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Soran University

Faculty of Engineering - Civil Engineering Department

How to use GPS and GIS in


Student: Sarchia Khursheed

Date: 16.2.2016
Supervisor: Eng. Anwar Jabbar


Global Positioning System (GPS) is a highly accurate navigation
system using signals from satellites to determine a location on the
earth's surface, irrespective of weather conditions.
It is dependent on GPS satellites high above the Earth which transmit
signals containing the time and location of the satellite. Any ground
based receiver which receives signals from four or more GPS
satellites can use navigation equations to calculate its location on the
Earths surface. Constant signaling can then update speed and
direction information for moving receivers.
GPS was originally developed for military use but since the 1990s has
been open for civilian use and is now used in such common
applications as mobile phones, car navigation systems, and of course
surveying and mapping.
GPS is owned and operated by the US Department of Defense.
Access is free for all users and the service is available 24 hours a day,
365 days a year. GPS is an all-weather system that works anywhere
in the world. GPS can give an instantaneous, real-time position to
within approximately 10m using a single handheld receiver.

A GIS (Geographic Information System) is a system designed to
capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of
spatial or geographical data. Also GIS can be a simple desktop
software package, running on a standalone PC.
Surveyors use GIS to manage the entire planning aspect of a
surveying project. GIS provides the tools necessary to research,
develop, implement, and monitor the progress of a project and
manage site location, environmental impact mitigation, economic
analysis, and other critical facets. Scenario-based analysis can then
be conducted, giving communities, government agencies, engineers,
and others involved a thorough understanding of the projects

How is GPS used in surveying?
Surveying and mapping was one of the first
commercial adaptations of GPS, as it provides a
latitude and longitude position directly without the
need to measure angles and distances between
However, it hasnt entirely replaced surveying
field instruments such as the theodolite,
Electronic Distance Meter, or the more modern
Total Station, due to the cost of the technology
and the need for GPS to be able to see the
satellites therefore restricting its use near trees and tall buildings.
In practice, GPS technology is often incorporated into a Total Station
to produce complete survey data. GPS receivers used for base line
measurements are generally more complex and expensive than those
in common use, requiring a high quality antenna.
There are three methods of GPS measurement that are utilized by
Static GPS Baseline: Static GPS is used for determining
accurate coordinates for survey points by simultaneously
recording GPS observations over a known and unknown survey
point for at least 20 minutes. The data is then processed in the
office to provide coordinates with an accuracy of better than
5mm depending on the duration of the observations and
satellite availability at the time of the measurements.

Real Time Kinematic (RTK) Observations: This is where

one receiver remains in one position over a known point the
Base Station and another receiver moves between positions
the Rover Station. The position of the Rover can be computed
and stored within a few seconds, using a radio link to provide a
coordinate correction. This method gives similar accuracy to
baseline measurements within 10km of the base station.

Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS): This
where a survey quality GPS receiver is permanently installed in
a location as a starting point for any GPS measurements in the
district. Common users of CORS are mining sites, major
engineering projects and local governments. Surveyors GPS
receivers can then collect field data and combine it with the
CORS data to calculate positions. Many countries have a CORS
network that are used by many industries. Australias CORS
network is the Australian Regional GPS Network, and uses an
online processing system to deliver data over the internet
within 24 hours, and give positions within an accuracy of a few
centimeters. Local CORS networks are also used to provide
instant positions similar to the RTK method by using a mobile
phone data link to provide a coordinate correction to the
surveyor and their rover.