Land survey with phone

Can you use your phone to survey your property?

handhelds phones

Can you use your phone to survey your property? That question you can ask yourself if you have a property and you want to know how big it is. Or if you want to know where an object, like a tree, is exactly.

So can you use your phone to survey your property? Yes, you can survey your property with the GPS of your phone and land survey app Apglos Survey Wizard. But if you need more accuracy then you also need an external GNSS receiver and a GPS rod. Then you can get centimeter accuracy when you survey your property with your phone.

To explain you more about this topic I will answer you some more questions on this topic:

  • What do you need to survey your property with your phone?
  • What is the best land survey app to survey your property with your phone?
  • What are the disadvantages of surveying your property with your phone?
  • How can you increase the accuracy when you survey your property with your phone?
  • Does this also work on an iPhone?

Can you use your phone to survey your property?! Quick solution

The best app to install on your phone to survey your property is Apglos Survey Wizard. You can survey points, lines, arcs, polylines and polygons with this land survey app. If you want to try this land survey app then you can download Apglos Survey Wizard on the Play Store.

Apglos Survey Wizard is free to try. Because after registration you get 2500 coins for free that you can use in this land survey app. That is sufficient to try the complete GPS app.

But if you like Apglos Survey Wizard, and I think you will, then you can buy more coins or a time license in our webshop.

When you use Apglos Survey Wizard only with your phone then it will use the accuracy of the GPS of your phone. If you want to increase your accuracy then you need an external GNSS receiver. Check out this page for external GNSS receivers. They for sure work with Apglos Survey Wizard.

What do you need to survey your property with your phone?

When you want to survey your propery globally then you just need two things. The first thing is of course your phone.

Most smartphones have an internal GPS. And with GPS you can survey. You only need an app that can do the right things with the GPS position.

And the right things that an app to survey your property needs are:

  1. Storing GPS location in a point, line, arc, polyline or polygon
  2. Giving the stored data a name
  3. Transform the GPS coordinate to a coordinate in a local coordinate reference system
  4. Saving the surveyed data in CSV, DXF, KML or any other desired file

There are many apps that can store a GPS location. But when you move down the list then the amount of apps that fulfil the requirements gets smaller and smaller.

There are not that many apps that fulfill the all requirements.

 

What is the best land survey app to survey your property with your phone?

The best app to survey your property in combination with your phone is Apglos Survey Wizard. It has all these requirements and more.

is there an app to survey land?

As you can see on the main screen of Apglos Survey Wizard there is a black bar with the different objects that you can survey with this land survey app. From left to right that are:

  • Point
  • Line
  • Arc
  • Polyline
  • Polygon

And you can name the surveyed objects with the layers that you can select. That is all you need to survey your property with your phone.

The other thing you can do with this app is to select the local coordinate reference system. You do this in Other settings of the app. There are more than 2400 different coordinate reference systems that you can chose from.

So for sure there is the coordinate reference system that you need.

What are the disadvantages of surveying your property with your phone?

Using just a phone and a land survey app to survey your property has a big disadvantage. There is actually only one disadvantage and is that using the GPS of the phone is not that accurate.

In the video below you can see that you can get very big differences when you survey with the GPS of your phone when you compare it with the results of surveying with an external GNSS receiver.

And when you survey you don’t want these big differences. When you survey you want your measurements to be accurate.

How can you increase the accuracy when you survey your property with your phone?

To increase the accuracy of your survey of your property you need to use a different GPS device and not the GPS module in your phone. That is why there are external GNSS receivers.

GNSS is the combination of navigation satellites. Besides GPS there are also navigation satellites of GLONASS, GALILEO en BEIDOU.

An external GNSS receiver can receive satellite signals of all those GNSS receivers. That is also a reason why this GNSS receiver can calculate the position more accurate.

Spectra SP85 GNSS receiver in use

Another advantage is that an external GNSS receiver has a bigger antenna. Also because of that it receives more satellite signals.

But even with that being said the accuracy of the calculated position would not be centimeter accurate unless you keep the external GNSS receiver on the same position for a long time, like half an hour.

And you don’t want that because you don’t want surveying your property to take days.

That is why there is another advantage of an external GNSS receiver. It can receive and use corrections of other stationary GNSS receivers to calculate a centimeter accurate position.

So that is enough to calculate an accurate position in X and Y direction. But then there is the height. To get an accurate height you need another item. And that is a GPS rod.

You need the GPS rod because the land survey app needs to know what is the height difference between the antenna in the external GNSS receiver and the object you want to survey. You can see in the video below how you configure the antenna height in Apglos Survey Wizard.

 

So with a smartphone, land survey app Apglos Survey Wizard, an external GNSS receiver and a GPS rod you can survey your property accurate.

And with a GPS rod it will also be easier to hold your GNSS receiver.

Does this also work on an iPhone?

Most of this article was about Android phones. Apglos Survey Wizard will soon be available on the App Store of Apple. So then you can also use your iPhone to survey your property.

Only making it more accurate will be more complicated. There are not many external GNSS receivers that can connect with Bluetooth with an Apple device like an iPhone.

But maybe when Apglos Survey Wizard for iPhone has been launched then there will be more external GNSS receivers that can connect with an iPhone. Let’s hope so.

Conclusion of “Can you use your phone to survey your property?”

Yes, you can. You only need to download the app Apglos Survey Wizard on your phone to be able to survey your property. Apglos Survey Wizard is available on the Google Play Store. You can download it in the Google Play Store. It is free to try. Of course if you want to use Apglos Survey Wizard more then you can always buy more coins or a time license in our webshop.

Soon this app will also be available on the App Store of Apple.

But if you want a better accuracy then you need an external GNSS receiver. Many GNSS receivers can be connected with land survey app Apglos Survey Wizard. You can find more about external GNSS receivers here.

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