Since its development in the early 1970s, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology has become more accessible and affordable for consumers. GPS applications have become ubiquitous in society. With the increased use of GPS, the question of accuracy is of concern. This study assessed the accuracy of four Garmin recreational GPS receivers, eTrex® , eTrex Legend® , eTrex Vista® , GPSMAP® 76CS, and three Trimble® mapping GPS receivers JunoTM , GeoExplorer3TM and GeoXHTM. Thirty-three ground control points (GCPs) were established in three different landscapes using survey grade GPS (Trimble’s 4700) that were corrected using National Geodetic Survey’s Online Positioning User Service (OPUS). Eleven GCPs were established in a forest landscape, eleven near buildings to simulate an urban landscape, and eleven with a clear unobstructed sky. The GPS receivers were tested with the Wide Angle Augmentation System (WAAS) on and off. In addition, results from averaging 30 GPS positions were evaluated. This study showed the GeoXH was the most accurate receiver and that the accuracy of the recreational (Garmin) receivers was from 2.52 to 18.42 meters depending on the landscape. The accuracies of the Garmin GPS receivers were similar.
Weih, Robert C. Jr.; Gilbert, M.; Cross, J.; and Freeman, D.
"Accuracy Assessment of Recreational and Mapping Grade GPS Receivers,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 63
, Article 21.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol63/iss1/21