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I am going to start a water delivery business in the crowded cities of Africa where there are not always street names and certainly not any house numbers. The house entrances are sometimes only 5 feet apart and I need GPS accuracy within 5 feet. I will pre-map the area and take a picture of every house and log a GPS coordinate to it. We are taking the pictures of the house by using an electric motorcycle going at a speed of 5 feet per second and doing time lapse photos every 1 second. (We tried taking a video at 30 frames per second and extracting every 30th photo, but there was massive issues with the Sony taking between 30 to 33 frames per second vs GPS points. The way the data was stored, there was not way to get accurate data. The time lapse method is working out MUCH better for us.)

So far we have used the Sony Action Cam 4k (great pictures, horrible GPS results)and the GoPro 7 (ok pictures, horrible GPS) My goal is to help these people get clean water by precisely knowing where the potential customers house are within 5 feet accuracy and associating a picture to their house.

I have been reading about the dual GPS receivers using the L1 and L5 band and am quite excited about them as far as accuracy is concerned. There is only one cell phone that uses this band, (the Mi 8) but it did not get good reviews on the enhanced accuracy, though it picked up twice the number of satellites.

Should I be looking at data loggers instead and using a dedicated camera. If so, does anyone have any experience with these loggers that uses the L5 band?

  1. What price range am I looking at?
  2. What type of Camera's are going to be compatible. I don't need the sharpest image such as a DSLR and my slow driving speed won't distort the pics, thus the cheaper the compatible camera the better.
  3. Any suggestions on the cheapest unit that matches my requirements. Theft is certainly going to be an issue and want to keep the bulkiness and the price down)

I'm new to this and would appreciate any help possible.

asked 26 Oct '18, 17:22

Mapping%20the%20world's gravatar image

Mapping the ...
accept rate: 0%

edited 26 Oct '18, 20:07

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

IMHO there is no way you will be able to achieve the required precision without additional technical effort.

It -is- possible to achieve it using RTK with a nearby base station, it obviously can't be guaranteed because in crowded cities you will have numerous other potential issues. Professional RTK equipment will be fairly expensive, but there is both open source software and not all too expensive hardware available ( is just an example, you can get boards based on the same chips from multiple vendors) that while not so polished, should be able to get you the required precision.

Wikipedia article on RTK

PS: what is the OpenStreetMap angle of the question?

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answered 29 Oct '18, 09:15

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

I guess you won't find a camera with a really good GPS receiver or it will get really expensive.

Get a standard camera with timelapse functionality, any action cam will do. And get a separate device with a really good GPS receiver. Not sure if a smartphone will be the correct choice here, maybe better look at outdoor handheld devices.

Synchronize the clocks of the camera and the GPS device. Start tracking, then start taking photos. Afterwards, synchronize your photos with your GPS track. Might need some fiddling if you have a small time offset (usually within a few seconds). Using the camera to take a photo of your GPS device clock helps with this step, you can compare the photo timestamp from the metadata with the clock shown in the photo.

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answered 29 Oct '18, 11:18

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦
accept rate: 23%


It would be easier to get a Bluetooth GPS receiver that claims sufficient accuracy and then pair it with a smart phone and then take the photos with the smart phone. That way you will have geo-referenced photos with no additional fiddling.

However the 5 foot (under 2 meter) desired accuracy will be difficult. My first cut a looking for one only resulted in finding one with a claimed 2.5 meter accuracy and my experience has been that manufacturers are probably only listing the 1 sigma (about 67% chance) accuracy. Anyway, here is one:

(29 Oct '18, 12:55) n76

Pairing the GPS device with the camera/smartphone is indeed a better approach.

(29 Oct '18, 13:31) scai ♦

Thanks for your help. I will try a few different handheld GPS devices and see which ones are the most accurate.

I'm looking for devices that utilize the newer L5 band. Any suggestions.

(30 Oct '18, 23:35) Mapping the ...

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question asked: 26 Oct '18, 17:22

question was seen: 2,236 times

last updated: 30 Oct '18, 23:35

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum