Mobile geospatial technologies

Enhancing fieldwork in geography
October  2012  
                     

  Brisbane  Catholic  Education     Contour  Education  

 

Preparation  
Importance  of  good  geography   You  aren’t  using  ICTs  for  the  sake  of  using  ICTs,  you  are  using  ICTs  to  assist  you  in   teaching  geography;  to  help  your  students  identify  patterns,  make  connections  and  draw   conclusions.  Good  geography  is  the  desired  outcome  and  make  sure  that  is  your  overarching   goal.     Wi-­‐fi  access   Some  devices  are  not  3G  or  4G  enabled  and  a  portable  wi-­‐fi  hotspot  may  be  necessary   to  use  these  devices  in  the  field.  Some  applications  allow  you  to  pre-­‐cache  information  so   that  it  is  stored  on  your  device  while  you  are  connected  to  wi-­‐fi.  Check  the  details  of  each   application.    

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©  Contour  Education,  2012  

In  the  field  
 

Mobile  geospatial  applications  allow  students  to  see  their  location  while  they  are  on-­‐ the-­‐go.  Different  apps  have  different  features;  some  are  exclusively  for  geocaching,  some   replicate  the  functions  of  a  traditional  GPS  receiver  while  others  simply  display  already   existing  maps.  These  technologies  can  be  used  by  students  to  view  their  location  and  nearby   features,  find  hidden  objects  such  as  geocaches,  record  their  location  or  a  track  while  in  the   field  and  display  information  relevant  to  their  location.    

Classroom  applications  
Google  Maps:   • App:  Google  Maps  (free)   • Save  locations  easily  for  later  use;  if  the  location  is  matched   with  meaningful  data  it  could  be  used  to  display  that  information  later   either  online  or  in  the  field  via  Google  Earth  or  Maps  (e.g.  water   quality  or  survey  data).     Geocaching:   • Apps:  Geocaching  (free  and  paid)  and  Looking  4  cache  (free   and  paid)   • Conduct  a  treasure  hunt  around  the  school  grounds   • Create  challenging  and/or  topical  puzzles  to  reveal  each  location   • Use  preloaded  geocaches  to  move  your  students  around  the  field   • View  this  great  resource  for  using  geocaching  in  the  classroom,  make  sure  you  view   the  presentation  <http://guides.lib.campbell.edu/geocaching>  
 

 

   
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©  Contour  Education,  2012  

  GPS  
• Apps:  Viewranger  (free  and  paid)  or  

MotionX  GPS  (paid)   • Collect  locational  data  as  a  point  (POI)   or  track   • Integrate  your  locations  with  data   collected  in  the  field   • Record  hiking  or  walking  tracks  for   display  in  other  applications,  such  as   Google  Earth   • Share  your  data  for  use  in  other  tools   such  as  Google  Earth      

  ArcGIS   App:  ArcGIS  (free-­‐requires  free  registration)   • Display  previously  created  maps  while  in  the  field.  

 

 

Resources  
Google  Maps  <https://maps.google.com.au/>   Geocaching     <https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/geocaching/id292242503?mt=8>   Viewranger  <https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/viewranger-­‐outdoors-­‐gps-­‐ open/id404581674?mt=8>   Looking  4  cache  <http://www.looking4cache.com/>   ArcGIS  <https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/arcgis/id379687930?mt=8>    
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Managing  field  data  
Once  field  data  has  been  collected,  there  are  other  specialty  applications  that  are  used  to   manage  that  data.  These  apps  allow  your  students  to  manage  their  geocaches  and   geocaching  profile,  manage  their  GPS  data  collected  in  the  field,  export  and  add  to   locational  data  and  display  high  quality  maps  for  analysis  in  the  classroom.  Here  we  can  take   the  points  and  tracks  that  were  collected  in  the  field  and  add  other  data  to  them,  for   instance  water  quality  data.  

 

Classroom  applications  
Students  can:   • Log  geocaches  once  they  have  been  collected  in  the  field     • Manage  saved  geocaches   • Manage  saved  GPS  data  including  waypoints  (or  POIs),  tracks  and  routes   • Export  and  import  data  from  one  application  to  another   • Join  data  to  your  locational  data  for  analysis   • Create  maps  for  use  in  reports,  infographics  or  presentations.    

Resources  
Geocaching.com  <http://www.geocaching.com/>   Viewranger.com  <http://www.viewranger.com/en-­‐gb>   ArcGIS  Explorer  Online  <http://www.arcgis.com/explorer/>   AGXO  classroom  resource  from  Department  of  Natural  Resources  and  Mines   <http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/waterwise/education/units/pdf/y6y7/1930-­‐y7-­‐geography-­‐ visualising-­‐water-­‐quality-­‐web.pdf>      

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©  Contour  Education,  2012  

Static  geospatial  applications  
There  are  a  wide  range  of  geography-­‐related  applications  that  are  not  geospatial.   These  consist  mainly  of  geography  themed  games,  quizzes,  atlases  and  specialist   applications  such  as  the  Pacific  Disaster  Centre’s  Disaster  alert.      

 

Classroom  applications  
These  applications  may  be  used  as  a  reward  for  students,  to  gather  relevant   information  or  media,  or  to  explore  a  particular  topic  such  as  natural  hazards.    

 

 

Resources  
Disaster  alert     <https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/disaster-­‐alert-­‐pacific-­‐disaster/id381289235?mt=8>   iEarthquakes  lite     <https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/earthquake-­‐lite/id372888894?mt=8>   Geophoto  explorer     <https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/geo-­‐photo-­‐explorer/id375610961?mt=8>        

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©  Contour  Education,  2012  

QR  Codes    
QR  codes,  right,  are  essentially  barcodes  on  steroids.  They  need   to  be  read  with  a  specialist  application  and  once  read,  will  do   something.  They  can  direct  the  device  to  a  website,  open  a  location  in   a  map,  point  to  a  YouTube  video,  call  a  telephone  number,  send  an   email,  generate  a  calendar  event,  open  text,  even  log  into  a  wi-­‐fi   network,  and  more.  In  the  classroom,  they  can  be  used  as  tools  to   move  students  around  an  area  or  point  them  to  particular  resources.     QR  codes  can  be  generated  on  any  number  of  websites  and  are   very  easy  to  do.  QR  Stuff  is  a  simple,  free  start.    

Classroom  applications  
Use  YouTube  or  an  audio  recording  site  to  put  yourself  in  the  field  with  your   students.  Ask  them  questions,  inform  them  and  get  them  thinking  about  the  issues  in  a   more  engaging  way  than  via  your  fieldwork  booklet.   • Create  a  QR  code  based  quiz  where  students  are  asked  a  question  and  given  two   answers,  both  with  QR  codes.  Only  one  leads  to  the  next  location,  the  other  to  a  dead  end!    

Resources  
QR  Stuff  free  QR  code  generator  <http://www.qrstuff.com/>   Record  mp3  free  audio  recorder  à  URL  <http://www.recordmp3.org/>            

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©  Contour  Education,  2012