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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
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Geospatial Technologies Transforming Lives - Geoporter

Geospatial Technologies Transforming Lives - Geoporter | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Educating residents, teachers and youth in a costal community in Costa Rica to use geospatial technologies to investigate, map and make a difference.
Seth Dixon's insight:

If you are looking to find a practical example of how geospatial technologies can empower neighborhoods and students, take a look at the GEOPORTER project.  If you can assist, I can tell you that I know the people working on this project and am impressed by their work. 

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 2, 2013 10:57 PM

Environmental management -.coastal and marine environments.

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GPS Astray: Lost in Death Valley

GPS Astray: Lost in Death Valley | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Three women’s Death Valley day trip soured after their GPS led them to the edge of survival."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a extreme example, but this video serves as a cautionary tale.  The harsh and unforgiving physical geography of Death Valley does not tolerate a lack of preparation.  Here is part 2 of the video.  Garmin the GPS manufacturer's statement on these videos is quite telling "GPS's shouldn't be followed blindly...it is incumbent on users to obtain and update their GPS devices with the most recent map updates." 


Technology is designed to guide and assist our decision-making process--that does NOT mean we should turn over thinking functions to the device.  Spatial thinking is just like a muscle that will atrophy if it is never used.  So consult a map and think for yourself; newer technologies aren't always better or more reliable.   


Tagsmapping, GPS, geospatial, location, California.

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Mike Carney's curator insight, September 30, 2013 1:48 PM

GPS devices are very useful tools, but if you don't know how to use them properly they can be very frustrating and sometimes can get you into trouble. On the surface a GPS seems like a pretty fool-proof navigation device, but that's giving people way too much credit. A lot of (older) people can have a hard time following them. Take my mother-in-law for example, she once got lost for a half hour on the ten minute drive from my house to the highway. Somehow she missed the ONE turn and apparently didn't understand how to make a U-turn. People generally go astray if they fail to update their GPS, don't know how to configure their settings properly, or follow the GPS blindly. People often forget that they can just use the GPS as a map and figure out their own routes when the GPS is being wonky. Its also a good idea to keep real maps in your car so you don't have to rely soly on the GPS. The women from the video were dealing with a GPS that was following inaccurate and outdated information. At a time like this its a good idea to pull over and get out the map rather than drive in circles until you run out of gas.

 

Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, October 12, 2013 12:43 PM

       Is not always the best idea to only rely on you GPS when traveling, best thing to do is to get and updated maps.  Is always good to get information on where you are going, how long are you going to be there? So you can get enough supplies like food, water, clothes etc.  Also are you making other stops along the road? Let someone know where you going therefore; if something happened to you they know where to look for you, once again don’t always trust on electronic. Prepared AHEAD!!

Justin McCullough's curator insight, December 12, 2013 10:21 AM

Although I have grown up around technology, I've always been a little skeptical about its reliability. It is a good thing to have a GPS, but we should not rely solely upon it. Relying solely upon technolgy is not as good as it sounds. In some cases the GPS could be wrong and in instances such as these we need to be able to think for ourselves. Not having this ability is a dangerous situation. 

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In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A billion people worldwide live in slums, largely invisible to city services and governments — but not to satellites.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Most slums are systematically ignored by politicians and public utilities; squatter settlements are not built legally and they are treated as though they did not exist.  Mapping these communities makes them visible, literally putting them on the map can be an important step to legitimize the needs and requests of these poor residents and grant them greater access to public, municipal resources. 


Tagsmapping, GPS, podcast, GIS, poverty, squatter settlements, developmentAfricaKenya.

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John Blunnie's curator insight, July 28, 2013 10:11 AM

Great how tech and globalization can help represed people in other countries.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 2:07 PM

The slum-mapping movement began in India almost a decade ago and migrated to africa, the idea of this is to make slums a reality to people who have never set foot in one before. The maps can be used in court to stop evictions or simply to raise awarance. I think this idea is on the right track of what needs to be done. These people need help and so many people incuding the governement pretend they arent their but with these maps as proof they can no longer do that.    

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 7:24 AM

Slums and squatter settlements are a problem that a lot of the developing world has to deal with.  The unsafe and unsanitary buildings cause headaches and problems for the leaders of the cities they surround.  This story is hopeful in that the city did manage to bring a water line out to get clean water to the people living in this area.  Perhaps this will lead to a better quality of life of the inhabitants of this particular slum.  Also the project of mapping such areas can be a useful tool for city planners to better regulate these areas and help the people that live there.,

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Map

Seth Dixon's insight:

The best technologies aren't only the newest and the most expensive.  We are often attracted to the latest and greatest and devalue the tried and true practices out there. 

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Luis Aguilar Cruz's curator insight, July 1, 2013 11:50 PM

Bienvenue à l'expérience map

ethne staniland's curator insight, July 3, 2013 1:57 PM

very good

Justin McCullough's curator insight, December 12, 2013 10:29 AM

While technology does has its pros it also comes with its cons. GPS batteries can die; the map on the screen may be unreadable due to size, the GPS itself could break if not handled properly. When it comes to maps, it is durable and legible in any position. However, I can not read a map while driving my car to a certain place. It is rather difficult to find a place when i'm in unfamiliar territory. In this case the GPS is able to direct me to where i need to be. If handled properly, the GPS is, at least in my opinion, better than the map. However, it is nice to keep and extra map in the glove compartment, just in case. 

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Where the Streets Have No Name

Where the Streets Have No Name | Geography Education | Scoop.it
West Virginia aims to put its residents on the map
Seth Dixon's insight:

While this article does occasionally play off of the country bumpkin stereotypes we've all heard about West Virginians, there are some important concepts lying under the surface in the article.  All places have a location (both absolute and relative), but not one that is easily discernible to an outsider unfamiliar with the area.  Many emergency responders rely on geocoded addresses and GPS systems to location those in need, and the state of West Virginia is trying to ensure that even the most rural of residents is on the grid.  Many location-based technologies lose their value as soon as you leave a named road, so these systematic campaign will strengthen the push for modernization and digital systems.  How will this change the cultural landscape?   

 

Tags: rural, location, GPS.

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Latitude and Longitude of a Point

Latitude and Longitude of a Point | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Find the latitude and longitude of a point using Google Maps.


Simple, straightforward and easy to use.  All you do is point and click on the map to get latitude and longitude in both decimal degrees and DMS (degrees, minutes and seconds).  You can also quickly enter coordinates in either format an have the location displayed on the map.


Tags: GPS, mapping, location.

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GPS or Maps?

GPS or Maps? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

We are a society that is reliant on modern navigational devices.  This is an interesting article that argues for keeping modern equipment, but asks us not to eliminate older technologies in our haste to embrace the shiny and new.  "Technology as great as it is should never be a replacement for skills, but a tool used to assist you."


Tags: GPS, technology, spatial.   

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melissa stjean's comment, September 15, 2012 1:15 PM
Driving in New York City is as scary as it gets with all the craziness going on everywhere. When my GPS signal decided to go out was not a fun time, thankfully in my car i had a real map of the city to come to my rescue. I totally agree with this article because although new technology is great, it can give out on you at any time. So knowing how to read and use real maps is crucial when driving in new territories.
Jeff F's comment, September 17, 2012 3:49 PM
I love gps, however, I always look at a map before hand and get an idea of what the major streets in the area are. GPS also sometimes does not take into effect things like bridges being down. Two months ago, I was trying to find some place and my gps kept trying to lead me to a bridge which was closed. I ended up zooming out and looking at the map to know where the street was I was looking for. I then managed to find a route that lead around the bridge.
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Using a Smartphone and ArcGIS Online

Using a Smartphone and ArcGIS Online | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Now that it is easy to gather tracks and waypoints on a smartphone and map them in a GIS, it provides a good opportunity to remind students about the importance of being critical of and paying attention to data. I recently went on a walk around a local reservoir and used the Motion X GPS app on my iPhone to collect my track and a few waypoints. I emailed the data to myself and added the GPX file to ArcGIS Online so I could map and examine the track. I made my results public and made it visible below to feature some teachable moments......"

 

What a perfect combination!  Students more and more have these fantastic computing devices that we often underutilize (or ban outright) in their education.  This article shows how to bring GIS and a student's smartphone together.

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Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 2, 2012 10:20 AM
Mapping and examining your tracks of direction on the move, you can't get any more "real time" than that! And I have been witness to a change in school settings, in regards to cell phone use in school. I can remember before students had advanced cell phones, and cell phones were not allowed to be seen out of one’s pocket in a classroom. But now I am seeing cell phones being an advantage to classroom studies.
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How to Fool a GPS

What if you could use GPS technology to find your misplaced keys? How about if you could use that same technology to lie about where you were in the world or...

 

We know the common usages of GPS technologies.  As the accuracy of GPS data improves, how does this expand the potenial uses?  What are the ethnics and legalities of GPS tracking devices?  Just like hackers online alter the information with rely on, this video is an introduction to the analogous GPS spoofing technology.  This TED talk is a great exploration of the future of GPS technology and privacy issues. 

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Ms. Harrington's comment, July 17, 2012 5:52 AM
The bit about neighbors tracking eachother is an example of the law not keeping up with technology and modernization. This is an interesting and complex issue that will come up again and again in the future, I am sure.
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GPS technology maps land rights for Africa's 'forest people'

GPS technology maps land rights for Africa's 'forest people' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In the lush rainforests of Africa's Congo Basin, hundreds of thousands of indigenous people live as hunter gatherers, depending on the forest's natural resources for their survival.

 

The "Mapping for Rights" program trains people in the Congo to map the land they live on using GPS and other geospatial technologies.  This can assist the to produce documents to politically protect their land from encroachment and preserve their access to the forest.  Globalization can blur many of the modern/traditional narratives as the world becomes interconnected in complex ways.     

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China Seeks ‘Independence’ From GPS With Own Satellite Navigation Service

China Seeks ‘Independence’ From GPS With Own Satellite Navigation Service | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A Chinese satellite navigation system began providing services yesterday as the nation seeks to end its “dependence” on the U.S.’s Global Positioning System, or GPS, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

 

China's satellite geolocation system, Beidou, has become operational. It is believed to be accurate to within 10 meters, which beats the U.S. military's GPS (accurate within 20 m). Is this an economic move for China or a way become militarily independent from the U.S.?  How will this change geospatial intelligence?   

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Intro to Geospatial Technologies for K-12

"Trying to get middle and high school students interested in careers in science and technology? This video is the first in a series targeted at students to show the what's on the cutting edge..."

Geospatial technologies explained simply, showing the potential jobs in geography.

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GIS student's comment, November 17, 2011 10:12 AM
This video shows how GIS systems can integrated into the curriculum of K-12 students. Pretty much every subject discussed in these curriculums can be expressed with geospatial technologies. For example a science class can use maps that represent different data sets such as areas prone to volcanos, areas prone to hurricanes, and other natural disaster locations. A history class can use maps to represent different historical battles. The possibilities are endless, but the main goal is to introduce GIS at a younger age because it is a fast growing topic.
Seth Dixon's comment, November 17, 2011 10:17 AM
GIS should NOT just be the private domain of professors and govt. employees...the applications are endless.
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Spatial Navigation Before GPS

Spatial Navigation Before GPS | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Giant 70-foot concrete arrows that point your way across the country, left behind by a forgotten age of US mail delivery.  Long before the days of radio (and those convenient little smartphone applications), the US Postal service began a cross-country air mail service using army war surplus planes from World War I.  The federal government funded enormous concrete arrows to be built every 10 miles or so along established airmail routes they were each built alongside a 50 foot tall tower with a rotating gas-powered light. These airway beacons are said to have been visible from a distance of 10 miles high."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is fascinating...just because a technology is old and outdated in modern society doesn't mean it wasn't ingenious.  The original mathmeticans who calcuated angles and distances study geometry so they could navigate and 'measure the Earth.' These giant arrows are but one of those links in the geneological strands of navigational technology.   Mathematics can be incredibly spatial as well as geospatial.   

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Giovanni Sonego's curator insight, December 15, 2013 10:49 AM

Adesso sembra incredibile che si usasse un sistema simile per guidare la posta aerea. Forse a quei tempi sembrava normale. 

Giovanni Sonego's curator insight, December 15, 2013 10:49 AM

Adesso sembra incredibile che si usasse un sistema simile per guidare la posta aerea. Forse a quei tempi sembrava normale. 

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 12:14 AM

I love articles like this one where they talk about the collide of different times. This article speaks of huge concrete arrows which were left from 1930's air mail routes. sadly most of the towers that were paired with the arrows have been dismantled but still really cool that these directional arrows from the past can still be found almost 90 years later.

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The Longitude Problem

The Longitude Problem | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Today we take it for granted that through GPS technology we can instantaneously determine our latitude and longitude.  This video documents how for centuries it was fairly easy to determine latitude at sea by measuring the height of the sun in the sky, but longitude (determined by the difference in time between local noon and the noon of a fixed point) could only be estimated.  The British Empire saw solving the "longitude problem" as the key to solidifying their economic dominance at sea and they established the Board of Longitude in this 18th century "race to the moon." Today the University of Cambridge has digitized the Board of Longitude's archives with a series of five shorter video clips.  


Tagsmapping, GPS, historical, cartography, geospatial, location.

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Romain ARMAND's comment, August 21, 2013 2:17 AM
Thank you for the video and fo the link to the Board of Longitude! Already know this story, but still amazing and well documented.
Richard Miles's curator insight, September 5, 2013 4:30 PM

Great video on how the problem of longitude was solved.

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Shark Tracker

Shark Tracker | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a project sponsored by OCEARCH (Ocean Reseach) that helps to track the journeys of individual sharks to better understand their migratory patterns.  This data also helps to establish maps of the spatial extend of Shark habitat.  This is in essence another fantastic practical application of GPS technology.


Tags: biogeographymapping, GPS.

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Al Picozzi's comment, July 16, 2013 8:51 PM
its just never safe to get back intot he water is it. guess Im just showing my age with that movie reference. Saw Jaws at the Route 44 Drive in the Rustic full the the metal speaker that hung on your window...so much fun
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Digital Map Error May Have Led To Minesweeper Grounding

Digital Map Error May Have Led To Minesweeper Grounding | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A digital chart used by the minesweeper USS Guardian to navigate Philippine waters misplaced the location of a reef by about eight nautical miles, and may have been a significant factor when the ship drove hard aground on the reef on Jan.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Accurate, reliable data is crucial for countless applications. 

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Mark Trinidad's comment, January 24, 2013 1:29 PM
strong magnetic current??
Deborah Vane's curator insight, January 25, 2013 7:45 AM

Digital gone wrong. 

Mark Trinidad's comment, January 30, 2013 2:26 PM
well they are already warned by PCG but they have their own water line..
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What Is Geocaching?

Learn about the high-tech treasure hunting game being played around the world by adventure seekers! Learn more at http://www.geocaching.com Subscribe to this...


Geocaching is great way to get people outdoors, use geospatial technologies and have fun with the whole family. 


Tags: GPS, edtech, geospatial, technology, location.

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Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 7:56 AM

I have tried geocaching and it really does make you use geospatial tools. You have to know exactly where you are in reference to a map, you have to know directions in which you must travel, and you know you have to reach a certain place. While a fun activity, it is also a great geographic learning tool. 

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Bounces in GPS signals reveal snow depth

Bounces in GPS signals reveal snow depth | Geography Education | Scoop.it
UNAVCO, a non-profit university-governed consortium, facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy.


"Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research have been using what is typically considered an error in the GPS signal to measure snow depth around GPS receivers. A GPS receiver records both direct and reflected signals from a satellite. A reflected signal bounces off of whatever is around the GPS station before being recorded, and therefore can contain information about the ground surface close to the station.

Traditionally snow depth has been measured by hand. In other words, someone had to go out with a measuring stick to whatever location they were interested in.  GPS snow depth measurements solve both of these problems: once a GPS unit is installed, it can function on its own throughout the winter, and will make a measurement every two hours, which is then averaged for a daily position, or in this case, snow depth."


Tags: GPS, climatechange, water, technology,

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Create QR Codes for GPS Coordinates to Create Scavenger Hunts

Create QR Codes for GPS Coordinates to Create Scavenger Hunts | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Create QR Codes for GPS Coordinates to Create Scavenger Hunts...

 

Not everyone was access to a full class set of GPS units.  As more students have smart phone capabilities, this is just one idea on how to leverage that technology. 

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Think GPS is cool? IPS will blow your mind

Think GPS is cool? IPS will blow your mind | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For all of its awesome applications, GPS has two fundamental flaws: It doesn't work indoors, and it can't really detect altitude. An Indoor Positioning System would fix that -- and introduce some seriously awesome applications.

 

Geolocation was listed as one of the important growth industries for the future (it also is a way to reassure students that the their are jobs for geography majors).  The IPS isn't quite here, but it's hard to imagine that is too far away. 

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Matt E.'s comment, August 27, 2012 8:12 AM
This is pretty cool, i never thought of having a gps inside large buildings like malls
Jesse G's comment, August 27, 2012 8:24 AM
This would be very helpful when traveling to large indoor tourist attractions. Especially if you are with a group of people in a large museum and you get spilt up, you can locate each other easier.
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Soda vs. Pop with Twitter

Soda vs. Pop with Twitter | Geography Education | Scoop.it
One of the great things about Twitter is that it’s a global conversation anyone can join anytime. Eavesdropping on the world, what what!

 

While many educators have been using http://popvssoda.com/ to show the linguistic regions in the United States, this is a similar map, with the added social media component.  To map out these regions, the cartographer used the word choice on geo-tagged tweets as the data source.  For another twitter, map, the following link shows which regions are most actively engaged on Twitter: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/top-countries-on-twitter_n_1653915.html

What do these regions show us?  What types of regions are these?

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Chris W's comment, August 27, 2012 8:02 AM
This is a really cool use of twitter! I use the term soda, which most of the northeast uses as well.
Courtney Burns's curator insight, September 14, 2013 7:35 PM
Twitter is something that is becoming widely used, and is something I usually check everyday. I never really thought of twitter beyond advertising and communicating. It is amazing the kind of data that can be extracted from peoples tweets. In the soda vs. pop argument I would say soda which makes sense since the data shows that people in the Northeast refer to it as soda. Twitter is so current that you can actually get some current and accurate data just from reading the hash tags in peoples tweets. It's amazing that such information can be extracted from all around the world.
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Is GPS Ruining Our Navigation Skills?

Is GPS Ruining Our Navigation Skills? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Relying on GPS devices can erode our ability to develop mental maps.

 

While GPS technology can help us in a pinch, relying primarily on a system that does not engage our navigation skills will weaken our ability to perform these functions.  While this intuitively makes sense, that the 'mental muscles' would atrophy when not used, it is a reminder that an overuse of geospatial technologies can be intellectually counterproductive.  

 

A distinction should be made between outdoor GPS usage (where the user receives data and makes navigational decisions) and vehicular GPS usage (where the computer typically will make all the decisions for you).  As long as you are a part of the decision-making process, you will be strengthening your navigationals skills.  In London cab drivers, they've discovered that their brains expand as they aquire 'the knowledge' of the city: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16086233 

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, August 27, 2012 8:16 AM
Agreed! This is very true! How many times do you hear "I'll use a map to get there" now a days you hear "I will just use my gps". I much rather use a map where I can see a head of time where to go rather than listen to the gps as I navigate to my designated location.
Seth Dixon's comment, August 27, 2012 9:16 AM
The brain is just like a muscle and if you turn over the spatial analysis part of your brain over to a machine, you lose the ability to understand spatial relationships in you own neighborhood.
Paige T's comment, August 28, 2012 11:25 AM
GPS devices can work as an easy, quick solution once in a while. However, we are becoming very reliant on them to the point where some people are watching the GPS rather than the road. I recently drove through a town for the second time and had almost no memory of where I was going because the first time around I used a GPS to navigate my way. Maps are great because you can not only plan out your route, but you can also easily see the surrounding area.
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New Scientist TV: Why GPS is just a clock in space

New Scientist TV: Why GPS is just a clock in space | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Thanks to GPS, planes, cars and cellphones can quickly be guided to any destination. The system uses a network of satellites, but how do they relay the correct coordinates from space?  GPS is just a big clock in space. By communicating with four time-keeping satellites, a GPS device can determine it's exact position."

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YouTube: ESRI Education's Channel

YouTube: ESRI Education's Channel | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This links you to the video "Drawing with GPS, Mapping with GIS."  How and why to draw shapes and letters with your GPS track function and map them in educational contexts. It can be a fun outdoor activity that can get students to spatially reconsider their campus, neighborhood and local environment.  Also, it will link you to the YouTube channel with many other ideas and tips.   

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