Data Collector with Coordinate Conversion

Hi All,

I just got 2 RS2s and they work great. Coming from a very long history of a total station & a TDS48 data collection, this thing is amazing.

I’d like some recommendations on a Data Collector to work with the RS2 that has very basic survey functions (set a point on a line is the most we ever need to calculate in the field). But, I really need the ability to do data conversions in the field from WGS 84 to NAD83(HARN) New Mexico Central (ft), and vice versa, with out losing precision.

I work in a single area, and I’m proficient with AutoCad, so I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles on the data collector. All to many of the stand alone, conversion utilities I’ve found online are too “kludgy” in the batch mode and/or they lose precision when to the converting data points.

While I’m not opposed to buying a high end data collector to get the point conversion feature, I don’t expect to do much more setting a point on a line in the field. In past, I did all my point work in AutoCad, and uploaded the file to my TDS48 for stake out.

Any suggestions for a low cost Data Collector would be appreciated.

Alternatively, an easy to use, high precision point conversion utility (both ways) for my Android phone would be useful.


Fieldguinius is avalible in android so any good andriod tablet would work


i have a samsung active2 tab and its pretty good for a reasonably rugged android tablet thats not too big

Good day,
What data collection software package do you use on this?
Will it do the coordinate conversion that the poster mentioned at the outet?

qfield, reachview, Mapit Spatial
no they will not do coordinate conversion
i am unsure what field software will correctly transform from WGS84/igs08 to NAD83(HARN)

take a look at FieldGenius as David suggested

I use the windows version of FG and it isn’t capable of converting ,I’m unsure of the android version

Try Nuwa (Android Free). I use it connected to reach via Bluetooth.
It has a custom coordinate conversions among other features useful to my needs.


Kool thanks, i will try that!

QField/QGIS does transformations on-the-fly. If the project is setup with the desired CRS, it should automatically show coordinates in that CRS.

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You can use 3rd party equipment as it was already mentioned. We have guides on how to work with external software using a mobile phone: Getting Reach coordinates on Android via BT, Collecting Data with Reach and ArcGIS.

ReachView calculates a rover’s position relying on a base’s coordinates. Basically, the rover knows the centimeter-accurate distance to the base while it’s maintaining the fixed solution.

If the base position is shifted on some offset from the real point on Earth, all rover’s coordinates will be shifted on the same offset too. That means that if the base’s position is specified in WGS84, all the rover’s measurements will be in WGS84 too. If the base coordinates are specified in NAD83, all the rover’s measurements will be in that coordinate system too, even if ReachView will consider it as WGS84.

yeah but it doesnt include a datum shift. which in California requires 14 parameters as you have to account for local plate movement if you want your conversion to be centimeter grade. I wouldnt be surprised if very soon you could easily do a accurate datum shift in Qfield as Proj (the projection library underpinning many things) has been getting major work done.


I might be mistaken, but I had understood that QGIS now does include datum transformations. Since 3.6 or so everytime I load a layer using a different datum I get the transform window and I need to specify which transform I want to use.

Datum Transformations (QGIS documentation)

Maybe QField isn’t using the latest core features, but it would be a surprise to me if the grid shifts weren’t being used in QGIS.

i love qgis and its the only desktop GIS i use. and you are correct, what i said above is incorrect. but there is more to the story.

out of the box the QGIS datum transforms are at most 7 parameter shifts i believe. a little over a year ago i was able to set up qgis to do the more accurate transforms but it was frankly a pain so i gave up on it (arcgis was no better). the link you posted has a section on using NTV2 grids to transform. that makes it look a little easier than what i had to do a year ago…maybe.

to do a accurate transformation from WGS84/IGS08 to something like NAD83 (2011) in areas where you have tectonic plate movement you have to account for that movement (or ignor it if you dont need that level of accuracy). the movement varies spatially, my house moves at about 2.5cm per year and there are areas 1 hour west of me that move at twice that and in a slightly different direction. to get that local movement value into a formula to transform a point you need a data set of velocities which are usually provided as grids.

and what anastasiia says above is true but OP wanted to …

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Hi All,

First of all, I continue to be amazed by the RS2s. As a 30+ year Total Station user, I have to say the RS2 is excellent!

I’m the O.P. and I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. I haven’t replied until now because I was busy testing most of your suggestions.

As for me, I’ll be using the 30 day Demo from FieldGenius and its doing everything I need. A few crashes of the App (but no data loss), and it works very good. The coordinates conversion works very easily & simply with AutoCad in my local area. All of the points are in feet.decimal & in my local coords. When I Export & Import all coords they stay in my local coords in Feet.Decimal. (YEAH). FieldGenius does basic field work and provides me with everything I need (and more).

My second choice is the Tersus Nuwa App (via Google Play). Its free and does ALMOST everything I need (all calculations & displayed local coords and they are in feet.decimal). Only issue is when exporting it exports the CSV file: it is in meters. Perhaps I’m missing something, but if Nuwa could export my local coors in feet.decimal, it would be great. (hint to developers of Nuwa…)

FYI, for many folks, Nuwa might be good enough to be their Go-To App (its really good). With a few changes (export/import in local coords in feet.decimal), I know it would be mine.

Sure, I could easily export the Nuwa file to Excel, do the conversion and resave, then do my point calcs in AutoCad, reExport to CSV, convert in Excel, and re-Import into Nuwa, but the extra steps make it too easy for make a mistake to occur.

I’m using the FieldGenius 30 day demo with the hope to have time to evaluate more Apps (please keep the suggestions coming). I have both Andriod and Apple tablets to work with, and I’d appreciate and other suggestions for Apps.

Lastly, I’m going to encourage EMLID to consider building their own App, or partnering with an existing App for basic survey functions AND to allow us to work in our local coordinates (including Import/Export in our local coords, & Feet.Decimal or Meters).

To our good friends at EMLID: I’d be happy to be one of your BETA testers for a new Survery / Coordinate Transformation App from you guys.

I know great software takes a lot of time and money to develop, I’d support Emlid making the APP an optional, extra cost item. If the great folks at Emlid will continue support us with new “bells and whistles” (or software), I’ll support Emlid by purchasing their APP.

Thanks to ALL, you’ve been extremely helpful. Tom


kool im excited to try Numa and maybe pull the trigger on FG

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Can you please let me know what settings you used to connect the bluetooth and for the antenna? Additionally, how did you get it to spit out the northing and easting and height? I could only get it to shoot a point in LL and it would not provide a height.

Other than that this Nuwa App does exactly what I have been looking for.

Hi @dbuchanan,

As far as I know, Nuwa is an Android app. And we have a guide on how to get Reach coordinates on Android using Bluetooth connection.

Please, check it out and let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks Svetlana, I was able to get it connected. My only issue is the coordinate system in the app reports in meters and not US Survey feet. That is alright, it is not your guys app so I will probably give field genius a go.

Thank you!


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Hi guys,

I wanted to share with you one more option – ReachView 3 app. It supports plenty of coordinate systems and vertical datums. ReachView 3 also allows applying a custom transformation if it’s needed. It may be handy if your base transmits corrections not in the required datum.

To work in a separate CS, just create a new survey project in it, and you’re ready for points’ collection.