Students learn how to use latitude and longitude to describe location on the Earth’s surface. Students also learn how Global Positioning Systems (GPS) function and how we can use everyday technology (for example, smart phones) to find latitude and longitude. Two concepts are introduced: 1) Properties of electromagnetic waves (the speed of light and the relationship between distance, velocity and time), and 2) Geometric concept of triangulation. Students map the point locations of an object of interest (for example trees, benches, etc.) and then view the results of their mapping as displayed in a web page and in Google Earth®. They also learn how to place their maps into a word processing (Microsoft Word®) document.
Students perform a computer lab activity to answer basic geographic questions about the watersheds in which they live. This module is an opportunity for students to: 1. Learn how to read topographic maps, 2. Use computers and GIS to visualize topographic information, 3. Learn how to draw using a computer, 4. Learn how to measure area and distance using a computer, and 5. Learn how to interpret satellite imagery to answer basic questions about land-use.