• QA 074
    Which Geographical Positioning Equipment (GPS) to use and where to find it?
    We are looking for suppliers of GPS sets to use in the mapping of our coffee areas. Can you recommend any particular equipment and/or suppliers?
    Asked by:
    Extension Service - Ethiopia

    GPS and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) are discussed in section 03.03 of the Guide - Mapping Technology in Coffee Marketing. However, we ourselves do not recommend any particular equipment or supplier. But a quick search on the Internet, using the key words GPS Equipment Manufacturers or Suppliers, produces a huge amount of information.

    The site http://www.sustainableworld.com/y2kgps/gpseng/gps_manf.html provides a lengthy list of both hardware and software providers *. 

    The amount of available information is however overwhelming and we suggest your best approach would be to make contact with the projects mentioned in section 03.03.02** to determine their preferred choice of equipment.  Sources close to these suggest that Garmin International Inc. (www.garmin.com) supplies many sets to coffee producing areas. Another leading supplier is Magellan System Corporation (www.magellangps.com).  Both of them supply simple but robust models.


    Other sites offering a selection of equipment include www.tvnav.com and www.thegpsstore.com but the list is nearly endless. However, in most countries institutions as the National Mapping or Geographical Survey Service and others, including some government departments, must already be using GPS equipment and should be able to offer advice on local experience and preferences.


    Especially for remote areas simplicity and durability of the equipment are of paramount importance. In other words, do not invest in unnecessarily sophisticated features that are unlikely to be used. Such handheld equipment can currently be purchased for prices ranging from below USD 200 and upwards. 

    Hint: We recommend you choose a model that includes an altimeter for registration of the altitude, always useful in the context of coffee! Some of the cheaper models do not include an altimeter.

    Posted 8 February 2006


    * NB: If difficult to find then use Google Advanced Search, exact phrase: GPS equipment suppliers.
    ** Websites are given in the text.

    Related chapter(s):
    Related Q & A:
    QA 009