. Without it you can still import/export your data (shp or axf files) to/from ArcGIS using ArcPad Data Manager Toolbar that comes with ArcPad and installed automatically. (However, to use this new set of  tools, you need 9.3 or higher... But you can still use the good old ArcPad Toolbar in your 9.2)

Anyway, you should always feel free to ask your dealer about these informations - not especially only if you have a tight budget.

Hope this helps. If you have any further questions, let me know. 😉

Zoltan

P.S: and another important thing: before you buy, always check the compatibility with your current system to avoid any unwanted headache 🙂 Your ESRI/Trimble dealer has to know about product compatibility - they have an extensive table for it (especially Trimble)... You can find the latest (by this time) for instance here and here.
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KyleBelott
Occasional Contributor
If I connect my handheld device (with ArcPad) to a VRS and capture real-time, do I need GPSCorrect?

Thanks,
Kyle
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ZoltanKovacs1
New Contributor
If I connect my handheld device (with ArcPad) to a VRS and capture real-time, do I need GPSCorrect?

Thanks,
Kyle


Hi Kyle,

Yes, that's GPScorrect for. The extension has several options (depending on your GPS receiver) for real-time sources: GBAS/VRS/SBAS/OmniSTAR etc. In this case the extension manages the connection to the VRS, receives and applies the corrections from it to your GPS positions.

BUT: If you have a GPS receiver that can directly connect to a VRS (via data radio, modem, etc) and uses the corrections from it internally and outputs the corrected positions only to your data logger/handheld device with AP, in that case you don't need GPScorrect.

Hope this helps.

Zoltan
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StevenRehbaum
New Contributor
We currently use Pathfinder Office to perform post-processing via ShapeCorrect.  We create the .cor file from the .ssf by GPScorrect and then run ShapeCorrect currently against multiple shapefiles and soon to be 1 .axf.  We looked at GPSAnalyst, but weren't too impressed with it for the cost.  I realize the functionality we have in Pathfinder Office is limited, but it still suits our needs.  We had an archaic version of Pathfinder Office sitting around (2.9 I believe) so we purchased the latest version for the upgrade price. Just another option.
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ZoltanKovacs1
New Contributor
We currently use Pathfinder Office to perform post-processing via ShapeCorrect.  We create the .cor file from the .ssf by GPScorrect and then run ShapeCorrect currently against multiple shapefiles and soon to be 1 .axf.  We looked at GPSAnalyst, but weren't too impressed with it for the cost.  I realize the functionality we have in Pathfinder Office is limited, but it still suits our needs.  We had an archaic version of Pathfinder Office sitting around (2.9 I believe) so we purchased the latest version for the upgrade price. Just another option.


Yes,

You're right. But if someone doesn't have any post-processing software, it doesn't make any sense. Mainly because the price of both Pathfinder Office and GPS Analyst is exactly the same... (However, PFO has more advanced functionality for PP, since GPS Anaylst can't processes phase measurements.) If you need a streamlined functionality in ESRI environment to eliminate import/export to/from various file types, you need to use GPS Analyst.

Zoltan
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AaronScott
New Contributor III
My next question....  I have a copy of Pathfinder Office 3.10.  I have an evaluation version of ArcPad 7.1.1.  I use ArcGIS 9.2.  I am looking at the Juno SB.  Is it possible to run ArcPad 7.1.1 and GPSCorrect 2.0 on Windows Mobile 6?   The release notes mention Windows mobile 5.  Not sure if Windows 6 will work. 

I am on a serious budget.

I could upgrade and register 7.1.1...   upgrade and register GPScorrect 2.0... very cheaply, and post process with my existing Pathfinder Office 3.10....   But will it work?

I hope who ever reads this can follow my logic...  if there is any!

cheerz
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ZoltanKovacs1
New Contributor
Hi,

There's a documentation on Trimble's website according to system compatibility for MGIS products:
http://trl.trimble.com/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-160913/MGIS_SprtNote_Product_Compatibility.pdf. (Updated regularly.) Using this you can figure out your components (upgrades) are compatible with each other and your platform. As far as I remember, AP 7.1.1 supports WM 6.0 (http://help.arcgis.com/en/previous_versions/system_requirements/7.1/ArcPad_711_SystemRequirements.pd...), but not above. I really recommend to use the above mentioned sys. comp. doc before you buy, to avoid any problem (compatibility or financially). However, PFO v3.10 is a bit outdated, you should upgrade it too. There are many new features in the new(er) versions you could benefit e.g. DeltaPhase technology: 1-3 m postprocessed accuracy for Juno SB/SC. So if you use the latest version of GPScorrect and process with PFO 3.10, you won't be able to use this new feature, therefore your max. accuracy will be 2-5 m PP for example. (And if I remember well, there was a major change in PP engine after v3.10. You should check in Release Notes on trimble.com)

Hope this helps,

Zoltan
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CarlBeyerhelm
Occasional Contributor
Something else to consider in the GPS Analyst vs Pathfinder Office debate is (I'm pretty sure) that GPS Analyst does support ArcPad Checkout/Checkin to versioned SDE geodatabases.
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