GIS/GPS – procedure?

What is the procedure for using GPS units at RMBL?

RMBL has two types of GPS units and one conventional survey unit. To collect initial coordinates for a proposed site, you should use the GeoXT. To map your site, or collect spatial data for your research project, you can use any of the three.


MAKE AN APPOINTMENT with the GPS coordinator to get trained. Do this 1 week before you want to go into the field. If you’ve already been trained, you can skip this step, although it is a good idea to check with them at least once at the beginning of the season to see if any procedure or equipment has changed. The appointment will include 1/2 hour of hands on training with the equipment, building your data dictionary, signing up to use the equipment, filling out metadata, and information on receiving and viewing your GPS data.

SIGN OUT THE GPS UNIT. Make sure that you do this at least 5 days before you want to use the equipment. You can sign out the GeoXT units on the sign up sheet outside of the GIS/GPS office (Room 102, Gothic Research Center). Make sure that you sign one unit out for only the days you need it. For weekend use, be sure to sign out the unit by Friday at noon. All units must be returned to RM 102 by 4:30pm of your last day for post-processing time.

CHECK MISSION PLANNING. If you are interested in using Mission Planning, please contact GIS/GPS coordinator at, to access the methodology sheet for the Mission Planning software.

COLLECT GPS DATA AND RETURN UNIT. Make sure when you are collecting GPS data that you write down the GPS filenames and other requested information on the provided Check-in sheet (e.g. smithx061214A). You will need them to fill out metadata. Return the GPS unit to RM 102 GRC and lock into cradle! Make sure you return the unit by 4:30pm so that your data can be downloaded.

FILL OUT THE METADATA FORM. Bring your GPS filenames and Data dictionary printout with you. Contact the GIS/GPS tech if you have any questions about which form to fill out.  You MUST fill out a metadata form for all your GPS data. You have two options for this:

#1 Collect all your GPS data and fill out a single form (this works if all your data is the same type and you don’t care about getting your GPS data right away) and

#2 Collect some GPS data, and then fill out a form. Then collect some more GPS data, and fill out another form. To avoid filling out many forms with the same information, use our prepopulate tool. To use this tool after you’ve filled out your first form, <a href=”/p154.php”>search metadata. Select the form that you already submitted; Click the Prepopulate link; Enter in the new GPS filename(s); Make any other necessary changes; Click submit. Using this tool will allow you to submit metadata as you go along (without spending a lot of time), and you’ll get your data much sooner.

RECEIVE YOUR GPS DATA after we receive a correct and complete metadata form for your GPS data.


If you are interested in using either the Hiper Pro unit or the conventional Survey Grade unit, please contact the GIS/GPS Coordinator at <a href=””></a> to discuss the options with these units.