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View Full Version : Use GPS to figure Square Foot???


Tinkerer
02-07-2005, 02:08 AM
I know they are getting more accurate. But have any of you figured a lawns SF using a GPS reciever? I have heard the more $ they cost, the more accurate they are.

greendave
02-07-2005, 08:36 AM
Not that accurate. Get the wheel out and walk it...........

derbydon
02-07-2005, 08:46 AM
Try going to Microsoft terraserver instead and lookup an aerial photo of the property, including a scale for calculating area. It's not exact, but I've used it for commercial quotes and it works well. Plus, I print a pic for my quote presentation and customers seem to be impressed that I take the time to accurately assess their property.

In some metropolitan areas, the local government will have already superimposed their plat book on the aerial info. :cool:

meets1
02-07-2005, 09:03 AM
I know this doesn't pertain to lawn care much but do you think a day will come that the mower will mow straight lines (large properties) and all you as the operator will need to do will turn the machine around.

I have been a tractor, John Deere, that did that. Great feature, but a little concerning cuz you just sit there until you get to the end rows. Pretty Cool though!

Hamons
02-07-2005, 09:05 AM
I use GPS to measure all my properties. I double checked witha wheel for a long time. The only time they were off was when i made a math error -- Get one with waas correction and area calculation -- unjder $100 on ebay.

Markf
02-07-2005, 12:04 PM
Derbydon,
I have not heard of Microsoft teraserver. Is this software? Is something I buy in the store or can I download it? Thx.

LawnsByJon
02-07-2005, 04:38 PM
I actually posted a topic about GPS and it's applications in lawn care a couple days ago.

First of all, it doesn't matter how much you spend. Accuracy is pretty much the same between a $90 and a $500 unit.

The two major brands are Garmin and Magellan. Both make units that start in $100 range, but both have trade-offs.

The Garmins generally have a bit more usability with extra features, but generally the magellans are more likely to work in more locations and areas.

They're very accurate when used correctly, but if it's the only reason you want one, you're better off sticking to a measuring wheel, because you basically get the same results.

Blades of Steel
02-07-2005, 04:42 PM
I use a Garmin 60CS to do mine. It is as accurate as a wheel and much easier. No calculations, use the area calculater and skin it!

I paid $425 for mine but I use it for much more than business.

Tim

grass_cuttin_fool
02-07-2005, 04:56 PM
Now Im just a simple ole country boy. You still have to walk the boundaries no matter which you use(measuring wheel or GPS) correct? I quess the the GPS would be alot easier to figure on a property that is not square, has differnt length ends and sides? would that be the advantage of the GPS?

eng50
02-07-2005, 09:30 PM
Our county has GIS maps of all properties, including aerial photos and property measurements, if you got a lot of properties together and go to the county admin bldg, you could sit in front of a computer and do all the math. Then again, easy doesnt mean its the best, ie. sheds, playsets etc placed without thier knowledge! Go walk it, you need to see it all anyway, the GPS could be off a little, but if you rough measure and adjust up cost basis, you will come out ahead anyway. Just another thought..

Hamons
02-07-2005, 09:33 PM
round flower beds, curved patios -- very few properties I measure are anywhere near square.

GPS saves tons of time.

stumper1620
02-07-2005, 09:36 PM
I use my laser range finder & a calculator, Very accurate. :D

Flex-Deck
02-07-2005, 11:01 PM
I use a range finder (lazer type - 400 yard) sit at one corner shoot the other corners - figure area - charge for total area.

They say, "But my house and driveway and garage mean less mowing" I say "Your house and driveway and garage mean more trimming"

We are even.

Critical Care
01-22-2007, 08:51 PM
Bumping this topic up and adding my two cents worth.

I have a Garmin 76CS and finally walked my property with the GPS. I was actually quite surprised at how accurate it is. For precise measurements I probably won't use it, but for a close basic figure I will.

Just be aware that trees can block some of the satellite signals, and if the GPS does loose it's location, by default it should draw a straight line from where the signal was lost and regained.

Stillwater
01-23-2007, 01:56 AM
We stopped measuring lawns years ago. The only time I put a tape to a lawn is when it is for a irrigation system. I know I will get flamed for this additional comment, I don't care flame away, measuring a lawn for a cutting estimate is a total waist of my time and I can't be bothered. Please, cutting trimming lawns is production, it is nothing else. My cutting prices are determined by the amount of time it will take to do a class A job and not by size determined by a GPS. Are you guys serious? GPSing your lawns? Please be kind with your flaming I am just a guy that almost soiled himself reading the gps thing now my stomach hurts from laughing.

dhardin53
01-23-2007, 03:01 AM
eskskis your not wrong I feel I can see it I can judge how long it will take. I call it my 20-20 estimation. basicly I have to see it first then we talk price.

But on my biger property a GPS is great, What I have done is just add up the total distance trveled in a yard if I mow it east west one time and the next time i mow it north south. But realy its a no brainer the one direction with the longer stright rows takes less time and travel. But on the good side if you know the total SF and devide the width of your mower times the feet taveled it intersting to see just how much your over lapping and wasting time over turnig. But if your riding by on a horse how cares, but its interesting to see where your loosing time, and time is money.

Stillwater
01-23-2007, 03:08 AM
dhardin

Thank you for the totaly reasonable post

Daner
01-23-2007, 10:14 AM
Now you guys have me thinking...I have a Garmin 60-c...I have used it for farming (Acres)...But never thought about useing It for Sq. ' I better get out my manual and figure out how to use It for A yard.

Runner
01-23-2007, 12:41 PM
We stopped measuring lawns years ago. The only time I put a tape to a lawn is when it is for a irrigation system. I know I will get flamed for this additional comment, I don't care flame away, measuring a lawn for a cutting estimate is a total waist of my time and I can't be bothered. Please, cutting trimming lawns is production, it is nothing else. My cutting prices are determined by the amount of time it will take to do a class A job and not by size determined by a GPS. Are you guys serious?

I'm sorry, but I am totally in agreement with this. There are just too many other factors (trimming, amount of objects, etc.). Now, for very large properties, like complexes that are multiple acres, or so...I can understand it. And for us, we use other means for measurement for chemical (a whole different story).
But for mowing, and measuring turf areas on 1 to 3 acre properties, I just can't see it. Afterall it is mowing, not rocket science.:rolleyes:

MarcSmith
01-23-2007, 02:44 PM
larger properties, figuring out mulch area, smaller properties figuring out howmuch sod to order for a new house.... Large props, figuour out turf sqft for chem apps......I was thinking aobut gettingoen to map out my irrigation heads on campus.

They have their place. andif you get one that has maping abilities, you can enter in your propertys as waypoints and let the GPS schedule your route....

LwnmwrMan22
01-23-2007, 10:57 PM
I'm sorry, but I am totally in agreement with this. There are just too many other factors (trimming, amount of objects, etc.). Now, for very large properties, like complexes that are multiple acres, or so...I can understand it. And for us, we use other means for measurement for chemical (a whole different story).
But for mowing, and measuring turf areas on 1 to 3 acre properties, I just can't see it. Afterall it is mowing, not rocket science.:rolleyes:

Runner -

What do you use for the chem apps, a wheel?

Stillwater
01-24-2007, 06:02 PM
I don't even use the GPS on my boat.

Runner
01-25-2007, 12:19 PM
Many times I will just pace it out. For larger properties, I use satellite photos. I use to use a wheel all the time, until I went out and helped a friend of mine who has also been in the business for many years. We went to survey a few complexes and he tells me "You take your little toy and go measure that area, and I'll go do this area. When you're done, measure my area over again and we'll compare them. I bet I'll be within 1 foot to 100 of yours."
Well, I did it, and sure enough - he was right. The difference being, is that he can pace off and write down the lengths ALOT faster than it can be done with a wheel - without the hassle.

MarcSmith
01-25-2007, 12:50 PM
The difference being, is that he can pace off and write down the lengths ALOT faster than it can be done with a wheel - without the hassle.

if you have a pace that you can trust then this is by far the easiest method. if you had three people measure an area with a wheel you'd get three differrent results, especiallyif its an odd shaped area....

Now if you can get good sat photos and never have to leave your house and you know the scale...I can do the sqft in front the the TV while pounding down brewskies...

LwnmwrMan22
01-25-2007, 08:40 PM
if you have a pace that you can trust then this is by far the easiest method. if you had three people measure an area with a wheel you'd get three differrent results, especiallyif its an odd shaped area....

Now if you can get good sat photos and never have to leave your house and you know the scale...I can do the sqft in front the the TV while pounding down brewskies...

That's the problem with living "in the sticks" like me, you can't get a good satellite photo yet, at least not what I've been able to find.

So far Google Earth is the best I can come up with, and they don't get close enough to be able to tell scale, nor do they even show 1/2 my properties, just a big "blur".

MarcSmith
01-26-2007, 06:40 AM
That's the problem with living "in the sticks" like me, you can't get a good satellite photo yet, at least not what I've been able to find.

So far Google Earth is the best I can come up with, and they don't get close enough to be able to tell scale, nor do they even show 1/2 my properties, just a big "blur".


which means. we still have to pound the pavement and actually go to the properties....Which from a custoemr service standpoint, we should do anyhow....

Stillwater
01-26-2007, 07:07 AM
Hey guys, No offense intended but I still think the gps thing is totally and ridiculously ******ed. I realise I am in the minority on this one hear. It might be becouse I don't use square footage for costing out lawn cutting. So I dont give a crap about square footage it is useless information. I use square footage for walks irragtion dry wells, walls and other construction but for mowing nope. I consider cutting production and to time study production you need a measurement of time.

What are you guys cargeing for square footage I want to compare it to my charges.

motoguy
04-14-2007, 01:00 AM
I can understand it. And for us, we use other means for measurement for chemical (a whole different story).

I would like to know what "other means" you use to measure for chemical. That's what I'm working on right now...