Archaeologists at Cannon Heritage achieve more with the Mesa Rugged Tablet and Geode Sub-meter GPS Receiver

The Archaeologists at Cannon Heritage map and collect data with the Mesa® Rugged Tablet and Geode™ Sub-meter GPS Receiver. Cannon Heritage shares their experience of achieving more with a high accuracy GPS receiver, versatile equipment, and an ultra-rugged tablet.

Accuracy that makes a difference

Cannon Heritage maps and collects data on a variety of objects from Chinese coins, prehistoric artifacts, pottery, arrowheads, and more. To map these archaeological properties with ease, the Archaeologists and Remote Sensing Specialists choose the Geode to achieve high accuracy maps and data points.  

“The Geode is able to get us within 10-20 centimeters of an artifact,” said Ethan Ryan, Archaeologist-Project Manager at Cannon Heritage. “Having this level of accuracy saves our team from frustration. The Geode is a quick and easy to use device for our team to use.”

Documenting graffiti in Capitol Reef National Park with the Mesa Rugged Tablet and Geode Sub-meter GPS receiver.
Documenting graffiti in Capitol Reef National Park

In addition to the intuitive and easy operation of the Geode’s one-button simplicity, the real-time data is where users continue to find success.

“The real-time spatial accuracy in the field is helpful in guiding the team back to artifacts and sites to assess any impact an archaeological site may experience,” Ryan said. “Being able to walk back to these locations with data previously recorded can help us quantify the changes or damages that occurred over a given time period.”

Cannon Heritage team members are often collecting data in the field for 10+ hours at a time.

“When we collect high amounts of data intensive information and mapping for extended periods of time, we will extend the life of the Geode with an external battery pack,” Ryan said. “It isn’t normal for us to experience this need, but it is helpful for us to have this option.”

Functionality meets versatility

The Geode is an all-in-one GNSS solution with a receiver and antenna. The Geode works with a wide range of Windows®, Windows Mobile, iOS, and Android™ devices. Cannon Heritage pairs the Geode with the Mesa but has the flexibility to use any device when needed.

“If we are in a pinch, and forgot to charge our Mesa, we will connect the Geode to one of our phones,” Ryan said. “We use the GeodeConnect app and can continue mapping and collecting data without skipping a beat. This versatility and functionality has helped us a number of times.”

Connecting the Geode to an iPhone

Ryan continued, “Pairing the Geode with the Mesa has simplified things for us. They are easy to use and easy to integrate with the GIS programs we are using. We can use the same file formats, so there is no file transfer that has to happen. The Mesa can be used by power users or beginners with ease and everyone can get what they need done. The functionality of being able to put a thumb drive in the Mesa to download and upload information without connecting to a computer is also huge.”

Documenting mining features at Alta with the Geode Sub-meter GPS receiver and Mesa Rugged Tablet
Documenting mining features at Alta with the Geode Sub-meter GPS receiver and Mesa Rugged Tablet

Cannon Heritage uses the Windows version of the Mesa.

“It is easy to download paperwork to reference without the need for physical copies that tend to be exposed and damaged with the quick weather changes we experience in the field,” said Ryan. “It’s convenient for us to have all of this information on a tablet that can last 10+ hours and withstand the environments we find ourselves in.”

Mesa Rugged Tablet’s battery life put to the test

A rugged tablet built to last

The Mesa is built with a 10-hour battery life with an optional built-in 21.6 Whr battery that provides an additional 4–5-hour runtime and hot-swap capability. With a powerful battery and a sun-light readable display, users can work with confidence in the brightness of the sun and the long hours of the day. Cannon Heritage team members can find themselves in a variety of environments.

“After a severe forest fire, our team was working through rain, the downfall of dead branches, climbing over trees, and occasionally tripping over branches,” said Ryan. “Despite the wear and tear of this project and the many drops to the ground, the Mesa continued to work without any issues.”

Mesa Rugged Tablet and Geode in the Canyonlands collecting data
Mesa Rugged Tablet and Geode in the Canyonlands collecting data

The IP68 rating of the Mesa certifies the device is dustproof and built to withstand 1.4 meters or 4’7” of water for 2 hours. To endure the drops that occur, the Mesa is designed to meet MIL-STD-810G procedures related to vibration, shock, pressures, humidity, inversion, and more. These are just a few of the specifications that make the Mesa stand out against other rugged tablets on the market. Users can learn more about rugged specifications in a recent article titled, “A guide to rugged mobile device specifications and their definitions”.

IP68 Submersion Test with the Mesa Rugged Tablet

Contact us

Interested in learning more about the Geode or Mesa? Contact our team or visit the Mesa Rugged Tablet product page to learn how our devices can provide you and your team with solutions.

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