Improved location accuracy & updated Terms of Service

Geolocation Services

Great news for Android users!  Google recently updated their Android platform - which means that your smartphone or tablet just got 2-3 times more accurate when mapping within a web browser.  Previously, the software was limited to an accuracy of 10 meters or 32 ft.  So if you were on a cellular network (not WIFI) and clicked on the 'Location' button in our map, you could be standing anywhere within the 32 ft. wide blue circle shown below.

Here I am - standing on the curb in front of our Lancaster office (before the update).


But now?  We're down to 3 meters accuracy or just under 10 ft.

See how much smaller that circle is?  That pin is almost exactly where I was standing on West James Street.  The benefits should be obvious - and improving the accuracy of our program is a topic we've discussed with many of you over the years.

As a result - we've added a new option for adding points, lines & polygons...add by location!

To use, simply click or tap into any Layer & Asset in your system.  In this instance, I'm going to map the location of a main water valve.

Tap on the new Location arrow on the menu bar.  This will enable 'High Accuracy' on your phone and you'll likely see a pop-up screen similar to this (you'll want to allow it).

Tap on the familiar "Add" or plus button.  In addition to the blue pin & circle, you should now see a 'Add Point by Location' option at the bottom of your screen.  

Notice the (~10 ft) at the end.  This is your location 'accuracy'.  The pin might be right on top of the manhole, inlet or valve but the web browser is only confident that you're within that 10 foot circle. 

So by tapping the "Add Point at Location" button - I added a new water valve - and all the controls should look familiar at this point.


A few disclaimers:

  • The program is still not to be confused with survey grade GPS mapping (sub-meter) and it's largely dependent on how many satellites your phone/tablet can see.  So if you're standing in front of a large building or under heavy tree cover, results will certainly vary.
  • Sorry Iphone/Ipad users - we're still waiting on Apple to make the same update.  The semi-good news is that you can still use the new feature!  You might even see the same accuracy as your Android peers...we just have no way of reporting it back to you.  Caveat emptor, as they say.
  • By enabling 'High Accuracy' on your device - it's looking for more satellites; which means your battery will drain faster.  Results will vary by device but please take this into consideration if you're going to spend a day in the field. 
  • We're still researching bluetooth GPS recievers, like the Bad Elf Surveyor. These devices can tether to your smartphone via bluetooth and can provide very accurate location signals.  The problem is - until Apple or Google updates their software, we can't access those precise coordinates!  So if you really want sub-meter accuracy, you're better off mapping your points in GPS and importing into CSDatum later.

Updated Terms of Service

Completely switching gears, we're happy to announce that on January 3, 2019 - an updated set of Terms will go into effect. 

Why did we do this?  Well, to be completely honest - we haven't updated them since CSDatum launched back in 2015 and we've learned a lot over the last 4 years.  In a nutshell, we streamlined some of the language and provided additional protection for you, the subscriber, if you wish to cancel your service...or if we ever need to change our pricing structure (it's been $2400/year since we launched and we have no plans to change it). 

All of these term changes were reviewed and approved by our Attorney AND a Solicitor from another municipality.

We realize most people don't want to read the fine print but if you do - here's an early holiday gift:

As always, we welcome your feedback and we're incredibly grateful for all the ideas, support and advice we've been given over the last four years.  Keep it coming!