Point of Beginning

Product Survey Preview

November 5, 2002
Examining the updates of the 2002 Data Collector Survey.

POB’s 2002 Data Collector Surveys are composed of three sections: Optical Survey Instrument Data Collectors, GPS Instrument Data Collectors and Data Collection Hardware (found online at www.pobonline.com). Manufacturers have a tendency to provide data collectors that operate with conventional (or optical) instruments as well as GPS survey instruments. But not all data collectors have such multifunctional capabilities. POB will continue to review the current crop of data collectors to determine whether they can all be grouped together. In the meantime, separate surveys, we believe, serve the purposes of the user and buyer best.

Because of the three sections, there is some duplication among the survey reports to help with the readability of each section by itself. The obvious overlap is among the data collection hardware section and the two software surveys. There are also overlaps, though much less, between the two software surveys to highlight the multifunctional capability that appears to be the forerunner of things to come.

Optical Survey Instrument Data Collector Survey

Changes to this section (previously known as the Surveying Data Collection Software Survey) include:
  • Minimum RAM requirements and availability of color displays added;

  • Simplifying the measurement setup, and data storage and collection sections to remove items that are universal or so close to universal they cease to be significant differentiators;

  • Adding items on graphics capabilities and abilities to control the way the graphical data, including maps are represented, especially with regard to annotation; and

  • Simplification of the optional modules and special features section, including addition of road alignment import item—one of many construction project-oriented features likely to become a dominant area of software enhancement in the near future.


GPS Instrument Data Collector Survey

Changes to this section include:
  • Addition of items on multifunctional support (i.e. are these collectors also able to support optical survey instruments?);

  • Addition of items on basic GPS operational functions including setup;

  • Ability to view background maps of various types added; and

  • Addition of items to make the functionality items more nearly parallel to the basic and advanced features of optical survey instrument data collection, which would be an obvious trend if multifunctionality is driving all data collector software development.

    Data Collection Hardware Survey

    Changes to this section include:
    • Additions such as color display, touch screen support, cable-free connections to the instrument and operating system items;

    • Internet connectivity support; and

    • Additional minor streamlining.

    We hope these updated items help in your decisions to buy data collection software and hardware. Click here for the results of the 2002 Data Collector Software Survey.

    Also, be sure to click here to download the results of the 2002 Data Collector Hardware Survey.