Are you using mobile GIS now?
Yes, our system is up and running. However, our application for mobile GIS is somewhat limited and we don't use it frequently. We basically use the system to identify/confirm the spatial location of our water and sewer facilities. We're using the Trimble handheld GeoXT in conjunction with ArcPad (with GPS Correct) and Pathfinder Office software. We also use Microsoft's free ActiveSync as a program communications link from the PC to the GPS unit.
How are you using it?
Realistically, only as a basis for GIS data positional verifications or when there is a minor configuration change to our system (i.e. a moved hydrant location).
Describe the journey it took you to get from A to B. What are the problems you ran into and how did you solve them? Basically taught myself how to use the system, but given my experience, I'd highly recommend a basic training course and practice in the field before any practical program implementation. Running a combination of two sophisticated software programs (ArcPad, GPS Correct) on a 2" x 3" screen presents real challenges, as it forces the user to navigate deeply within the program(s) Windows Pocked PC interface in order to execute commands. Conceptually, the program design was such that I found that "out of the box" it was not intuitive and therefore difficult to negotiate based on recall. I think that it's possible that when you have all of the settings options properly set, and a much simplified programmed interface is in place, that the learning curve would be vastly improved. Given our limited application, that step was never initiated, nor was it necessary once I learned the raw program interface.
The program's Help menu didn't seem very helpful. The Help Search function was very unreliable.
Shortage of viable memory is a problem, as total memory is only 55 Mb,
of which a significant part is preallocated. This placed limits on our original plan to use orthos as a background layer. I found that orthos could be used, but only with mission-planning such that smaller areas could be clipped out in advance.
The WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation Satellite) system was more unreliable then my past Pathfinder ProXR system FM signal for holding a signal for Real-Time differential corrections.
Post-processing with Pathfinder Office has been streamlined and seems to work a little more smoothly.
I would look seriously at variations in configurations outside of the all-in-one GPS/Antenna configuration like the GeoXT. I think a separate antenna with a telescoping pole could make a big difference under the canopy and at least getting it above the head of the operator. Keep in mind that you'll need a special receiver to pick up Real-time Differential Corrections. The GeoXT is only set up for WAAS. Finally, a laptop or tablet could be a better alternative for larger data sets that require more memory and better visual surface and legibility, although I think the GeoXT model can accept an extenal memory source.