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Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation for Visual Corner Searches  

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Gene Kooper
Posts: 1083
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Joined: 5 years ago

One of my mining clients owns over 250 patented mining claims.  I have created several AutoCAD drawings of his claims with georeferenced aerial photography in the background.  He would like to take a handheld GPS unit into the field to locate some of his corners.  Since most of his claims are at and above timberline, his hope is that the GPS unit will navigate him to the general area of a chosen corner and then he can look around for a stone standing above the tundra grass.

I found a tablet that Garmin sells that comes preloaded with topo maps, roads, land boundaries, etc. and Garmin also has something called Birdeye that allows one to download satellite imagery for a yearly subscription.  With that feature, my client could select from a list of waypoints and navigate to the selected corner.  I haven't found a unit yet that would allow me to upload georeferenced imagery and historical aerial photos of my choosing and plot my CAD drawing on top of them. 

Ideally, my client would like a handheld unit (preferably a tablet) that can visually navigate him to a selected corner.  With over 1000 waypoints, I'm trying to avoid manually adding unique point IDs to the coordinates before uploading to the GPS unit.  I am trying to avoid him having to wade through all those waypoints to select the one he wants.  I would like to export either a DXF file or create a KML/KMZ file from my drawings, then upload the file to the GPS unit.  My client would then select the project and image to be in the background and PRESTO, the tablet would display my custom, georeferenced aerial photograph with CAD drawing on top and his current position.

Anyone have any suggestions?  Or is this a pipe dream and I should dummy up and create a coordinate list that my client can print out and manually enter the coordinates for each corner he's looking to navigate to.  😀 

7 Replies
Posts: 6534
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I think Garmin supports .gpx files on their sport units, and it is very commonly used for geocaching, so it may be available on a Garmin tablet.  You might consider it as another possible format.

Posts: 1923
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Excel will open a .gpx file just fine - so that should be the path to take.

Another option would be to export your points into a csv file and then convert to .gpx Google Earth will accept a .gpx file. Once you import the .gpx file into GE you should be able to export it as a .kml/.kmz file. Then just email that to your client and they can access it with a phone, which will guide them to the corners just like directions to a McDonalds. But you will need cell service for this option...



Javad Triumph-LS with 4 Super-Engine RTK

Posts: 24
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BackCountry Navigator Pro will do most of what you want. You can export your Cad lines to a .kml and load them into it. Predownload aerial images so you don't have to worry about cell coverage. Not sure about the custom background maps, though.

I use it on my Android phone all of the time. It is a little odd and not very intuitive, but is the best I can find.

Posts: 181
100+ posts
Joined: 1 year ago

I used to use MapSource.

I have not tried BaseCamp yet.

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