Based in West Palm Beach, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) covers 16 counties stretching from Orlando to the Florida Keys. One of their most ambitious natural resource initiatives is the Kissimmee River Restoration Project (KRRP). which has its own dedicated team the lakes and river ecosystems section (LRES).
The LRES efficiently uses both airboats and helicopters to survey and map the large expanse of vegetation. However, their previous dated paper-based systems for data collection proved inefficient and prone to errors.
LRES staff needed technology that could acquire sub-meter spatial accuracy and allow them to seamlessly integrate that data with their iPads and the Collector app. After testing a number of advanced GPS technologies, the department chose the Trimble R1 GNSS receiver for their location-data component.
Previously, field teams used GPS technology just for navigation, leaving them to make best guesses when mapping the locations of vegetation. The new system enables them to collect sub-meter accurate GPS points that feed directly into the iPad and Collector software in real time.
With the R1 and IPad, the flight time has been reduced my nearly 50 percent, with one person now acquiring all the data.