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GPS Technologies

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Applications for arborists.

GPS (global positioning system) technology is increasingly being utilised across a diverse range of industries, amid its continued integration with other technologies and wider systems, and in the arboriculture sector has been put to use across an array of applications.

Of course, GPS has in short time become an important part of our daily lives, and is commonly used in a variety of consumer devices, from smartphones to car navigation systems, providing navigation and location services.

In the arboriculture sector these types of services have also been put to effective use, while advanced applications are additionally providing businesses operational insight and efficiency benefits.

Mapping and surveying

Data captured by GPS underpins a range of applications in the arboriculture sector, and has been utilised to facilitate more varied and in-depth analysis of assets, leading to a broadening of the arborist’s range of services.

The pairing of GPS with other technologies has seen the development of customised mapping and surveying applications, allowing arborists to provide their clients with not only a greater range of data, but also increasingly specific and actionable data.

“Being able to access digital information both in the field and the office can help streamline operations, allowing for a more effective coordination of resources.”

Mapping and surveying services are being harnessed for more efficient and effective asset management, from locating and identifying individual tree species, to assessing wider populations of trees across assets.

GPS and GIS (geographic information system) technologies can be used to compile specific information about trees, and in turn generate detailed mapping, with data presented across a range of formats, such as CAD drawings, aerial photographs and satellite imagery.

This data can in turn act as a digital reference point, assisting with the development of work programs – from tree health and hazard assessments, to the scheduling of maintenance and inspections – tailored for individual client and project requirements.

Of course, being able to access digital information both in the field and the office can help streamline operations, allowing for a more effective coordination of resources.

Common GPS Uses

There are, of course, a range of commonly used GPS functions that arborists can benefit from and potentially deploy to provide real-time operations insight, deliver enhanced security and assist with maintenance.

The following are some of the varied applications of GPS technology being utilised by businesses:

  • Navigation – is probably the first use of GPS that will come to mind for many – whether via smartphone or a dash unit fixed to cars and other machinery, GPS systems can map out a route, track your current location, and make it easy to get from one project to the next
  • Tracking – can be used to monitor the location of equipment, with GPS tracking units fixed to equipment, helping to keep track of the individual units of equipment that make up a fleet via a smart device
  • Anti-Theft – harnessing GPS’s tracking capabilities, services such as geofencing can help prevent theft, establishing virtual operate in and issuing an alert if is moved out of the designated area
  • Maintenance – GPS data can provide insight into equipment utilisation across a fleet, helping to inform a maintenance schedule, and to potentially reduce equipment downtime.

GPS technologies have the potential to deliver businesses both short and long-term benefits, and new and improved applications are poised to arrive to market in the coming years, which will see the arborist’s digital tool kit continue to grow.

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