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Research Journal of Forestry
  Year: 2011 | Volume: 5 | Issue: 2 | Page No.: 78-88
DOI: 10.3923/rjf.2011.78.88
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Consumer-Grade GPS Receiver Measurement Accuracy in Varying Forest Conditions

Michael G. Wing

A variety of affordable consumer-grade Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers are now available for natural resource applications in forested environments. Consumer-grade GPS receivers have the potential to provide a low-cost solution for measurement needs but accuracies can sometimes vary according to receiver model. To this end, the measurement accuracy and reliability of six consumer-grade GPS receivers were examined, including several receivers that were only recently made available as commercial offerings. Evaluations occurred in three forested test courses. Primary study objectives included comparing the measurement accuracies of the GPS receivers and determining whether accuracies varied at the forested test courses. The influence of repeated measurements on receiver accuracy was evaluated and considered averages that included up to 120 measurements, an average that goes beyond many previous studies. One consumer-grade receiver consistently had better measurement accuracies than all other receivers. The top performer had an average error of 1.5 m at the open sky course, 3.4 m at the young forest course, and 2.6 m at the mature forest course. Only one of the six receivers was found to have improved accuracies when repeated measurements were averaged and compared to a single measurement. These findings provide support for using consumer-grade GPS receivers for natural resource measurements but also indicate that not all receivers perform similarly.
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How to cite this article:

Michael G. Wing , 2011. Consumer-Grade GPS Receiver Measurement Accuracy in Varying Forest Conditions. Research Journal of Forestry, 5: 78-88.

DOI: 10.3923/rjf.2011.78.88






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