GPS for Land Surveyors  book cover
4th Edition

GPS for Land Surveyors

ISBN 9781466583108
Published June 1, 2015 by CRC Press
366 Pages 114 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

For more than a decade, GPS for Land Surveyors has been unique among other books on this topic due to its clear, straightforward treatment of the subject matter. Completely revised and updated, this fourth edition of a perennial bestseller maintains the user-friendly format that made previous editions so popular while addressing changes in hardware, software, and procedures. Neither simplistic nor overly technical, this book introduces the concepts needed to understand and use GPS and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).

See What’s New in the Fourth Edition:

  • Up-to-date information on GNSS and GPS modernization
  • Changes in hardware, software, and procedures
  • Comprehensive treatment of novel signals on new blocks of satellites (L5 and L2C)

The book minimizes your reliance on mathematical explanations and maximizes use of illustrations and examples that allow you to visualize and grasp key concepts. The author explains the progression of ideas at the foundation of satellite positioning and delves into some of the particulars. He keeps presentation practical, providing a guide to techniques used in GPS, from their design through observation, processings, real-time kinematic (RTK), and real-time networks. These features and more make it easier for you to meet the challenge of keeping up in this field.

Table of Contents

Global Positioning System (GPS) Signal
GPS Signal Structure
Two Observables
Carrier Phase Ranging
Biases and Solutions
Receiver Noise
Technological Forerunners
GPS Segments
GPS Constellation
Receivers and Methods
Common Features of Global Positioning System (GPS) Receivers
A Few Pertinent Ideas about Geodetic Datums for Global Positioning Systems
State Plane Coordinates
Static Global Positioning System Surveying
National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Control
Control from Continuously Operating Networks
Static Survey Project Design
Some GPS Survey Design Facts
Drawing the Baselines
Static GPS Control Observations
Real-Time Global Positioning System Surveying
Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) and Differential GPS (DGPS)
General Idea
Radial GPS
Local and Wide Area DGPS
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Application
Integer Cycle Ambiguity Fixing
Wireless Link
Vertical Component in RTK
Some Practical RTK Suggestions
Real-Time Network Services
Real-Time GPS Techniques
Precise Point Positioning (PPP)
Global Positioning System Modernization and Global Navigation Satellite System
Global Positioning System (GPS) Modernization
Satellite Blocks
Power Spectral Density Diagrams
New Signals
Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
Interoperability between GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO
Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS)
The Future

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Jan Van Sickle


"… covers a full range of science and techniques used in the rapidly developing world of satellite positioning. The author has written eight chapters with accuracy, brevity, and clarity to ensure that the reader gains a comprehensive understanding of each topic. Many new learnings are included as well as a useful set of self-assessment exercises and explanations. For land surveyors, this essential reading is valuable as a foundation for the novice, continued professional learning for the experienced practitioner, and aide memoire for the expert. I recommend this book to my fellow surveyors, near and far."
—Michael Barnes, Past Chair, Association of Petroleum Surveying & Geomatics (, Chair 2010-2020, APSG Education Foundation

"… Dr. Van Sickle offers a rare combination of an advanced education along with practical experience in the field as a professional land surveyor. … As GPS and other satellite positioning systems continue to evolve, I am happy to see Dr. Van Sickle release the Fourth edition of GPS for Land Surveyors. … as GNSS technology continues to move towards wider market adoption of real-time, high-accuracy positioning techniques such as WADGPS, RTK, real-time PPP, I'm happy to see Chapter 7 devoted to Real-Time Global Positioning System Surveying."
—Eric Gakstatter, Geospatial Solutions

"I have recommended this text to many students, who were able to appreciate the clarity. Welcome then thank the author and the publisher for having proposed this update"
—Gabriele Garnero, Università e Politecnico di Torino E-mail

"I have never read the forerunners of this book, but this edition pleasantly surprised me. The author is not driven by impressing peers but is resolute in offering knowledge and skills to the reader. Indeed, the book has been written for land surveyors by a land surveyor, who has practiced surveying for over 40 years combined with teaching at universities and institutes of technology. He is determined to lead the reader through the nitty-gritty and pitfalls of GPS. Often he further explains a subject with a follow-up sentence starting "In other words…" which is sometimes even repeated twice. Concepts are frequently explained by metaphors, e.g. the working of Kalman filtering is illustrated by comparing it to a car driver who interacts with the speedometer by depressing the accelerator. No formulas needed."
GIM International, September 2015

"GPS for Land Surveyors, 4th edition, is concisely written and enhanced with updates in modern satellite navigation technologies. Dr. Van Sickle shows his extensive knowledge in satellite navigation and his ability to explain difficult concepts to a broad audience. Diagrams, figures and tables are an appropriate and concise illustration of topics. Targeted audiences should be able to gain thorough understanding of the purposes, background, process and practical aspects of GPS. It is an excellent class text or reference book in one’s professional library. It is common to see a book about satellite navigation, but it is rare to see one catering to a specific profession. This book is unique and beneficial to have a copy for anyone pursuing a career in the land surveying and/or geospatial engineering industries."
Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, March 2016