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13 October 2007 @ 08:45 am
Community Mapping and Adult Learning  
Although we have been using the tablets and associated web sites in our Geomatics Programming class, for us the greatest attraction of the tablets is the mobility... the ability to take the tablets and the geomatics applications we have residing on them (GPS data collection, mapping, analysis) to new locations and new groups.   On Friday (October 12th), Heather spent the morning introducing fundamental mapping concepts (map coordinates, projections), GPS data collection, and the plotting of GPS data on topo maps as part of the ALP (Adult Learning Program) geography class.  We used a number of Garmin GPS data collectors, and the HP tablets of course.  For mapping software, we used ArcExplorer.  For support materials we provided a Moodle site with study materials, and a forum.  A number of the students asked to be signed up to the site.  This gives us a way to continue the relationship with this group after the workshop is over.

First Heather introduced concepts, and the use of the tablets, the Moodle site, and the Garmins.   Then everyone went out to the playing field to map the area around the campus using the Garmin GPS data collectors.  Here they are shown gathered around one of the numerous weather stations we have scattered through out the Annapolis Valley as part of our environmental monitoring activities.  The students are listening as Heather provides some last minute clarifications on the use of the Garmin.

After the field work, the students returned to the classroom to plot the points they have collected on maps using ArcExplorer.  Finally, Heather relates their experiences to locations on a familiar paper map, the 1:50,000 topo map published by the Canadian government.  A good day was had by all!

Next week, we will be mapping the lost community of Roxbury as part of the Nova Scotia Community College's Reaching Out event.