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GIS Resources

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?
ESRI Intro

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?

Interactive Maps
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.

Studying Relationships
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

Exploring Data
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


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