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Tech Update

GIS and GPS Systems

Edited by Helen Johnson

For more information on the following products, please fill out our request form located at the bottom of the page.

TRUCKBASE Corp
The TRUCKBASE Log Haul Management system from TRUCKBASE Corp, a world leader in global positioning systems (GPS) for forestry operations, gives managers the ability to oversee hauling operations through components that consist of an onboard computer with built-in GPS receiver and post process analysis software. Accurately monitoring location, speeding events and periods of inactivity, it generates valuable reports showing cycle times, trip synopsis, inactivity and speeding on GIS quality maps.

TRUCKBASE's Silvitracs is breaking new ground in forest field operations and is an ideal solution for the effective management of reforestation, the company says. Designed to record the precise path taken by site prep and heavy equipment, it makes operations monitoring cost-efficient. Silvitracs allows the user to measure treatment areas, locate and measure missed areas or islands in the cut block, measure productivity and efficiency and simplify contractor payment.

Recently ISO 9001 certified, TRUCKBASE Corp's products provide cost-effective solutions for forestry operations as varied as log haul management and site preparation. New applications are currently under development incorporating GPS technology in sprayer and grader management. The soon to be released Sprayertracs and Gradertracs reflect an integrated approach to GPSbased products. Both applications will have the capabilities of Silvitracs, but Sprayertracs will monitor sprayer activity, while Gradertracs will monitor the position of the blade in and out of the ground. Circle Reader Service Card #182

Stellar Navigation
MapSite, the p r e c i s i o n global mapping software from Stellar Navigation Systems Inc, accurately displays, edits and saves GPS position information and related data.

A real-time moving map displays and records GPS data continuously or periodically, based on time and/or course change with a speed threshold. The software allows uploading and downloading of waypoints to and from the GPS receiver for pretrip planning or post trip reporting and enables view location data, including elevation, to be accurately superimposed on a digital map. If digital maps are unavailable, a blank map can also be defined at any scale and map projection so that data can be overlaid on a paper map.

Topographical USGS and TVAmaps on CDROM can be opened directly in MapSite and Teale Data Centre and Tiff World file maps can be easily imported, the company says. The entire map, or a portion of it, with or without waypoints, routes, GPS track, symbols, notes and labels can be printed or saved.

A mouse click creates and edits maps and deletes location data by dragging and dropping, while icons can be assigned to way points. MapSite geo-references scanned images, adds symbols, notes and labels to define points of interest and integrates GPS data with GIS data, using MapInfo and other packages. Other features include the ability to import and export data to a spreadsheet and to check distances, bearings and grades from one waypoint to the next. It is compatible with most GPS receivers for real-time data transfer.
Circle Reader Service Card #180

Mobiway Inc
Mobiway systems allows the linking of field information back to a GIS receiver in real time. Mobiway RPS and FNS are real-time DGPS navigation systems with fully graphical interfaces that display GISgenerated background maps and aerial photographs. Users navigate along electronic boundaries while recording geo-referenced information in GIS format.

Real-time DGPS reduces manual flagging and provides machine guidance in mechanized operation. The FNS system was specifically designed for forestry equipment and comes with protection and mounting packages. The lightweight RPS system is ideally suited for ground crews, the company says. Both systems use Coast Guard beacons, where available, or Mobiway's own long-range DGPS reference station.

The system was developed by Mobiway Inc of Longueuil, Quebec in collaboration with FERIC. Mobiway will be exhibiting at LOGFOR Quebec 2000.
Circle Reader Service Card #181

ESRI Canada
Providing organizations with the framework for distributing GIS services via the Internet, ESRI Canada, a leading Canadian GIS provider, has released ArcIMS 3, the next generation of Internet mapping and GIS systems from Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc, based in Redlands, California. Not only does ArcIMS provide an Internet mapping solution, it is the first product of its kind that allows true distributed GIS, the company says, allowing access to GIS functionality that has been reserved for desktop GIS technology users.

One of the key features of ArcIMS 3 is its ability to establish a common platform for exchange of Web-enabled GIS data and services. It also has the ability to integrate local data sources with Internet data sources for display, query and analysis, extending the user's GIS desktop to include virtually any ArcIMS site anywhere.

ArcIMS allows organizations to use familiar GIS tools to integrate disparate data and deliver it to the desktop of non-GIS users in a cost-effective way, the company says. Its framework fully supports traditional data services, such as map image rendering and feature based data streaming, and its ArcIMS Manager allows users to follow simple instructions to author, design, publish and administer Internet map services. Circle Reader Service Card #183

Magellan CorpAshtech
Magellan Corporation's Ashtech development team has released Version 3 of its Reliance GIS data collection system, as well as its GGRTK real-time kinematic GPS receiver.

Reliance Version 3 provides numerous enhancements to both the FAMlog software for the handheld computer and the Reliance Processor, the PCbased software for planning, processing and exporting data. Improvements in the new version that increase functionality include a batch processor to automate all aspects of data processing, Internet access to base station data, additional map background formats (DXF and Shape), greater choice of map symbols and automatic calculation of the size of area features in the field.

The GGRTK, the first receiver to integrate both the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), provides real-time kinematic operation in extreme environments such as canyons, rugged terrain or open pit mines. About 100 times more accurate than code differential GPS, RTK functions in restricted areas where large portions of the sky are blocked and fewer than five GPS satellites are visible. These sites require rapid locks into integer fixes and RTK positions in environments not possible with GPS alone, the company says.

The receiver operates in two modes, one for centimetre accuracy with maximum update rates of one Hz and another for one to five centimetre accuracy with maximum update rates of five Hz. Achieved accuracy is reported in real-time for safer, more reliable operation.

The GGRTK requires a short initialization period following powerup, during which time accuracy changes from metre to centimetre level. The GGRTK can be used as a differential receiver, in either base or remote mode, and in both modes it uses RAIM (Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring) so the receiver uses only healthy satellites. If a satellite fails for any reason, RAIM will detect it and the receiver will not use it. GGRTK is available in either a board or sensor configuration or as a software upgrade to any existing GG24 receiver.

When used as a base station, it can generate differential corrections for both GPS and GLONASS, as well as RTK data. With one base station and any number of remote receivers, an entire operation can be run performing any combination of Differential GPS, Differential GPS+GLONASS, RTK navigation and RTK survey or post-process survey applications. It also uses the RTCM standard compatible with a wide variety of remote receivers.

The GGRTK Sensor has been designed with an optional built-in, spread spectrum radio receiver and, for base stations, an external spread spectrum radio transmitter is also available.
Circle Reader Service Card #184

Trimble Navigation
The GPS Pathfinder Pro XR and Pro XRS systems from Trimble Navigation are easy to use GIS data collection and maintenance systems that provide real-time sub-metre accuracy. Used in a wide range of applications, including natural resource and land management, utility asset management, environmental monitoring, scientific research, hazardous waste cleanup and municipal asset management, the systems integrate real-time differential GPS (DGPS), the key for the relocation of existing assets and verification that the correct feature is being updated. Using real-time DGPS removes the need for post-processing GPS data, further closing the gap between fieldwork and GIS.

Feature and attribute data are input with either Trimble's Asset Surveyor software running on the TSCl data collector or Trimble's ASPEN software running on a customer supplied pen based notebook. The systems provide two-way data flow between the field and GIS, facilitating data collection and maintenance processes, ensuring that current data is available for decision making.

The GPS Pathfinder Pro XR integrates real-time beacon and GPS capabilities into a single receiver and antenna, while the GPS Pathfinder Pro XRS adds satellite differential capabilities along with the beacon and GPS, meaning there is less equipment to carry and a reduced requirement for extra cables and batteries.

Trimble's GeoExplorer 3 system is a rugged, handheld GIS data collection and maintenance system that is ideal for creating and maintaining utility, urban and natural resource asset databases. Small and portable, it is bundled with GPS Pathfinder Office Software that aids in data dictionary creation, data processing and GIS data import and export. When coupled with Trimble's BeacononaBelt (BoB) differential receiver, the GeoExplorer 3 system enables the user to effectively relocate existing features for data update by using the graphical navigation and map displays.
Circle Reader Service Card #186

OmniSTAR
A decision by the US government to discontinue selective availability, or SA (the deliberate degradation of GPS accuracy for the civilian user) means that uncorrected GPS can now provide horizontal accuracy of about 10 to 12 metres. To obtain higher accuracy real-time positioning from GPS, a source of differential corrections is still required.

OmniSTAR is a leading supplier of wide area differential corrections using satellite broadcast techniques. Employing proprietary algorithms to compensate for atmospheric and other variables, OmniSTAR can provide submetre horizontal positioning over most of the world's major landmasses. An added bonus for the forest industry is that, due to termination of SA, differentially corrected positions will remain accurate for extended periods even if corrections are temporarily lost due to signal obstruction.

A growing number of GPS manufacturers and suppliers are incorporating OmniSTAR capability into their products to provide the GIS user with this submetre capability, OmniSTAR says. Among those companies are CSI, MidTech, Raven, Satloc, Starlink and Trimble.
Circle Reader Service Card #187 

Racal
The LandStar Mark IV Differential GPS systems from Racal are available with a choice of submetre or two to five metre accuracy, utilizing the L Band satellite differential service. The systems can be configured to work with Palm Pilot and Windows CE data collectors and can accept software such as Patchworks, ESRI's ArcPad and TDS Solo. The units are built to stand up to the tough workload those custom applications demand, the company says.

Flexible signal options include a choice of 12, six, three or one month signal subscriptions. The signal service may be used with other manufacturer's differential L Band GPSready receivers such as Trimble and Leica. Racal's newest product line, TRACS TDMA, is a global telemetry, tracking and position service benefiting the logging, mining, construction, mapping, GIS data capture, emergency services and agricultural industries, among others. Highspeed radio data links can be provided via Racal's UHF and VHF systems with multiple reports carried on a single channel.
Circle Reader Service Card #185

 

 

For more information on the above products, please fill in the contact information and check off the boxes that apply.   When finished, please click on the Submit Form Button.

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TRUCKBASE Corp 182
Stellar Navigation 180
Mobiway Inc 181
ESRI Canada 183
Magellan CorpAshtech 184
Trimble Navigation 186
OmniSTAR 187
Racal 185



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This page last modified on Tuesday, February 17, 2004