Using Google Earth to obtain NGS CORS site information

NGS CORS sites in Google Earth

Every now and then I come across some little utilities that help to make things easier while working in the field and these pages are mainly my way of sharing them with others while creating a go-to place where I can easily find them when I need them.

Here is a Google Earth file that that contains locations and basic information about all of the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Continuously Operating Reference Stations CORS. Saving you time from searching for CORS stations in your area and finding out what sampling rate they record GPS data at.

Converting Decimal Degrees to Degrees Minutes Seconds

Decimal degrees (DD) is a way of expressing latitude and longitude geographic coordinates as decimal fractions (e.g 54.135°) and an alternative to the more common format of Degrees, Minutes, and Seconds (DMS). But there are many times when you are supplied with latitude and longitude coordinates in decimal degrees but you need them to be in Degrees, Minutes, and Seconds. There are several easy solutions that you can use, but I prefer to use this converter that I created in Excel.

GPS Calendars

2013 GNSS calender

GPS or GNSS Calendars are different then traditional calendars that most of us are used to working with, yet they are pretty common these days due to the increased use of GPS equipment. Yet there is never one around when you need one, so if you find your self doing a lot of GPS field work like myself then you may notice that you will working in Julian Days & GPS Weeks frequently so will want to print off your own copy or use an online utility to help you out.

Now one can easily calculate this info but I find it quicker to just resort to reference pages or use online utilities and here a few that I use …

Converting between UTM, MTM and LAT/LONG

Canadian using a UTM map

I am sure that most of us have run into times when we have features that have defined coordinates of one system that we need to use with a different one. (E.g. your map is in UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) but you have been given GPS points in Lat/Long).

If you ever find yourself in need of quickly getting values converted from Geographic to UTM / MTM (Modified Traverse Mercator) or UTM / MTM to Geographic then here is a a free online geographic coordinate convertor tool that I often use provided by Canadian Spatial Reference System

Real Time Kinematic (RTK) Surveying Guidelines

Real Time Kinematic (RTK) surveying with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)

Over the past decade Real Time Kinematic (RTK) surveying with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) has become common practice in geomatics. RTK surveying can allow people to achieve relative positioning with centimetre (cm) precision, however there are several important factors that need to be considered and thus a need for a good guide of best practices (equipment calibration, errors, multipath, geometry, etc.). Therefore Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) put together a new set of guidelines for Real Time Kinematic (RTK) Surveying.