Once again we offer up some gift-giving ideas for the geospatial professional in your family or circle of friends, or just to treat yourself—you deserve it, right?
The links for each item below all go to Amazon, but choose your own vendor. Prices are accurate at the time of writing. Also, check out the Located section of the December issue of xyHt for more ideas (generally more than $50.)
SOG SwitchPlier 2.0 Multi-tool
I shouldn’t have to sell you on the advantages of having a multi-tool in the field; they’re handier than pockets on a shirt (or sliced bread, your choice). I have an SOG multi-tool and it’s great: well-made and very functional. My only complaint is that it’s a bit stiff and hard to open, the very opposite of this tool.
The SOG SwitchPlier 2.0 Multi-tool has pliers that are spring-loaded and open at the touch of a button, true one-handed operation. Along with the pliers, it’s got a knife, three screwdrivers, bottle and can openers, hard wire cutter, and more. Just a smidge over $43 on Amazon.
Five-gallon buckets are the best: great for storage and hauling surveying tools and supplies into the field. My biggest beef about buckets is their inherent lack of organization; it’s just a big bucket, right? Here’s where the Bucket Boss comes in. With 56 assorted storage pockets (40 outside and 18 inside), it has plenty of room for nails, flagging, paint, etc. It’s constructed of tough poly ripstop material and fits most five-gallon buckets. Wait, there’s more: the BB has three interior loops for hammers, drills, pry bars, and long tools. Around $32 on Amazon
When clearing brush and trees so you can find a pin or take a shot with your total station, sometimes your machete just doesn’t cut it (pun intended); that’s the beauty of the Pocket Chainsaw. It’s made of industrial-grade heat-treated steel, with a chain length of 26″. Bi-directional, it features self-cleaning style cutting teeth and cuts through anything from thin branches to large tree trunks in a flash. Small and compact, this one gets five stars on Amazon. Under $26
Fisher Space Pen
Even in this digital word, you still have to jot down notes now and then. The Fisher Space Pen has a lot going for it as a field pen. First, it writes at any angle, even upside down, in extreme temperatures from -30F to 250F. It carries a lifetime guarantee against all manufacturing defects and includes a removable clip. I’ve got one and it’s never let me down. Just over $18 on Amazon.
Shockproof and Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Mini Speaker
It’s not a great idea to wear ear buds or headphones on the job; safety factors require your situational awareness. Then how can you listen to tunes, keep up with the game, or monitor that big storm headed your way? One way is to grab one of these AmazonBasics Shockproof and Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Mini Speakers. It connects to smartphone, has all the other features in the title plus a dustproof design (rated IP 67), and doubles as a shower speaker when you’re not out pounding monuments. It comes with a handy carabiner clip to attach to your jacket, pack, or work pants. Just over $17.
No list of great gifts for geospatial pros would be complete without mentioning our great xyHt tee-shirts. The front says, “Adding the 4th dimension” and the back explains the xyHt moniker: “Left/Right, Fore/Aft, Up/Down, Time.” These shirts are printed on high-quality Hanes Tagless 100% ComfortSoft cotton. Shirts are $14.95 each and ship for $4 to U.S. addresses. Put you order in here.