Performance Comparison of a Low-Cost Mapping Grade Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Receiver and Consumer Grade GPS Receiver under Dense Forest Canopy

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We compared the measurement accuracy and reliability of a low-cost mapping grade global positioning systems (GPS) receiver to a consumer grade GPS receiver while operating under a very dense forest canopy. The mapping grade GPS receiver collected both autonomous (uncorrected) GPS measurements and measurements that were differentially corrected in real time through the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). Although we found average measurement accuracies of 7.2 m for uncorrected data and 7.8 m for differentially corrected data for the mapping grade GPS, these differences were not statistically significant. The overall average positional error for the consumer grade GPS was larger (8.9 m) than that of the mapping grade GPS but the consumer grade GPS collected data more efficiently and, for about half of all points collected, with smaller measurement errors.

Keywords: accuracy; forestry; measurements; spatial

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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