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GPS to mark quadrats, Simple and user friendly

chezron 0 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Recommendations
I am looking for a GPS unit for ecological field work. My typical uses will be things like mapping the location of rare plants, mapping out areas that will then be brought into a computer to develop mapping of management areas, and for measuring the area of plots of land. Basically I want a unit that can collect data for me in the field so that I can bring it inside to the computer and make maps. My general criteria are:

- highly accurate
- Mac compatible software package
- user interface that is not terrible
- ability to determine area of a unit in the field by walking its perimeter
- User friendly


  • Boyd 1999 Points
    First, what kind of accuracy do you expect? Consumer devices are typically only accurate within +/- 5 meters. So if you mark a location on one day, then return another day and mark it again, the two points could be as much as 10 meters apart (33 feet). Is that good enough? If not, you will need a professional device which will probably cost over $3000 and will not likely meet your user-friendly criterion.

    If consumer level accuracy is good enough, then just about any of Garmin's recent handheld models should meet your needs. A $500 consumer device is not going to be any more accurate than a $150 model. The differences will be in the feature set - screen size/resolution, user interface (buttons vs touchscreen), etc. All Garmin units are Mac compatible.

    Here are a few to consider at different price points. These are list prices, shop around to find the best deal:

    The Oregon 450t is currently on sale for $200 at REI, which is a very good deal IMO. It is a few years old but a very popular model:
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