New Product: Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor with 1-meter Accuracy

by Brett Hackleman September 25, 2014 6 Comments

We're excited to announce the newest addition to our product line-up: the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor (BE-GPS-3300).

The Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor is the first 1-meter GPS/GLONASS receiver for the iPad and iPhone that you can fit in your pocket!

Designed for the GIS and light-survey markets, the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor is perfect for back-country wilderness surveys, property line verification, agricultural planning, DOT asset surveys, etc.  

Like the Bad Elf GPS Pro and the Bad Elf GPS Pro+, the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor features a 24-hour battery life, LCD screen with backlight, rugged enclosure, and Bluetooth connectivity with up to 5 devices at a time.  It also features a barometer and supports USB connectivity.

Whereas the Bad Elf GPS Pro and Bad Elf GPS Pro+ are designed for moving vehicles with limited sky visibility and outdoor activities, the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor is optimized for slower or stationary outdoor environments where 1-meter GPS accuracy is a priority.

High-precision Accuracy

The Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor uses a high-performance u-blox 7 GNSS engine with support for GPS, GLONASS, and GQSS satellite networks.  It supports a number of technologies to provide high-precision positioning data depending on your location and environment:

  • Precise Point Positioning (PPP): for stationary applications with clear-sky visibility, PPP uses GPS signal carrier-phase tracking to reduce ionospheric and multi-path signal distortion.  This provides 1-meter accuracy without the need for a local reference station or other correction source.
  • Space Based Augmentation Services (SBAS): broadcast by the satellite networks, SBAS provides correction data for satellite orbits, clocks, and atmospheric delays based on ground reference stations. Coverage includes North America (WAAS), Japan (MSAS), Europe (EGNOS), and India (GAGAN).  By itself, SBAS improves horizontal position accuracy to 2-2.5 meters.
  • Differential GPS (D-GPS): for world-wide precision applications where a base station or other correction source is available, the GNSS engine supports industry-standard RTCM 2.3 messages for operation as a D-GPS rover.
  • Raw data for RTK/post processing: for users needing even better accuracy (10-50cm), the raw GPS and SBAS satellite measurements are available for real-time kinematics (RTK) applications and post-processing. This data is available via our SDK or the log files recorded in standalone mode.

Together, these technologies allow the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor to deliver enhanced precision compared to conventional single-point positioning receivers.

Here's a plot of locations that shows the PPP algorithms achieving 1-meter accuracy in under 4 minutes after getting a cold-start GPS lock.  Assuming clear sky visibility, subsequent points reach 1-meter accuracy much faster.



Unlike consumer GPS chipsets that are designed to reduce GPS jitter while stationary, the u-blox 7 GNSS engine is designed to continuously report the best location data possible as the PPP algorithms are working to improve the accuracy over time.  You can see this in the time-lapse video below, which shows the accuracy improving over a 5 minute time span:



Data-Collector Apps

Like our all of our GPS accessories, the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor is certified under Apple's MFi program and works with any location-based app in the App Store.  Once the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor accessory is paired with your iPad or iPhone over Bluetooth, apps will receive high-precision location data automatically.

Some popular GIS apps that work with the Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor and our other GPS accessories today:


The Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor can also provide streaming NMEA GPS data over Bluetooth or USB to non-iOS devices running Android, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.  Limited support is available for these platforms.

We are working with several iOS app developers using our SDK to access the raw satellite measurement data for RTK and improved accuracy via post-processing.  We also expect to have several methods for accessing free and commercial correction services in the near future.

We will announce more about these activities over the coming weeks and months.  If you are an application developer and would like to use our SDK, please contact us at


Special Launch Pricing until Oct 15, 2014

The Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor is available for purchase starting today, and will ship on or before October 15th.  Standard MSRP is $599.99, but we are offering a special launch price for our early adopter customers of $499.99 for all orders placed before October 15th!

You can learn more about the device here.

Questions?  Feedback?  Please send an email to



Brett Hackleman
Brett Hackleman


CTO & Co-Founder, Bad Elf

6 Responses


September 05, 2016

Can this be used to create Ground Control Points for Aerial Surveys?

Noah Kertich
Noah Kertich

January 08, 2016

Its a good gadget if i can locate boundary beacon within 1m. Which phone can work with it well?

alfred teengar
alfred teengar

September 16, 2015

I am a surveyor. I been looking for such a, Bad Elf, for surveying for many years. This sounds like music to my ears. I would like to find more information on Bad Elf of how it works. I also would like to keep checking and be updated of it’s improvement. I am interested in purchasing one.


July 15, 2015

Satellite acquisition is amazingly fast. Wish it would log & report hdop, vdop, pdop, and accuracy in the GPX, which it shows on a display anyway. It would be nice to average fixes when taking a POI as well. Looking forward to options for differential correction in the future as well. In addition to spatial accuracy, the ability to report it is important too. I agree this has the potential to be a Trimble-killer.

Carlos A Cedeno
Carlos A Cedeno

May 18, 2015

I’m an Architect and i need a gps for surveyor plans. Will it work for it? We need submeter precision for our surveys. We also need to convert data to autocad and We work with Apple (MAC) Pc’s. I have hardly a budget, so Please send me several products description and quote to decide my purchase.

Please send me the información i need to buy a product which fit my needs.
If you Have it, Please send a quote.


December 23, 2014

Any guess on time-frame for RTK-capable apps? Even without, this thing is awesome. Get 50cm accuracy, and it’s a Trimble-killer.

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