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.

You can download the 29 page PDF document with the following link

[Find more info on RTK surveying my other website]

Precise Point Positioning GPS Processing

Sometimes when doing GPS field work I will often require a way to double check my own GPS Processing work or am sometimes too far from an active control network to tie into. Using Precise Point Positioning or PPP service in these situations has often come to my aid, especially on jobs in Nunavut or in Northern Ontario.

Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Geodetic Service provides a free online global GPS processing service called Canadian Spatial Reference System – Precise Point Positioning (CSRS-PPP), where you can process files containing RINEX (common Receiver Independent Exchange Format that is used to exchange GPS data between various software and hardware) observations from either a single or dual frequency receiver in either static or kinematic modes. The service is free but does require that you sign up to obtain a username and password to gain access.

Once logged in, you upload your GPS file and basic info, then you will receive an email containing corrected coordinates (latitude, longitude, ellipsoid height) in either NAD83(CSRS) or the ITRF reference system. It also applies the HTv2.0 height transformation and produces orthometric heights compatible with CGVD28 elevations to your data.

PPP results generally are more accurate when recorded over a span of several hours, so I tend to let my receivers run longer if I know that will be using PPP.

“PPP accuracy improves with the length of the data collection period. A minimum period of good quality GPS data is required to permit convergence and resolving ambiguities which in turn can improve the accuracy of the entire dataset. The minimum period and the accuracy attainable will depend on the type of GPS equipment, the site (multipath, obstructions) and atmospheric conditions. Extending the data collection past this minimum period should further improve accuracy, but more so with dual-frequency receivers than with single frequency”. See for more information.

PPP Direct utility for Windows 7

The Canadian Geodetic Service have also created a PPP Direct utility for Windows 7 (note: I have not tested it yet) where you can Submit your GPS data for PPP processing without logging on to the web site. The PPP Direct utility lets you ‘drag and drop’ RINEX files onto an icon where it is then immediately submitted for CSRS-PPP processing (so an internet connection is required).

The login to begin PPP processing or to download the PPP Direct utility installation file is and a detailed PPP handbook covering all the basics of the service can be found here




Website Portfolio

Website Portfolio

I have been designing web sites on and off now for over ten years kind of as a hobby under various aliases such as – Most often the sites I have created have been for myself, for friends or sites that I have created and sold to generate funds to cover my sites expenses . Sometimes, along the way I have picked up a few clients and have had the opportunity to provide my skills for others. I am always interested in making other peoples web sites so if you are interested in having me design and make your web site, then contact me, I would love to hear from you.

I made a small portfolio section to the site containing a few examples of web sites that I have created and some that I have redesigned from existing designs. The sites are HTML – CSS – PHP based and WordPress CMS.

Some of my many site as well as ones that I have created include:


Universal Currency Converter

Convert this amount

of this type of currency

into this type of currency.

enter any amount

Universal Currency Converter under license from Terms of Use

UTM Zones in Google Earth

UTM zones in Google Earth

Here is a neat little Google Earth file that has often been helpful on many of my field trips when I needed to know what UTM zone I was working in. Just open the file in Google Earth, then point and click your location to get info on that time zone. Before I found this neat little resource I was using a large JPG image that showed the zones witch I have available here.

I originaly found this file on Google but have not been able to find the original download source (have found other versions) so you here you can download my working copy here .

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. If you know of any other mapping related utilities like this then let me know and I may include it here on my site with the others.

Solar Elevation Angle Calculators

Solar elevation angle is the altitude of the sun, an important factor to consider when planning airborne data collection. Here is a handy tool that I use …

Leica Total Station (TCR1105) User Guide

While doing my graduate LIDAR research work at the AGRG we were often tasked with writing user guides for the equipment that we purchased to help others in the group know how to use it. Here is a user guide for the Leica Total Station (TCR1105) that covers the basic information about the unit itself and the equipment found in the case, how to prepare for the survey in the office, details about the user interface, how to operate the unit, and how to export the data after the survey.

Surveying with the Leica Total Station (TCR1105)

Total stations combine a number of technologies to achieve remarkable accuracy and reliability. The first, an extension of traditional transits and theodolites, is the ability to …