Efficient survey procedure for a few points with RS2s?

We’ve had good success with our RS2s and have absolutely loved them. It has led to more work doing very basic surveying (we’re farming consultants, not surveyors) which is cool.

We’ve been requested to help with some basic post surveying on a farming property. It’s internal to the site and thus not marking any property boundaries.

I’m trying to make sure we have a good workflow. We’ve avoided using tools like PPP and CORS as we haven’t needed the accuracy, but with this work we may need to change that.

We have a rough plan map of the post layout, what’s bedeviling me is designing the survey, say with QGIS, but then confirming we have the right location because the basemaps we’re using are obviously very inaccurate. I think this is a simple step and I’m just missing the obvious.

Current plan:

  1. Design survey layout in QGIS with UTM coordinates for each post point.
  2. Setup a base station on the site. Previously we were just creating our own local known point for simplicity, I’m guessing we’ll need to do some post-processing now.
  3. Physically measure in a few points near visible landmarks, mark those points with our rover RS2.
  4. Then correct the QGIS points to the “real” location points established with the RS2s.
  5. Go to each post point with our RS2, and voila!

Any help appreciated! Cheers.

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All you need to do is design your layout off the first session, create some points and setup on the same base as before to stake out the points. Hopefully you recorded the base coordinate you derived last time. Everything is relative and global accuracy doesn’t matter.


I am Ag related as well. I have never needed to have survey accuracy with the rest of the world so to speak. I design and install farm drainage tile so everything is relative to my RTK base.

I have considered making things truly geo-referenced. In my case, it would be very simple as I tested my RS2 on a State surveyed point. I was connected to OH CORS which is in NA83 and my data came within 3 cm of the point data.

I am sure some of our “surveyors” that actually do this stuff will be happy to help you out.


As Michael posted, that’s about the simplest method. However, on your first field trip for orientation, it would be nice if you knew the ends of the fence line and then compute points on the line back in the office. The Emlid app is pretty limited in COGO functions now, but it you had FieldGenius software it would make things a whole lot easier.


The original Trimble WM-Survey system which consisted of a Yuma II portable windows computer running WM-survey and a BT enabled Trimble receiver. WM-Survey had a COGO function but I didn’t ever use it. I only tinkered with the system for a little over a week as it’s price was $18,000+

It was based off a Trimble Construction survey program called SCS900 using an SPS985 antenna. They dumbed it down for us Ag guys.

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I had a friend buy that system off of eBay for pennies on the dollar. He was thinking he could do boundary surveys with it, no dice. He ended up reselling the equipment less than what he bought it for. He said Trimble wanted about $6k to activate the equipment for surveying. It was nice stuff and looked very well taken care of but it was used on construction sites as it had site grading software and some kinda machine interface software.

Honestly, whoever had it didn’t use it much.

When you say “knew the ends of the fence line” - you’re saying mark the fence line ends in the app (say in FieldGenius) and then? Just missing the next step.

This has been really helpful, thanks everyone.

I’ll also post photos and process as we go through it to help other novices like us.

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Hi Brian,

Thanks for your kind feedback!

I’m not sure that I understand your goal fully. Do I get correctly that you need to recollect points you already have with better accuracy?

Hi Brian. What I meant was if you knew where both ends of the proposed fence will be, locate them while out on reconnaissance. Then, when you go back in the office, you can use what was located to compute points along the fence line. One day, we’ll have COGO routines in Reachview and can compute points in the field. I think it will be sooner than you realize !

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Hi @svetlana.nikolenko. No, we have a paper map from Google a farmer with the fence lines marked out on paper.

We are going to go GPS those points in and make sure they’re where they should be - and that the posts for the fence are the desired 10 feet apart. So we’ll flag in the post ends and then 10 feet along each fence line (for the supporting fence posts).

Is this a fence line internal to the owner’s property or the fence line for an adjoining property? If it’s to delineate between your client’s property and someone else’s property you’re a brave one.

It’s internal, it’s not delineating.

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Since you’re using QGIS, try using another basemap than Google. Their georeference is often pretty poor in rural areas. Depending where you are, you could easily load a WMS (do that from the Open Data Source Manager, in the WMS/WMTS section). For instance, if you’re in the USA, this layer is very good, much more precise.

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Hi Brian,

Oh, I got you now. That’s why you need to design a survey layout in QGIS.

Google maps aren’t so accurate, indeed. However, the workflow you suggested initially seems logical. You’re right that you need to place the base over a point with known coordinates. Using CORS for this is a good idea. Don’t forget to mark this known point to set up the base in the same place another day.

Also, I want to point out that we’re receiving requests for COGO features support. We’re considering adding such functionality to ReachView 3. We’ll note your case as well.

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