Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by r.eckley, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. r.eckley

    r.eckley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    Does anybody use handheld GPS unit to measure footage of your
    yards? Just wondered if it worked and how satisfactory it is.
    What brand & model?
  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I don't own a GPS, but on larger properties, it may come in handy.

    Here in my County they have a website that has a Property Assessment section. Simply enter either thier address, or name and it gives you lot sq/footage and house sq/footage. This way all you have to do is minus out driveway, etc. Pretty neat website. Lets you know how much their house is worth, and how much of a mortgage they have (if they have one). Very handy.
  3. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    I have a little understanding of the GPS thingeys.

    basically, the little hand held units like wally world sells would be better suited for estate sized props if the square footage mattered.

    the more sophisticated the unit...obviously the better the accuracy of the survey.

    in my former employ, we had very sophisticated units($4500 ea.)...accuracy down to a few feet per point. and that aint bad for hand held.

    but even at that price the elevation differential was poor and the traverse speed function sucked.

    I say for the cost, <$100, give one a try. :)

  4. morturf

    morturf LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 476

    I use a laser range finder and a excel spreadsheet on my PocketPC. I find that I works very well and I don't have to mess with walking nearly as much. Just a different way to do it.

  5. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    mike--how does the laser work for you if you are shooting to a corner without a target? ie: the corner of the property is only an iron pin.

    I have a nice laser but have never used it like you do.

    what you are doing sounds really efficient!

  6. G-father

    G-father LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    I think a GPS will work very well for you. Buy a cheap one; it will be just as accurate as the more expensive units. The accuracy is more or less controlled by the government. A few years ago the gov. degraded (scrambled) the accuracy so the units would be off by as much as 150 ft. Now that the gov. no longer scrambles the signal it is good to ~25 feet with any modern GPS. Some of the new models (expensive) have WAAS which uses 2-3 more channels to receive ground corrected signals from the satellites. With WAAS system the accuracy increases to 3-5 feet.

    Remember this accuracy will not give you bad measurements. The distance in-between two points will be very accurate. My suggestion is to buy a Garmin Etrex or their new small ones (not sure of the name). There’re only 70-100 dollars.
  7. Arnold

    Arnold LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 194

    I use a GPS all the time out hunting and feel that the cheaper one would be a waste of your money. My cheap Garmin can be of by 100 feet easy, I could mark a room in my house and it has a hard time deciding the distance to the mark. Sorry I just think it wouldn't be feasible with cheap ones.
  8. G-father

    G-father LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    Arnold - I disagree.

    I use GPS devices all the time when I fly. At any given time I have three GPS devices working at the same time. A $7000 panel mount 430, a $1000 dollar WAAS portable 996, and a $100 Etrex. All three of these devices give the exact same speed and distances when in flight. They might not give you your exact position down to the foot, but they will give you your change in position very accurately. This assumes your satellite reception is very good (not many trees and defiantly not inside a building).

    When I say distance I mean you clear the distance on your odometer and walk from one point to another. I'm not talking about waypoints.
  9. Arnold

    Arnold LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 194

    r.eckley is trying to use one to figure footage of a property so that GPS had better be right, done to the last foot and the cheap ones I have used wouldn't work. So I most still disagree.
  10. I have the Garmin etrex vista. It was the cheapest one I could find with "area calculator". I bought mine at the GPS Store online.

    Area calculator is easy to use. Push "start" then walk around the perimeter of what you want measured, push "stop".
    It gives you the area. I set mine to automatically read in square feet.

    Like G-father said, it's accurate on point to point measurement. I'd say extremely accurate. It will even measure rounded or curved areas. I use mine to measure shrub beds.

    Sure your location ON THE PLANET could be off by as much as 30 feet. But just moving from point to point it's "dead on" accurate.


Share This Page