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    Combining 2D Mapping and Low Density Elevation Data in a GIS for GNSS Shadow Prediction

    Cahalane, Conor (2015) Combining 2D Mapping and Low Density Elevation Data in a GIS for GNSS Shadow Prediction. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 4. pp. 2769-2791. ISSN 2220-9964

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    The number of satellites visible to a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver is important for high accuracy surveys. To aid with this, there are software packages capable of predicting GNSS visibility at any location of the globe at any time of day. These prediction packages operate by using regularly updated almanacs containing positional data for all navigation satellites; however, one issue that restricts their use is that most packages assume that there are no obstructions on the horizon. In an attempt to improve this, certain planning packages are now capable of modelling simple obstructions whereby portions of the horizon visible from one location can be blocked out, thereby simulating buildings or other vertical structures. While this is useful for static surveys, it is not applicable for dynamic surveys when the GNSS receiver is in motion. This problem has been tackled in the past by using detailed, high-accuracy building models and designing novel methods for modelling satellite positions using GNSS almanacs, which is a time-consuming and costly approach. The solution proposed in this paper is to use a GIS to combine existing, freely available GNSS prediction software to predict pseudo satellite locations, incorporate a 2.5D model of the buildings in an area created with national mapping agency 2D vector mapping and low density elevation data to minimise the need for a full survey, thereby providing savings in terms of cost and time. Following this, the ESRI ArcMap viewshed tool was used to ascertain what areas exhibit poor GNSS visibility due to obstructions over a wide area, and an accuracy assessment of the procedure was made.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: © 2015 by the author; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (
    Keywords: GNSS shadowing; GNSS prediction; mobile surveys; viewshed;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > National Centre for Geocomputation, NCG
    Item ID: 6939
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Conor Cahalane
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2016 15:32
    Journal or Publication Title: ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
    Publisher: MDPI
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: Irish Research Council (IRC), Pavement Management Services Ltd., National Roads Authority (ERA-NET SR01 projects), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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