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Keeping Pace with Global Positioning System Technology in the Forest

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Global positioning system (GPS) technology continues to spread throughout society with an increased number of GPS receivers becoming available at lower costs to consumers. GPS applications in forested settings have developed at a more modest pace than other applications because of the difficulty in maintaining satellite communication under tree canopy and in steep terrain. Several recent studies, however, have found that accurate GPS measurements are possible within forested settings using relatively low-cost GPS receivers. In addition, GPS hardware and satellite systems are in a state of development with significant improvements expected in the near future. This article describes current GPS technology and expected future trends that are likely to benefit GPS operators. In addition, considerations for improving GPS measurement accuracy in forested settings are discussed.

Keywords: GPS; accuracy; measurements; technology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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