Published on November 29, 2007
Geospatial Technologies inthe K-12 Classroom: Geospatial Technologies in the K-12 Classroom Brief Background: Brief Background Geospatial technologies are the twenty-first century mechanisms for more rapidly obtaining, managing and utilizing data to solve problems from a geographic, or spatial, perspective. Historically, obtaining data took much time: coastal mapping with compass and sextants, sailing ships, paper and pen; walking the Santa Fe Trail with paper and pen and journal; economic/resource mapping by foot, horse, camel, elephant, or ship. All of these methods took significant amounts of time. And the information was available on the one piece of paper (or copied to a few other papers). The information could not easily be obtained. Each time an individual or organization needed to collect information (population, natural resources, agriculture, habitat, climate, economic goods and products, best trade routes…), they would need to go into the field and gather the information (provided they did not have access to the original information). Soon, though, several organizations began to create a collection of information (United States Coastal Survey) that could be catalogued at a library or museum or office. But the information could not be obtained by everyone readily. In the past twenty years or so, new technologies have made the collection and sharing of information (data) more permanent. With the advent of GPS (global positioning systems), exact locations of data on the Earth’s surface can be collected and permanently stored. The stored data can be accessed and utilized by almost everyone through software designed to utilize the data (GIS – geographic information systems). GPS tools and GIS software are fairly easy to use and fun to use in the classroom! Begin with information students may already know:: Begin with information students may already know: A single point of data/information --- their desk in the classroom, the restroom in the school building, a tree location on the school’s property, the stop sign into the school’s parking lot, the monkey bars on the school’s playground, place of employment, friend’s house, movie theatre… Use the example of basic map skills (where is something located) to introduce GPS (global positioning systems) – which is the twenty-first century technology tool to find a single point of data location (desk, restroom, tree, stop sign, monkey bars). For older students, many have a GPS in their cellular telephones or in a family vehicle. Although GPS units are fun to use, students do not need to use one to understand the basic concepts behind a GPS. Also, introduce orienteering (work with a compass) as a way to get from point A to point B (from here to there): my desk to the teacher’s desk, my desk to the restroom, monkey bars to the swing set, one tree to another tree, my home to my job, my job to the movie theatre, the movie theatre to my friend’s house… Orienteering offers the opportunity to work with a math teacher to review geometry skills (triangulation). Once students understand the ideas of data, single point of data location, GPS, and orienteering, work toward the use of a GIS (geographic information systems), which is the twenty-first century mechanism to obtain, manage and utilize data (collected from millions of single points) to analyze and solve problems. The school does not need to purchase a GIS software, several are available on-line for free. In a GIS is “where” students can also utilize aerial photography (also called ortho-photography) and satellite imagery, which are very cool ways to view the Earth. Orienteering GPS GIS Aerial & Satellite Imagery: Orienteering GPS GIS Aerial & Satellite Imagery Indiana Social Studies – Geography = Academic Standard 3, Grades K-8 Kindergarten - 2 Grade 1 – 2 & 7 Grade 2 - 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 Grade 3 – 1, 3, 4, 6, & 7 Grade 4 – 1, 2, 5, 8, 9 & 10 Grade 5 – 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 11 Grade 6 – 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14 & 16 Grade 7 – 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16 Grade 8 – 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 Geography and History of the World Standard 1. Culture Hearths. Standard 2. World Religions. Standard 3. Population Characteristics, Distribution, and Migration. Standard 4. Exploration, Conquest, Imperialism, and Post-Colonialism. Standard 5. Urbanization. Standard 6. Innovations and Revolutions. Standard 7. Conflict and Cooperation. Standard 8. Trade and Commerce. Standard 9. Human and Environmental Interactions: Resources, Hazards, and Health. Standard 10. States, Nations, and Nation-States. Standard 11. Sports, Recreation, and Tourism. Standard 12. Global Change. Indiana Geography Standard 1 , High School - The World in Spatial Terms Students will use maps, globes, atlases, and grid-referenced technologies, such as remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to acquire and process information about people, places, and environments. Orienteering is a great place to start – a 2 dimensional introduction to space: Orienteering is a great place to start – a 2 dimensional introduction to space Highlights basic map skills Incorporates basic geometry skills Allows for observation journaling Includes drawing and inventory identification For great orienteering lessons/resources:: For great orienteering lessons/resources: Resources Boy Scouts of America - http://scoutstuff.org/cgi - Silva 1-2-3 Starter compass, $10.25. Other options at various price ranges and with various capabilities. Hiking supplies also. Scouts Orienteering information - http://www.scoutorienteering.com/ , http://www.meritbadge.com/mb/080.htm Camping Gurus – http://www.campinggurus.com – compasses and other orienteering supplies. Hearth Song – http://www.hearthsong.com – a very good compass for $4.95, $3.95 for two or more; item #724503. Indiana Department of Natural Resources – topographic maps and other maps: Map Sales, 402 West Washington Street, W160, Indianapolis, IN 46204-2741, 1.877.463.6367; http://www.in.gov/dnr/publications/mapsandmore.html Topozone – http://www.topozone.com – access topographic maps, shaded relief maps and aerial photographs of the region under study. TrueNorth and Associates – orienteering and mapping specialists with outreach for youth and adults - http://www.truenorth360.com/ Orienteering Unlimited - http://www.orienteeringunlimited.com/announcements.htm Orienteering Louisville - http://www.olou.org/index.html Lesson Plans Schoolyard Compass Game: Outdoor Practice - http://www.iupui.edu/~geni/lsort/schoolyardcompass.doc Compass Competition: Outdoor Practice - http://www.iupui.edu/~geni/lsort/compasscomp.doc Determining Distance: Outdoor or Indoor Practice - http://www.iupui.edu/~geni/lsort/determinedist.doc Three-Legged Compass Walk: Outdoor Practice - http://www.iupui.edu/~geni/lsort/threelegged.doc Compass Crusaders - http://www.iupui.edu/~geni/lsort/CompassCrusaders.doc Orienteering: Math, Science and Social Studies Integration - http://www.cwu.edu/~jefferis/unitplans/orienteering/ From orienteering, move to GPS – a 3-dimensional study of space: From orienteering, move to GPS – a 3-dimensional study of space The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. More satellites are currently being added. How it works GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user's exact location. GPS is a great way to connect Earth Science, Social Studies and Math. Image borrowed from Garmin For great GPS resources and lessons:: For great GPS resources and lessons: Resources Basic GPS Exercises – http://www.gps-practice-and-fun.com/gps-exercises.html Garmin equipment purchasing and technical support – http://www.garmin.com – click on Resources for guides and background information; good visuals for classroom explanations and classroom/field ideas. Geocaching – http://www.geocaching.com GPS4Educators – http://www.gps4educators.com – equipment purchasing, training, and technical support. Resource section with ideas, explanations, and imagery. Trimble Corporation – http://www.trimble.com/gps - Internet tutorial, equipment purchasing and technical support. Lesson Plans M & M’s Community and Geospatial Thinking Activity - http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gps.html Introduction to GPS Geocaching – http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gps.html GPS Meets Orthophotography – http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gps.html Surveying with GPS – http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gps.html Connect the Dots – http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gps.html It Happened on this Spot – http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gps.html Once the concepts behind GPS are understood, students can begin to implement a GIS: Once the concepts behind GPS are understood, students can begin to implement a GIS Better Information, Better Communication, Better Emergency Response Like most county governments, Allen County wants to provide taxpayers the best services possible, especially when it comes to public safety. One of the best ways to improve emergency response services is to improve communications - give responders better information faster. GIS has been integrated into the emergency communications center shared by the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County. The 911 dispatchers on duty can see property lines, aerial photography, streets and addresses. When a call comes in, dispatchers can see the location and relay important information directly to the people who need it most - the responders. Emergency personnel know what to expect when they arrive at a scene - how big a yard is, if there are outbuildings, alleys, or nearby schools. Dispatchers can also supply information from the GIS while responders are in transit. During a pursuit, police can herd the offender's car into a cul-de-sac, ending a potentially dangerous situation even if they are not familiar with the area. The GIS also works with the Federal E911 mandate that requires cell phones be locatable. In one instance, a woman called 911, said she was going to commit suicide, but hung up before dispatchers could get any other information. Using the GPS technology in her cell phone, dispatchers were able to pull up the woman's precise location and EMTs arrived within minutes. Results Safer Responders - forewarned is forearmed, especially in dangerous or unpredictable situations Safer Public - when emergency personnel can do their jobs better and more efficiently, lives are saved. For example Buildings Roads Water Images from ESRI and IGIC. For great GIS resources:: For great GIS resources: GIS Resources Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) – http://www.cees.iupui.edu – data, maps, site visits, and ideas. Click on GIS Data and Maps. Earth Explorer by United States Geological Survey – http://edcsns17.cr.usgs.gov/cgi- bin/EarthExplorer/phtml/BrowserTest.phtml – data and satellite imagery. Electronic Atlas of Central Indiana – http://atlas.ulib.iupui.edu – archived data, images and documents. ESRI – http://www.esri.com – On-line workshops, educator resources, and chat support. GIS and mapping software. Geography Network – http://www.geographynetwork.com/home.html - view data, aerial photographs, satellite imagery, remote sensing, regional map sets, and on-line mapping. Indiana GIS Initiative – http://www.in.gov.ingisi – collection of geo-technology users and providers forums, workshops/conferences, and potential linkages for classroom assistance. Indiana Geological Survey – http://igs.indiana.edu/survey/index.cfm - for a variety of Indiana physical landscape/geologic maps. Indianapolis/Marion County GIS Team – http://www6.indygov.org/gis - for lots of central Indiana geo-technology applications, data, create your own maps, and project ideas that students can apply in own region. Introduction to GIS – http://www.gis.com National Geographic Map Machine – http://www.nationalgeographic.com/education - on-line student adventures, create your own black-line maps, lesson plans, teacher forums and purchasing. The POLIS Center – http://www.polis.iupui.edu – GIS mapping applications and SAVI (Social Assets and Vulnerabilities Indicators) for central Indiana. Classroom ideas for any region. Population Reference Bureau – http://www.prb.org – lots of global population statistics/data, articles, lesson plans, and information pertinent to the global, 21st century world. Terraserver – http://www.terraserver.com Topozone – http://www.topozone.com – access topographic maps, shaded relief maps and aerial photographs of the region under study. United States/Indiana Geological Survey Interactive Maps – http://www.igs.indiana.edu/arcims.index.cfm . USGS Rocky Mountain Mapping Center – http://rmmcweb.cr.usgs.gov/outreach - Resources, tools, maps, activities, lessons, and on-line tutorials. U.S. Census Bureau – http://www.census.gov – for population statistics, maps and other information. The World Bank – http://www.worldbank.org – for population statistics and world development indicators and additional information regarding large-scale, global prioritization for development. For great GIS lessons:: For great GIS lessons: GIS Lessons and Activities IndianaMap, IGIC - http://www.in.gov/igic/ A Time of Peace: Where Should the X-Men Live? - http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gis.html GIS: Elementary Speaking, “Me on the Map” - http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gis.html Indiana Tornado Project – http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gis.html Rivers and Capitals - http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gis.html Overhead Transparencies Jump to the 21st Century - http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/gis.html Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) - http://www.cees.iupui.edu – data, maps, site visits, and ideas. Click on GIS Data and Maps. ESRI – 56 page downloadable pdf of GIS lessons and activities - http://www.esri.com/industries/k- 12/download/docs/explore.pdf ESRI GIS in K-12 Education information - http://www.esri.com/industries/k-12/education/teaching.html Specialized GIS Applications to Historic Solutions-Finding – “The 5th Street Cementary Study” – http://www.lewiston.k12.id.us/staff/sbranting/5thcem/5thcem.htm Orthophotography (Aerial) plays a key role in many areas: : Orthophotography (Aerial) plays a key role in many areas: Field studies of Indiana marshes – plant diversity, water quality, and wildlife diversity – help to better understand water filtration for improved water quality. Utilizing aerial photography and satellite imagery highlight areas to study, relationships of watershed areas, vegetation needs, and places of similar concerns around the globe. Images from City of Indinaapolis/Marion Co. GIS Team and NASA image files. Satellite Imagery and Remote Sensing are amazing tools; the Earth is a beautiful home: Satellite Imagery and Remote Sensing are amazing tools; the Earth is a beautiful home How do Indiana water issues impact the rest of North America or the Western Hemisphere? How do they relate to water issues around the globe? Jau Park Fed by multiple waterways, Brazil's Negro River is the Amazon River's largest tributary. The mosaic of partially-submerged islands visible in the channel disappears when rainy season downpours raise the water level. Mississippi River Delta Turbid waters spill out into the Gulf of Mexico where their suspended sediment is deposited to form the Mississippi River Delta. Like the webbing on a duck's foot, marshes and mudflats prevail between the shipping channels that have been cut into the delta. Bolivian Deforestation Once a vast carpet of healthy vegetation and virgin forest, the Amazon rain forest is changing rapidly. This image of Bolivia shows dramatic deforestation in the Amazon Basin. Loggers have cut long paths into the forest, while ranchers have cleared large blocks for their herds. Fanning out from these clear-cut areas are settlements built in radial arrangements of fields and farms. Healthy vegetation appears bright red in this image. For great aerial photography or satellite imagery resources:: For great aerial photography or satellite imagery resources: Resources Geography Network – http://www.geographynetwork.com/home.html - view data, aerial photographs, satellite imagery, remote sensing, regional map sets, and on-line mapping. Indianapolis/Marion County GIS Team – http://www6.indygov.org/gis - for lots of central Indiana geo-technology applications, data, create your own maps, and project ideas that students can apply in own region. NASA – http://www.nasa.gov – LOTS of satellite imagery, Earth as Art, on-line activities for students, and lessons for educators. Terraserver – http://www.terraserver.com for variety of maps, topographic. Topozone – http://www.topozone.com – access topographic maps, shaded relief maps and aerial photographs of the region under study. USGS – http://www.usgs.gov/ or http://edc.usgs.gov for variety of aerial and satellite imagery, topographic maps, Remote sensing and “Earth as Art” images. The College of Natural Resources GEOSpatial Sciences Teaching Lab – good explanations and visual about remote sensing – http://www.nr.usu.edu/~bbanner/intrsgis/intrs.htm For great aerial photography or satellite imagery lessons and activities:: For great aerial photography or satellite imagery lessons and activities: Lesson Plans Association of American Geographers (AAG) – http://www.aag.org – ARGUS compiles activities about the United States; “Geographers in Action” series of articles about geographers in various fields. Geography Educators’ Network of Indiana (GENI) – http://www.iupui.edu/~geni – link to the Lesson Plans, sort by topic or grade level. Michigan Geographic Alliance – http://www.wmich.edu/mga - Select Assessment and scroll down to view a grid of activities, grade levels, and standards. Mission Geography – http://missiongeography.org – Series of classroom activities focusing on the national geography standards and missions, research and science of NASA. Population Reference Bureau – http://www.prb.org – follow the Educator link to Lessons. GPS Meets Orthophotography - http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/ortho.html Happened on this Spot - http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/ortho.html Are You Looking at Me? - http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/ortho.html GIS Then and Now - http://www.iupui.edu/~gst/ortho.html Wrapping it all together: single point to layers: Wrapping it all together: single point to layers By reinforcing the basic knowledge of single points of data (GPS), layers of data, and multiple layers of data (GIS) students gain a better understanding of geospatial technologies today BASED on their already existing foundation of knowledge.
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