Updating Maps using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) - Advantages and Limitations

  • Quick way of accurately updating maps.
  • Ease with which locations for features in maps can be determined with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Existing maps can be quickly updated to add new features such as road networks, schools, water supply systems, etc.
  • GPS surveys can be undertaken in areas that are vulnerable to regular cloud cover, a fact that often limits the use of satellite images.
  • For GPS to be useful it requires a high degree of accuracy (including the post-processing of GPS data).
  • High-resolution GPS surveys require sophisticated and expensive technologies as well as highly trained staff. Geodetic surveys require a high degree of accuracy if they are to prove useful.
  • Distortion of satellite signals can also reduce the area that can be surveyed (e.g. forests, dense urban areas, and tunnels, hill formations)
  • The collection of map data is time-consuming, especially if the survey is to cover a wide area or if the level of detail of the survey objects is very high.
  • Additional information (attribute data) has to be collected during the survey
  • Classification procedures have to be similar for all surveys (e.g. density of trees determined to classify a forest area)