Wow Factor: TDS Nomad

A 187Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

Mobile communications are advancing all the time. What you want to know is, "How can they work for me?"

Now there are mobile phones (well, actually mobile modems) capable of nearly broadband speed levels. Some of these modems come in the form of a USB device that can be plugged into just about any laptop.

Handheld data collectors are a bit different because mobile phone manufacturers don’t create drivers for Windows Mobile devices in general. However, TDS now offers a Sprint modem from Franklin Wireless that works with the Nomad data collector in the U.S.

The modem fits into the USB host slot under the cap of the Nomad 800LD and transmits cellular data at very fast download speeds. With Google Maps, you can download aerial photos or quad maps quickly enough to keep your map updated while traveling 70mph down the freeway, or play 60MB video files with only minimal buffering time!

Surveyors in the field mainly use mobile phone-type devices for Network RTK. The Sprint modem from TDS works great for that purpose. With this fast, easy-to-use modem fully sealed and protected in the Nomad, you can rely on your data collector to do much more.

Load your favorite mapping program to assist with navigation and site recons. Easily check your e-mail while in the field. You can send or receive job data via e-mail; the modem will have no trouble even with large job files. Navigate to websites to check weather, get additional deed information from the county GIS database, or potentially upload static GPS data to the OPUS website for processing.

Imagine receiving a LandXML data file along with a DXF plat in your e-mail­on your data collector! Use the DXF file as a background map in Survey Pro and import the LandXML file to get your alignments and stake points for the job. Upload the finished staking data right from the job site. And accomplish all of this without tying up your regular cell phone or worrying about getting that cell phone wet or broken.

All mobile data services depend on service availability and signal strength. Fortunately, the coverage areas for this type of high speed modem are expanding all the time, thus becoming a viable option for more and more surveyors. The latest advances in mobile communications can work for you­even today!

A 187Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE