How Charlie Trimble changed the GPS Industry
Trimble was set up in garage. Tech business started in a Garage? This story sounds very familiar (Apple).
Watch the story of Charlie Trimble via “Geospatial World” website. Click on the image or the link below to access the video.
A personal story about my first GPS unit:
I graduated from UW-Oshkosh with a Geography degree in Spring of 1996. GPS was maybe talked about for a total of 2 days in my 2 years of Geography and GIS courses.
My first job in the GIS world was December of 1996.
- I was trained on a Trimble ProXR back GPS unit to collect utility assets.
- I was given what seemed like a DOZEN floppy disks (what is a floopy disk?) to install GPS Pathfinder Office on a IBM laptop running Windows 95.
- I learned how to create a Data Dictionary for Features and Attributes inside of GPS Pathfinder Office.
- The data collector was a TDC1 with a very basic key pad and small screen. It was the size of a Brick.
- Not to mention the 2 large Camcorder Batteries in the backpack to run the system. I always carried a spare set just in case.
- When I started to use the GPS Unit on longer days in the summer I rigged up a way to charge the batteries while driving as needed.
- Or if I needed to drive roads or trails with a vehicle I would attach the antenna to a mag mount onto the roof. Then I had direct power running to the ProXR receiver via a power inverter.
Reminder: The internet was not very mature at this time. No High Speed internet or WiFi. Dial up – oh boy was that fun for downloading base station data.
- Base Station Data for Differential Correction was not as easily accessible in the late 1990’s as it is today.
- No VRS DOT or Private VRS Real-time Correction Networks in Wisconsin at this time.
- Mainly, I relied on Real-time Radio corrections from Coast Guard Beacons, or a few Public and Private base stations that I could get the files in person or downloaded from the internet. Who remembers the browser “Netscape”?
- After data collection, Data transfer the data to GPS Pathfinder Office and Differential Correct any data that still needed it.
- Export was to SHP File to use in Esri’s ArcView 3.0 or DXF file to AutoCAD 13.
**Long Story short. Thank you Charlie Trimble for my 21 year GPS/GNSS learning experience so far and many more to come.
What was your first GPS unit? Leave a comment below to share.