Options for creating elevation maps for a farm? - Page 2 - The Combine Forum
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 05:56 AM
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Don’t know if you have any Trimble GPS stuff but the Trimble i use in the red headers records data for elevation maps. Looks Good enough for general ideas and farm planning. Iam sure if someone played with the settings it could be more accurate. I don’t know. I just saw the option in layers once while I was snooping around on The AFS programme. The contour map looked pretty good to me when I briefly converted it.


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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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I have experimented with the non RTK data that regular GPS is providing, and it isn't accurate enough to be useful for anything. Just sitting still, it will vary many feet in elevation. We have very little grade to work with, so need data to be quite accurate.

I suppose the better question should have been, is how affordable is it to get AgopenGPS set up for RTK, and how functional is the resulting data?

I hadn't checked Altalis for quite a while. I can't see a 15m grid being good for anything except very crude planning. I'll try downloading the sample data for the $440 per sq km LIDAR data and see what the resolution is.


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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 09:53 AM
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Print a high res sat map of the quarter then head out with your rotary laser setup in the middle then jump on the quad and take some measurements and write them on the printed map. That’s going to give you a good idea where water will go and if it will for nothing.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 10:02 AM
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We mapped a couple of fields this spring with Green Aerotech. I'm not totally sure what the X/Y resolution is, but they measured some pretty small features (ditches) that a previous mapping by a ground-based rig didn't even register. They have a fixed-wing UAV that they fly in a grid pattern, and then use multiple images to create parallax which they can determine ground elevation with. It's pretty remarkable how well it works with a single camera.

They have an online tool for identifying drainage channels and showing you what your cuts would be like. They claim their elevations are accurate to within a few cm. I think they can export data to a shapefile, so drainage software packages should be able to work with it.

One of the problems with trying to get elevation data from your sprayer, tractor, or combine--even with RTK--is that you really only get data every so often depending on your width. But could give you some baseline measurements.

Another challenge is combine data from different sources. Even with RTK, it's best to think of your data as relative. Unless all the RTK systems are calibrated with known survey markers, they may disagree with each other (but in consistent ways). Just something to consider if you ever import data from different sources into a GIS editing program.

I want to set up a mobile RTK unit using a ZED-F9P that can talk to my phone over bluetooth. Battery to run the ZED and the radio receiver, plus a bluetooth serial adapter to get the NMEA feed to my phone. Then I could use a logging program (something like Mobile Topographer Pro) to collect data. In many cases I know where the drainage needs to go, but I don't know exactly how much needs to be cut in different places. With the mobile gear i could drive a quad through the bottom of the area and get some very specific data to play with that way.
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jvw View Post

I hadn't checked Altalis for quite a while. I can't see a 15m grid being good for anything except very crude planning. I'll try downloading the sample data for the $440 per sq km LIDAR data and see what the resolution is.

Roughly the price of a cm accurate RTK from Ublox.
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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jvw View Post
I have experimented with the non RTK data that regular GPS is providing, and it isn't accurate enough to be useful for anything. Just sitting still, it will vary many feet in elevation. We have very little grade to work with, so need data to be quite accurate.

I suppose the better question should have been, is how affordable is it to get AgopenGPS set up for RTK, and how functional is the resulting data?

I hadn't checked Altalis for quite a while. I can't see a 15m grid being good for anything except very crude planning. I'll try downloading the sample data for the $440 per sq km LIDAR data and see what the resolution is.
The $440/km2 stuff is 2m resolution, the LiDAR 15 is just a thinned set of the same data. I've found both are accurate to within about 15cm, and that's probably as good as you'll get aerially, despite what salesmen will tell you.

The survey grade fixed wing photogrammetry drones are about as accurate as LiDAR on bare dirt, but they can't account for stubble or vegetation at all, so they're not all that useful unless you've worked it black.

I do a fair bit of preliminary drainage design off the cheaper LiDAR 15, and I never get any rude surprises when we get to construction. It's perfect for laying out drainage paths and looking at contours, but you'll still need to do your surveying on the ground while you're moving dirt if you don't want to have water standing when you're done. Your rotary level is better than a $50000 survey grade GPS for checking relative elevations as you go.
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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 09:04 PM
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Trimble centerpoint was $1200/year/device a few years ago. horizontal is capable of inch accuracy. Not sure vertical. If there is RTK service in your area it may be worth it. I doubt anything cheap would close enough. Sounds like you need within a few inches or less? Never done drainage. Do drainage rippers have RTK type service on them to keep grade?
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 09:16 PM
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While RTK has made some significant advances in both higher precision and lower cost , the standard is still a dual slope laser with laser controlled machinery .. It just works with much higher accuracy on the vertical, which is where you need it ..
It's why I bought the laser head I do have, if it matters, it's a Spectra....

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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 10:00 PM
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Good god. I wouldn't go back to laser for no money. Might have been the standard in the 90's.
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 10:04 PM
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Still is, higher accuracy on the vertical...


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