Project Point – How to use Bluetooth rangefinder

Starting from version 3.8.0 Distance & Bearing method of adding points has been extended to support popular Laser rangefinders. This enables the user to automatically input distance and bearing readings from the rangefinder to MapIt.

LTI True Pulse 360B. Photo and copyrights – Robert Crigan.


MapIt has been tested with 2 popular range finders:

           – LTI True Pulse 360B Laser rangefinder

Sample NMEA output for Horizontal Vector: $PLTIT,HV,3.70,M,165.90,D,-0.90,D,3.70,M*48

           – Trimble LaserAce™ 1000  rangefinder

Sample NMEA output for Horizontal Vector: $PTNLA,HV,2.94,M,288.1,D,8.6,D,2.98,M*5F

If your device supports Bluetooth connections and the output is consistent with NMEA standard you should be able to use it with MapIt – however this is not guaranteed.

Please follow the steps below to get MapIt properly connected to your rangefinder and use it as a distance & bearing source:

  1. Make sure your measurement units on the rangefinder are set to M (meters) for distance and D (degrees) for angles.
  2. Make sure the Bluetooth output contains HV (Horizontal Vector) data.
  3. Make sure the rangefinder’s Bluetooth function is switched on and the device is paired to your Android Device.
  4. Open MapIt and enable “Distance & Bearing” method for new points in ‘Survey Settings’.
Enable 'Distance &Bearing' method.

Enable ‘Distance &Bearing’ method.


5. When the ‘Distance & Bearing’ method is active you can now enable ‘Bluetooth rangefinder’ option. When enabling you will be asked to pick up the paired device. Please select the device you want to use as a source.

Select paired device.

Select paired device.


6. Get back to the map – the app will try to connect to your remote device and if it’s successful the Bluetooth symbol will be displayed as shown on the picture below. (Sometimes you may need to re-start the app to establish the connection)

Active Bluetooth connection.

Active Bluetooth connection.


7. In the ‘Project New Point’ dialog box select your start position and use the rangefinder to acquire a distance and bearing. If the distance and bearing fields are not immediately populated this is a sign that the rangefinder is not communicating with Mapit. To resolve this go to your tablet’s Connections page in its Settings menu and re-scan for Bluetooth devices even though your rangefinder has already been paired.

After scanning is complete, close and reopen MapIt. This should permit Bluetooth communication.

Populate values from the rangefinder

Populate values from the rangefinder





If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein

4 Responses

  1. leob says:

    This method captures the horizontal coordinates of a projected point. Can MapIt also capture altitude of a projected point?

  2. Simon Allen says:

    Great tool.
    Works well with the Trupulse 360B.
    When working with projected points I would like to record the following:
    Photo, base point co-ordinates, range and bearing measured, and the projected position coordinates. I can do this with 3 operations if I record lines instead of points but it is a bit clunky.
    Given that this requirement is pretty much standard if you want to be able to correct a bearing later, it would be good if Mapit did this as a single operation.
    Also, cannot seem to be able to attach a photo to a point, I can to a line.
    These are minor niggles to a very good, professional data gathering tool, that can (and does) work with separate RTK bluetooth GPS.
    As a data collection tool this frees me from an ESRI or Trimble tool/software chain and I can pump all my collected data into QGIS, which my clients appreciate.

    • osedok says:

      Hi Simon, thanks for your feedback. In terms of adding a picture to the point – it works exactly the same way as for lines and polygons. Just click the “camera” icon on the toolbar when adding/editing the point.

      “record the following: base point co-ordinates, range and bearing measured, and the projected position coordinates…” – I will consider this and will try to get it scheduled for implementation as an option in the settings in the near future.

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