I've been using a Trimble Geo XM unit for GPS integrated data collection in the marine environment for several year, but it's beyond buggy and cumbersome to use. I'd like to explore the possiblity of using an iPad for data collection as an alternative. So, my questions are:
1. In remote areas of the Gulf of Alaska, where I work, how does the GPS function work? From what I've understood, as long as I get an iPad with 3G I should be able to receive a GPS signal whereever I am.
2. With regard to 3G, if I only use it for GPS functionality on the water, do I have to pay for the 3G service?
3. Are there any recommendations on apps for data collection (i.e. forms that can download to a database or export csv)? I have come across TapForms and Form Central as possible options for this.
4. Anything else I should consider (besides the obvious issues associated using the iPad in a marine environment)?
5. Is an iPad with the proper set up a good substitute for a Trimble?
If there is a more appropriate resource to ask these questions, I'd love to know.