Comparing the Trimble R1 to the Juno SB and the GeoXH 6000

We recently decided it was time to upgrade our Juno SB GPS units. They were starting to show their age after nearly a decade of use with classes and in the field.

One option was to simply replace them with a set of newer Juno 3B's . We really liked that this model had more readable screens in bright light conditions, but were concerned that they were still reliant on Windows Mobile Device Center, last supported for Vista. This fact, coupled with our struggle to get them up and running with Windows 10 (which actually turned out to be a simple fix in the end) prompted us to think about moving to an external GPS + tablet/phone + cloud storage model as an alternative. 

Here's our current set up:

R1 Setup

Trimble's R1 GPS Unit, Nexus 9 Tablet, ArcGIS Collector

Pros: 

  • Data are available in the cloud as well as offline
  • Multiple users can contribute GPS data to the same dataset in real time
  • No post-processing is involved

Cons:

  • Data structures are clunky to set up in the field--you have to do some planning in the office!
  • Collector for ArcGIS currently doesn't capture elevation or accuracy data (although those are avialable in the beta version)

To compare accuracy between the R1, Juno SB, and GeoXH 6000 models we did a bit of field testing on one of the taller buildings on campus.

Testing GPS Units

Initial results suggest that the Trimble R1 unit (1m accurate) is a big improvement over the Juno SB (3-5m accurate), but perhaps not as accurate as its associated GNSS status app suggests it is (50cm - 80cm). We got sub meter readings from the R1 GNSS status app, but collecting several points with the R1 from the same location suggest that there's more variation. We look forward to testing it out in settings more representative of typical field conditions than the highest point on campus!