Capturing GPS Location

Drop pin technique:

Mike Davison, 2021

The existing technology used for the coordinate system on smart phones is not accurate enough for our purposes. The location error can be off by over 60 feet in some cases.

An accurate way to capture coordinates is by dropping a pin on the satellite image in Google Maps. This is very easy to do. Then open the pin’s data and click on the coordinates. This is copied to the clipboard for easy pasting into other documents. On an iPhone, a double-click lets you easily jump between apps.

Of course, this is not so easy with location under a full canopy. If this is the case, estimate the location in relation to landmarks such as paths, houses and such.

If you are mapping trees, first locate the landmark trees and then add the smaller trees by approximating their position to the large trees and landmarks. This may take a few map updates to complete, but accuracy to a ±1 foot is possible.