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APSU Students Evaluate GPS Chips and other Education GIS News

Tuesday, December 11th 2012
By Adena Schutzberg

An Austin Peay State University geosciences student determined his mobile phone located some geological features on a highway. That prompted further explorations into the accuracy of GPS chips in phones, tablets and actual dedicated GPS receivers. That in turn lead to a formal study where no cell coverage was available and in the city where it was. That resulted in a paper and a poster presented at the Geological Society of America’s national conference in Charlotte, N.C. I appluad the authentic learning here!

“The iPhone was one of the worst ones we checked,” Testa said. “It has an accuracy of 46 meters off each point. If somebody is going out there and collecting 20 or 30 points of data, if each one is 40 meters off, they might as well just delete the whole thing.”

Sadly, exaclty how these devices work did not make it to the reporter.

A lot of devices will use the GPS chip to bounce off satellites and triangulate off cell phone towers, Testa said. Since there’s no cell phone reception, the device is required to work off just the GPS chip, just like in real field work.

Bounce off satellites?

- The Leaf Chronicle

Archaeologists are getting a new perspective of the abandoned gravesite near UVa.'s University Cemetery. Researchers are looking to the skies to learn more about what's hidden underground.

A camera strapped to a balloon snapped hundreds of aerial photos of the land Tuesday morning.

"We just fly it up, take a picture every two seconds and then sort through the pictures," said Chris Gist, a GIS Specialist in the Scholars' Lab at Alderman Library. "It gives us an advantage that we can get up in height over the site without destroying it."

The area is believed to be the final resting place of dozens of enslaved African-Americans, dating back to the 1800's, according to Benjamin Ford principal investigator of Rivanna Archaeological Services.

No, no drones needed here!
 
National Geographic Education Programs and Lindblad Expeditions are pleased to announce the 2013 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow program. This professional development opportunity is named in honor of Gilbert M. Grosvenor, Chairman Emeritus National Geographic Society and Education Foundation. The program is designed to give current K-12 classroom teachers and informal educators from the 50 U.S. states, Canada, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico the opportunity to extend Grosvenor’s legacy of excellence in geographic education. Selected educators will travel aboard the ship National Geographic Explorer in June, July or August 2013 to Norway, Arctic Svalbard, Iceland, Greenland or the Canadian High Arctic. While aboard, Fellows will share the importance of geo-literacy with fellow travelers, develop activities to bring back to their classrooms, and have an adventure of a lifetime. Prior to the expedition, all 2013 Grosvenor Teacher Fellows will travel to Washington, D.C. on April 25-28th with all expenses covered to participate in a pre-trip workshop sponsored by Google, National Geographic, and Lindblad Expeditions. 

Through this program, exemplary educators are recognized for their commitment to geo-literacy and are given a professional development opportunity to be actively engaged in finding new ways to bring geographic awareness and ocean stewardship to their classrooms or informal learning environments through a field-based experience.
The submission period for 2013 applications runs December 3, 2012 to January 8, 2013.
 
- webpage (via NCGE on Facebook)
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