Mapping Equipment Curatorial interns at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden use mapping grade GPS and a laser rangefinder to inventory the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden.

Choosing the right equipment for your GIS project can be a difficult task when faced with the wide variety of vendors and configurations available.  We have attempted to simplify this task by describing a few of our favorite configurations.

Mapping Grade GPS

Using mapping grade GPS is the most common way that public gardens collect accurate position and attribute information in the garden.  You may choose from an package system that integrates a GPS receiver, handheld computer, and laser rangefinder or individual components.  Both options require a software solution. Package Systems Leica Zeno 20 Trimble Geo 7X and Trimble Zephyr Model 2 Antenna (optional) GPS Recievers Trimble  Pro 6H Handheld Computers Trimble Yuma Rugged Tablet or Trimble Juno 5D Laser Rangefinders Laser Technology TruPulse 360B Software Trimble Positions and Esri ArcPad or Esri ArcGIS for Windows Mobile

Heads-Up Digitizing

If you have an accurate basemap for your public garden already, you may not need the complexity of a mapping grade GPS system to collect position and attribute information in the garden.  Heads-up digitizing allows you to use the built-in GPS device on your smartphone or tablet to locate your position in the garden and then choose the location of the feature you wish to collect information on based on its position relative to features in your basemap such as planting beds and pathways.  New advances in GPS technology now allow for a mapping grade GPS receiver to be connected to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth wireless technology.  Consider adding one of these devices for the ultimate combination of simplicity and accuracy.  Although this technique may be implemented using any iOS or Android device, we have provided recommendations for our favorite hardware. Handheld Computers Apple iPad Air or Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display GPS Recievers EOS Positioning Systems Arrow 200 (optional) or Trimble R2 GNSS Receiver (optional) Software Esri Collection Mapper and Esri Collector for ArcGIS and Esri ArcGIS Online subscription account or Esri ArcGIS Online personal account and Esri ArcGIS for Server