In spring of 2011, the Biodiversity Center acquired submeter GPS mapping capability. A hardware and software package was purchased that supports positional accuracy down to 50 centimeters. The selected receiver includes several technical advances reported to improve performance in tree cover, which is a known weakness of submeter technology. Our receiver belongs to a new class of devices that can utilize information from multiple satellite networks, not just the 1980s vintage Global Positioning System (GPS). For that reason it is referred to as a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) device.
The main component of our system is a Trimble GeoExplorer 6000 Series receiver-datalogger. The GeoXT model that we chose consists of a GNSS receiver built in to a handheld computer that organizes and stores positional data acquired by the receiver more info. Because so much of our work is done in and around tree cover, we purchased the "Floodlight" option described at the above link. Floodlight is an added-cost feature that is claimed to improve performance around trees and buildings.
The computer part of the combo runs the Windows Mobile operating system and includes substantial
processing and communication capability. Communication between the computer and receiver is accomplished with
Trimble's TerraSync application
Two licenses for the complete version of Trimble Pathfinder Office software were included with the hardware described above. The program functions as a home base where data obtained in the field is stored, processed and analyzed. It includes tools for transferring files to and from the datalogger, correcting raw field data and converting it for use in a Geographic Information System more info. As of 8/2/2011 one of our two license is activatedon a PC in the Biodiversity Center conference area (GB911162). The second is not currently being used.
User Notes - Pathfinder Office
30-dec-2011 - Earlier user notes regarding installation of Pathfinder Office neglected to mention that any pc that will be used for downloading the receiver-datalogger must have a file synchronization program installed. More to come on this - Mike Stiefvater
16-dec-2011 - Regarding installation of Pathfinder Office Complete - the software is not delivered on a disk. It is acquired by downloading the latest version of Pathfinder Office from the Trimble website. To configure a PC that is to be one of your main data-processing centers, run the setup.exe that is included in the download and chose "complete" when prompted for version. When the installation runs to completion, you will be asked about installing updates. It makes sense to let it install the updates that are flagged as critical. Once installation is complete, activation of the complete version of the software must be authorized on the Trimble website. The activation routine requires an installation code that is obtained by submitting a proof-of-purchase number. The website keeps track of activated licenses and won't accept an installation code that has been used before. When a previously installed instance of Pathfinder Office is moved or reinstalled, the installation code must be reinstated by contacting the Trimble dealer at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org - Mike Stiefvater
16-dec-2011 - Regarding installation of Pathfinder Office Viewer - the software is not delivered on a disk. It is acquired by downloading the latest version of Pathfinder Office from the Trimble website. To install the program, run the setup.exe that is included in the download and chose "viewer" when prompted for version. When the installation runs to completion, you will be asked about installing updates. It makes sense to let it install the updates that are flagged as critical. Pathfinder Office Viewer is available to anyone and can be installed on as many PCs as desired. This is important because it includes the utility that is used for moving files to and from the datalogger. As of this date no instances of Pathfinder Office Viewer have been installed - Mike Stiefvater
3-aug-2011 - Regarding registration of Trimble products - each item purchased from Trimble is associated with one and only one "owner". Ownership is established by setting up an account and adding items that you "own" to the a list of registered products. We are in the process of transferring ownership of all our Trimble products from me to Dr. Howe - Mike Stiefvater.