Trimble R10 – The Conversation Starter!

by Amanda Davis

When you walk around in public spaces carrying a Trimble R10 RTK over your shoulder, you get asked a lot of questions!

For the past two summers,  myself and a group of researches have used the Trimble R10 to take location and elevation measurements of landscape features in salt marshes throughout Massachusetts. Sometimes we are at Audobon sites sharing space with birders, sometimes we are near roads or in what seems like someone’s backyard, and sometimes we are just off of someone’s favorite walking path. Regardless of who we cross paths with – birder, driver, homeowner, or hiker – we always get asked about the R10 because it looks so sleek yet complex! Sometimes we are asked “What are you doing?” or “What is that?” or our favorite, “Are you making a movie?!”.

We still don’t know why people think it’s a movie camera – ha! We are always happy to explain to folks what the Trimble R10 does and how it allows us to do some amazing research. In addition to taking accurate measurements, it’s a total conversation starter!

Interacting with the public is one of my favorite parts of this job and this summer several of the folks who took time to ask us questions were retired landscape surveyors. It was so interesting to hear about how surveys had to be conducted in the 70’s and 80’s. These insights into past survey techniques always make me grateful that technology like the Trimble R10 allows me and others to collect better data in less time! No paper, no pens, no measuring tapes or maps, and no floppy disks!

The Trimble R10 has allowed us to collect and categorize the location and elevation of over 3,000 salt marsh characteristics throughout Massachusetts. We can’t wait to pair these measurements with our drone footage and hydrology information. In doing so, we hope to answer questions such as “Is this marsh able to keep up with sea-level rise?” and “how does a marsh recover from a severe storm?”. We’ll leave the movie-making to the drones and to the  Trimble Imaging Rover.

Trimble Tech Used:

  • Trimble R10

People Involved:

  • Amanda Davis, Environmental Conservation

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