Thursday, February 21, 2013

Back to basics with GIS

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Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
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Where am I??
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'

Getting a start with GIS
Whilst I have been working on the promotion of GIS amongst geography (and others) teachers in Australia for many years, this year I am back in the geography classroom and ready to introduce GIS to my students.  Initially I created this posting for my classes GeogSplace blog, I thought it might be a useful starting point for any Spatialworlds readers wanting a nice simple start in using GIS with their class. This posting is very much a what, why and how introduction to GIS for a class using the great mapZone and ESRI education sites.  So here it is.

A GIS starter

Now that we have played with the basics of mapping (grid references, legends, scale, lat/long, topography, contours, site, situation, directions and bearings) it is time to use what all modern geographers use in their work: geographical information systems.

Work through the GIS focus section on Map Zone (from the UK Ordnance Survey). This will get you a good background to the nature and use of GIS

What is GIS? from ESRI. ESRI is the software we will use in class. It is called ArcGIS 10.1. On this site go through the Overview section on:
  • What is GIS?
  • What can be done with GIS?
  • The Geographic approach?
  • GIS glossaries.

Read this page on what is GIS to give you some background on some crucisl GIS terms (Vector and Raster).

Who uses GIS?
GIS is often associated with making maps, but GIS professionals do much more than that. GIS is used to manage human activities. GIS professionals visualize, analyze, and model our world to help organizations make informed decisions.

Watch some of the videos on jobs using GIS

Now go back to the Map Zone site and have a go at one of the GIS Missions on:
  • Flood damage control
  • Wind power location
  • Control and command
  • Shopping for profit
  • Farm management
  • Crime stopper
You should now have some background on the nature of GIS, its application and who uses it. Now it is time for you to learn how to use it for your studies.

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