4-H GPS / GIS PROJECT
There are a plethora of GIS based maps now available on-line. A good place to begin is the Google Earth download. Youth could spend days exploring the planet and cultures in great detail through this tool.
Middle / Intermediate
• What is GIS?
• Beginning Activities Exploring GIS – includes a software download
• Examples of Data Maps
Use still data maps to encourage critical thinking in youth. What do the maps show? What questions do the maps raise? What conclusions can be drawn?
What is data? How do we measure? What do we measure?
• Navigation Basics (pdf): Most interactive maps will have the same set of tools. This worksheet, paired with the websites below, will give youth a chance to discover what each tool does.
Have students choose from some of the interactive maps below to draw and redraw maps with different layers. (when applicable) Ask them to develop a hypothesis based on what they see in the layers they join.
• National Geographic Map Machine
• NOAA Data Center - Map Viewers
• USGS National Map Viewer
• Department of Ecology Databases
• U.S. Census Fact Finder
• National Atlas
Once you are familiar with the concepts, here is a great tool for Middle School students:
Arc Explorer Java Edition for Education
High / Senior
What is GIS?
• USGS Intro
• ESRI Website
• ArcGIS online map
• Geospatial Platform online map
The more you delve into using GIS the more you will need data. Many websites now store, manage and project data. This University of Wisconsin webpage is full of useful data source links. Create a profile of your community.
• National Database Portal
• Geospatial Careers
• Advanced Resources
GIS / Data Collection Activities
• University of Washington Nature Mapping