Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Comparison of Accuracy and Quality Between Various Priced GPS Units

Darick Pennel, Environmental Studies Program

This presentation is designed to show the quality and accuracy of different types of GPS units sold on the market. It also explains why some GPS units are much more precise, and with the precision an increased price tag. The comparison consists of three different GPS units all designed for different uses. The first unit tested was a Rhino 120 ($200). This is an entry level GPS used primarily for weekend hiking adventurers. The Second unit was a Trimble Geo XT, which is used for basic mapping of an area. This GPS unit is a bit larger than the normal units are and comes with a much higher price tag ($4,000). The third unit tested was a Leica Viva GS12 ($38,000-40,000) and is a high-end GPS unit used in the Survey industry. Each of these three GPS units operate on the same principles but the accuracy varies greatly depending on the model. One can give you a location +/- 3m but another can give a location down to a 1/16th of an inch. Each of the three GPS units have strengths and weaknesses and they have all been tested to find out if one is really better than the other or if they are all exactly what is needed for the uses they were designed for.

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