Rock Mapper is compatible with any iPad that supports iOS 13 or later. For best user experience we recommend the iPad Pro 2020 or 2021 (11 inch) with Apple Pencil (2nd generation).

Apple iPad Pro with Apple Pencil

Rock Mapper is an iOS app that generally runs on any iPad (no Android version available). However, we recommend to use a 2020 or 2021 Apple iPad Pro (11 inch) because it has a wide angle 12 Megapixel, a ultra-wide angle 10 Megapixel camera and a LiDAR sensor built in.
For the best user experience we recommend to get a 2nd generation Apple Pencil. It's light-weight and very comfortable to use. It gets charged as soon as it is magnetically attached to the side of the iPad.

Rugged / waterproof case

In order to protect your device from the rough conditions that are encountered when working underground, it's advisable to get a ruggedized case for the iPad Pro. Some of them include a dedicated holder for the recommended Apple Pencil. Here is a list of selected cases that are currently available.




Unicorn Beetle Pro
axtion bold MP
Smart Rugged Case



Pencil holder?


Please note that there are older versions of the iPad Pro without LiDAR sensor. Based on the year they were released, there is an iPad Pro 2018, an iPad Pro 2020 and an iPad Pro 2021. They look very similar, but the iPad Pro 2018 has a single lens camera at the back and doesn't support LiDAR whereas the iPad Pro 2020 and 2021 feature a multi-lens setup with LiDAR. For (future) 3D scanning capabilities in Rock Mapper the LiDAR sensor is required.

LED light

In order to achieve best image quality we recommend to use a high power, rugged & splash-proof LED light such as the Bosch GLI 18V-2200 C (2,200 lumens) or Scangrip Nova 4 SPS (4,000 lumen) for underground face photography. More light, better pictures, even with the iPad's built-in camera/sensor.

Laser distance meter

Most geologists already use a laser distance meter (aka laser disto) to measure the width of the face. In Rock Mapper this measurement is used to scale the face photograph. Additionally, using a laser disto the distance between the face and a reference point such as a drive direction laser station can be measured as well. Rock Mapper uses this distance to compute the 3D location of the drive direction laser point that is visible on the face. Here are a few selected laser distos:
Leica D2 (100m range)
Leica X3 (150m range)
Bosch GLM 100 (100m range)
Bosch GLM 250 (250m range)
Stabilia LD 520 (200m range)

Tripod (optional)

When increasing exposure time in order to acquire pictures under low-light conditions it's recommended to place the camera on a tripod (or stable monopod with base/feet) to eliminate motion and the associated motion blur. Even when capturing pictures directly with the iPad Pro the use of a tripod with a tablet mount can improve the image quality. However, the use of a powerful LED light allows to capture quality imagery without the need of a tripod.

Digital camera (optional)

Underground face photographs can also be captured using a dedicated digital camera. We recommend to use a lens with a focal length around 12mm. Note that most modern digital cameras have WIFI built in, therefore images can be wirelessly transferred to the iPad while at the face and subsequently used in Rock Mapper. Based on the camera brand, please install the necessary image transfer app on your iPad.
Canon: Canon Camera Connect
Sony: Imaging Edge Mobile
Nikon: SnapBridge
Panasonic: Panasonic Image App

If you have a camera without WIFI then we recommend to get a SD card with built-in WIFI, such as the FlashAir W-04. Use it with the FlashAir iOS app.

Rock Mapper Hardware Package

UPDATED 05/2021

Order our high-quality hardware package that includes everything to get you started. It can also be bundled up with a 3 or 12 months license for Rock Mapper.

Apple iPad Pro (2021) | 11 inch | 256 GB | Wifi model
Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
Rugged (or waterproof) case for iPad 11 Pro
Carrying bag
Rugged, high-power LED light (IP64 or IP67 rated) including LiION battery & charger

Interested? Get in touch

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