How to achieve sub-metre location accuracy on IOS or Android Devices

Following recent projects that required high accuracy (sub-metre) recording of spatial data we have invested in a device that provides sub-metre location data to your phone or tablet.

At WSI we have been using apple iPhones and iPads in the field for recording ecological data over the past five years. We have found these devices to be excellent as a means of recording field data. The user friendly interface, ease with which text can be inputted, stability of the software, and the security and easy transfer of data are the key advantages we have found with using these devices. The internal GPS of these devices are good and typically provide location data to an accuracy of 5m. This level of accuracy is perfectly adequate for the majority of ecological surveys we have undertaken (particularly when combined with high resolution aerial imagery). However, there are instances where it can be beneficial to acquire a higher level of accuracy, for example rare plant surveys or quadrat monitoring surveys.

There are now a range of options available that enable you to acquire high accuracy (consistently within 1 metre) location data on your phone or tablet. Although the cost of the devices remains high, it is more affordable than purchasing a standalone device with such capability that runs on its own operating system. In our experience these devices are a lot less user friendly than your IOS or Android device.

Following considerable product research and reading online reviews (see links below) we settled on the EOS Arrow 100. This is a small and portable GPS receivers that connect to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth. The device automatically override the internal GPS of the phone and provides real time sub-metre location data. аThe apparent advantages of this product over others included a removable battery, competitive price, reportedly higher degree of accuracy (even under tree canopy), stable software, and excellent bluetooth connectivity.

We tested the new device during a week surveying remote blanket bog areas in the west of Ireland and are impressed with how it performed. The device itself is rugged and waterproof. аIt straps to your belt and has an external antenna that can be attached to your backpack or within a pouch of a specially designed funky baseball cap (see above)!а While using ESRI Collector on an iPhone we were consistently getting accuracy of between 0.2m and 0.7m. It was rare that the reported accuracy exceeded 1m.а The Bluetooth connection is excellent and the device battery still had plenty of charge at the end of the day. Overall we are very happy with the operation of the device, though the cost was significant.

There are a range of products available that provide similar capability and we found the following reviews particularly informative:а аа

Discover Wetlands on World Wetlands Day 2017

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2 February 2017

The first Map of Irish Wetlands has recently been completed following three years of research and data compilation on a voluntary basis by wetland scientists Dr Peter Foss and Dr Patrick Crushell.

The on-line Map of Irish Wetlands shows the location of more than 12,600 wetland sites in Ireland. The map has been created and made available to the public free of charge without the assistance of any public funding. Upwards of two hundred individuals refer to the map each month including researchers, students, land use professionals, and the general public.а

The map is displayed via the Google Maps interface and can be accessed from any on-line device, without the need for special software. The Map of Irish Wetlands shows the location and provides summary information on protected and well known wildlife sites such as Clara Bog, Pollardstown Fen, or Dublin Bay. The map also provides information on lesser known wetlands that are important to local wildlife including cutover bogs, wet woodlands, farm ponds, and even golf course ponds. According to Dr.а Crushell “These small wetlands all form part of a national network of sites that support a great variety of specialist plants and animals adapted to living in wetland environments”.

This network, which forms a key part of Ireland’s natural history resource, has been identified for the first time by the Map of Irish Wetlands project. The value of wetlands in providing services to society is increasingly being recognised by concepts such as 'green capital' and 'green infrastructure'. However, the team behind the Map of Irish Wetlands believe that planning authorities and other state agencies charged with the protection of our 'green capital' should be doing more to identify and evaluate the resource. “To date only counties Kildare and Louth have undertaken the necessary surveys to characterise and evaluate the complete wetland resource they have, something urgently needed across many other counties in Ireland” says Dr. Crushell.

In the meantime the information presented on the map will continue to be refined by the map team. It is hoped, subject to finding a suitable sponsor or partner, that the functionality of the map will be enhanced during 2017 to allow users to easily search features of the wetland map and overlay it on other available datasets such as soil maps or land cover maps.

“Information on new or existing sites is always welcome, so if you would like to contribute to this wetland mapping project get in touch” says Dr. Crushell.

To celebrate World Wetlands Day on 2 February, Wetland Surveys Ireland are hosting a ‘Name the Wetlands' competition.аTo take part go to theаWSI Facebook pageаfor further details.

For further Information:; Tel: 064 6642524; Email: а аа

Link to Map of Irish Wetlands


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ай Website design Peter Foss 2012