Integrated Magnetic and Global Positioning Satellite Mapping of the Firestone Reserve, Costa Rica

Document Type



Biology (CMC), WM Keck Science (CMC), Biology (Pitzer), WM Keck Science (Pitzer), Biology (Scripps), WM Keck Science (Scripps), WM Keck Science

Publication Date



High-resolution topographic mapping of the Firestone Reserve, southwestern Costa Rica, has presented a number of challenges resulting from the poor-to-non-existent GPS satellite reception in steep canyons and under tropical rainforest canopy. We have successfully employed magnetic survey techniques and data reduction software developed for cave mapping, integrated with sub-meter accuracy, GPS-derived reference points in those areas where topography permits GPS reception. The resulting topographic map is based on an x-y-z coordinate array averaging 284 data triplets per hectare and providing the level of resolution necessary to support microhabitat-level ecological studies.

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