Question for starting with drone mapping and GCP

Hello! I’m very happy to be part of this community. I’m a civil engineer and plan to start a drone mapping business. Currently I already purchased the drone and now I’m planning to buy the RTK receiver. I want to know, for starting, can I get around buying only one RTK receiver and use it to get all the GCP needed for the projects or will this slow down a lot the process (compared to using a base and a rover)?

Thank you in advance for your support!

Hi @alejflores94,

You can collect GCPs in RTK with 1 Reach receiver that gets corrections from a remote base via NTRIP. It should take the same time as if you work with your own base.

If you’d like to use NTRIP, please note the following:

  • You should provide the Reach rover with an Internet connection
  • The distance to the remote base station shouldn’t exceed 10 km for Reach RS+ and 60 km for Reach RS2
  • Some NTRIP providers may take a fee

I will totally second this but also say that working from an RTK provider was save massive amounts of time in the field. We always worked from a traditional local base and the primary reason we didn’t use NTRIP was because one of our main uses is on GPS machine control. The machines require very fast updates for the GNSS equipment and hydraulics to smoothly control the blades and NTRIP was not consistently fast enough. I finally decided to take the plunge and will not look back. I primarily use it for GCP’s and our drones, but with the right software is proving robust enough to possibly take the place of the Topcon gear that runs with our survey crews and once :wink: Reachview allows for localizations will even be an opportunity to start putting receivers in the hands of field supervision for simple point staking. Unfortunately in Texas there are no free RTK services, but the time I have saved in not having to setup, configure and tear down a base EVERY time I go out has already paid for that.


There are only two times that the OH CORS network has let me down or been too slow. 1st time was about 4 maybe 5 years ago, their server crashed and was down for 4 days. Ouch!

Last year the correction age was running around 2 seconds which normally it is right around 1 second. I talked with a guy I have dealings with at ODOT and he said due to everyone using their cell phones because of COVID, the cell data has been bogged down due to band width. Since things are slowly getting back to normal I haven’t seen it since.

I have used OH CORS form machine automation with Trimble for quite a few years now. Works great! I still tell prospective customers if you are a contractor you need to own your own correction source. I know a couple that didn’t listen to that advise and when Ohio’s server went down, they were singing the blues as they had no RTK for four days. I told them, “how much do you pay for the CORS service?” They would reply nothing it is free. I would reply with, “Well then, how much can you complain about it?”

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