How to achieve higher precision with external GPS receivers in Mobile Data Collection App

In industries like utilities or insurance, project workflow demands both a solution with high precision capabilities as well as a simple solution for attribute data collection. Learn how to use high-precision GPS technology in combination with our Mobile Data Collection application. In addition, the list of most commonly used GPS receivers compatible with MDC is included.

GPS reciever with MDC GISCloud


When performing field data collection, accuracy is the number one requirement when it comes to assuring the quality and reliability of the location data (Lange, A.F., Gilbert, C.). Most specialized industries are using expensive technical solutions for mapping assets, which requires further investment of time and money in order to educate the workers to utilize those solutions in their workflow.  Due to these high costs,  many companies are turning to new technologies for cost efficient yet accurate solutions.



When you are collecting data in the field using only the GPS on a mobile device, it’s necessary to post-process the data in the office to prepare them for further GIS analysis. The data need to be set in the right GIS format (SHP, KML.. ), the coordinates may need to be translated, and the data need to be stored in a GIS database to perform GIS analysis.

All of these steps take a lot of time, but they can be avoided if you combine the MDC app with high-accuracy GPS receivers. For field workers, it’s essential to have an application that increases their efficiency in the field. Some features of the MDC app make extremely effective tools for attribute collection.


1. Creating custom forms

An administrator or office worker creates a custom form in MDC, which is a structured GIS database where alphanumeric and numeric data is stored. When you’re collecting data using only GPS receiver, the data may need to be transformed, translated and then stored in the database. With MDC, you can create a form in a matter of minutes, without having to format the data manually.


2. Define attribute settings

When you create a form, you can define different setting for form fields. You can set up the dependent fields that open only if acertain rule is satisfied. Defining default and persistent values can significantly increase the efficiency of field workers. For example, if a user is approaching an electric pole, using the Autofill option allows the field collector to fetch whichever attribute details are appropriate to electric poles without reentering the same values again.


3. How to set up the GPS receiver?

All the advantages that MDC offers for more effective attribute collection are enhanced when used in combination with high-accuracy GPS receivers. Below is a list of the most commonly used GPS receivers compatible with Mobile Data Collection app and supported for use on Android devices.


Procedure for device setup:

  • Download and install Bluetooth GPS app on your device.
  • Enable Developer settings in General settings. Enabling developer settings is described here.
  • Enter Developer settings and turn the Allow mock locations option on.
  • In the Bluetooth GPS app enable the Allow mock locations option and connect to the external GPS device.
  • Connecting might take a few moments, but when it’s done you are ready to get in the MDC app and start collecting.


List of compatible GPS devices with MDC


Are you using GPS receivers in your field data collection? Let us know if your device is compatible with MDC app.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up and try Mobile Data Collection app with your GPS receiver.