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Smartphone App for survey?

PostPosted: Oct 25, 2012 11:50 pm
by krstahl
Hopefully this is not a duplicate post. I searched and could not find a similar thread in the past year, nor in the search function.

I have a Razr M smartphone and I have been searching for a cave survey app or one that would suffice to gather the distance, cline, and azimuth, (sketch by hand the old fashioned way). I have come close, but no cigar. So far I have found a decent level/clinometer:
URL: ( ... ult#?t=W10

A decent compass:
URL: ... ult#?t=W10.

And a so-so distance meter: This one does good on compass and OK on distance, but sucks on inclinometer.
URL: ... ult#?t=W10.

The compass works as an electronic compass similar to watches and car mirrors (I would guess). The cline works using the phone accelerometers and maybe the gyro. The distance works via the camera range finder.

But, I have not found all three on one app that works right for all three functions. If each function can be programmed individually, then there is no reason they couldn't all be included in a single app. BTW, I only checked out FREE apps and I don't know if the accuracy of a smartphone would be close enough for cave survey. However, with my eyes and a Suunto, it can't be much worse. I'm not a programmer so would not have the first clue how to go about writing and app. Using an inexpensive (or at least less expensive) smartphone in a cave might still be more cost effective than trying to find a disto and associated hack.

Re: Smartphone App for survey?

PostPosted: Oct 26, 2012 10:18 am
by gindling
I have looked into this as well and found the two following apps for the iPhone. 3.99$ ... instrument 3.99$

I have used both and they are pretty accurate but I have yet to read the manuals on them to really get the full benefit of the tools. Though I would always use my Disto for measuring since they are very accurate whereas the range finder on these is probably less accurate. ( I love lasers) I would think that these will eventually get to become as accurate as our trusted sunnto tools. It would be great to hold it up, sight it on the next station and take a photo. On the screen you would get azimuth and inclination and a cross section of the passage. Though I would still be carrying my sunntos since electronics and caves dont always get along and batteries do die.