What type of GPS equipment do you recommend?

We recommend any Bluetooth sub-meter GPS/GNSS device.  See here for some examples. For specific setup instructions see our GPS Help page.

The biggest mistake that our customers make is using an inexpensive GPS device to mark their asset locations. You will need to spend at least $2,000 to $3,000 to get a GPS/GNSS device that has an accuracy of +/- one meter or better. Ignore all the hype. If the device you are using does not clearly specify its horizontal accuracy in terms of feet or meters then it is almost always phone-grade GPS with an accuracy of +/- 10 to 20 feet.

 Do I have to use a GPS to map my system.

No. While we do recommend using a good GPS, it is not required. Many of our customers simply point and click on the map to mark the locations of their valves, manholes, and fire hydrants, using trees, sidewalks and other landmarks as their visual reference points on the screen. How to Draw Video describes this process. This method even records the latitude/longitude coordinates of your points. If you are working within a municipality with lots of sidewalks, and clearly marked curb, you should be able to visually estimate the location of most of your assets within about 5 feet. Proponents of this method say, "If the map can get me within 5 feet then I'll find it with my metal detector."

 Can I just use my phone's GPS?

No. The GPS built into your phone can be helpful to show you approximately where you are on the map display but do not use it for marking points. The GPS built into every phone and tablet uses the same technology and has an accuracy of about +/- 15 ft. That means if you are standing at a valve location and press the mark point button, it may mark your point on the other side of the road. Visually marking points on the map is more precise than this.

 When I turn on GPS in Diamond Maps I get error "User denied Geolocation".

This happens when your browser is not giving our web page permission to access your GPS location. It is a security issue. The solution varies depending on the type of phone or tablet and the type of browser you are using. In the Chrome browser you can control this permission by clicking the GPS button at the right end of the address bar.

 What is the difference between GPS and GNSS?

The term GNSS typically refers to a device this is capable of communicating with multiple satellite constellations which includes the US satellites as well as those constellations managed by other countries.  In the strictest sense, the term "GPS" refers to devices that can only communicate with the United State's satellite constellation, however, the term "GPS" can also generically refer all satellite based location technology (as it does in throughout our knowledge base).  A GNSS device that can communicates with multiple constellations can produce better results in the field because it has more satellites to choose from.  This is especially helpful when working in areas where parts of the sky are obstructed.
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