Today, mapping grade GPS or MGIS (mapping and GIS) hardware and software from Trimble is defined by units that can accomplish 2-4 meters accuracy (Juno’s, Nomad’s, YUMA’s) all the way down to 50cm, 10cm, and now CENTIMETER LEVEL accuracy. So it is no longer the accuracy alone that defines mapping grade vs. survey grade GPS.
In years past that was a very easy distinction to make, so you really didn’t have to define the differences any further. Survey grade GPS was centimeter and sub-centimeter and mapping grade GPS was sub-meter, a big difference. For quite some time, the very best mapping grade GPS units were sub-meter. However, now that has changed. The Trimble Geo 7X centimeter edition runs the Maxwell 6 chipset and offers a 220-channel GNSS receiver dual frequency carrier and centimeter level accuracy, in real time!
For end users, this means accuracy alone is no longer the defining factor. It is now really more about the functionality and workflow of the software. Of course survey is still survey, and mapping is still mapping, so in most cases a licensed surveyor will be required to verify (sign, seal and deliver) centimeter level accuracy, but the Geo 7X allows for non-surveyors (and surveyors alike) to achieve very high accuracy with an attribute rich GIS workflow running MGIS software with an MGIS workflow.
So, how do you define mapping grade GPS? Tell us in the comments!
See Related Posts: