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Use of Global Positioning System (GPS) for Forest Plot Location

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A portable global positioning system (GPS) unit was tested against conventional field techniques for forest plot location. GPS accuracy tested against five benchmarks indicated that for open areas, the largest average displacement from true position was 17.7 ft. Three operators were instructed in the use of GPS for waypoint navigation. Nine plots were then located by each of the operators using either GPS or conventional field navigation. Mean speed and distance offset were determined for all plots as located by each navigation technique. Results indicated that the operator with the least amount of plot-location experience was able to locate plots faster with GPS than by conventional techniques. System portability, satellite availability, canopy interference with signals, and operator biases are cited as moderate encumbrances. South. J. Appl. For. 16(2):67-70.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, P.O. Box 906, Starkville, MS 39759

Publication date: May 1, 1992

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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