Using GPS - Forestry Suppliers
Forestry Suppliers Lesson Plan
Using GPS
Forestry Suppliers’ GPS F.I.E.L.D. Kit™
Fundamental Investigation of the Environment Leading to Discovery™
Study Kit Correlated to National Science Education Content Standards
If you’re interested in spatial studies for
classroom activities, consider the Forestry
Suppliers’ GPSF.I.E.L.D. Kit. Use the kit for
the exercises outlined in this Lesson Plan, as
well as other related activities (see “Further
Studies” section for a few ideas).
This F.I.E.L.D. Kit is available exclusively from
Forestry Suppliers and includes some of the
items used in this lesson plan. All kit items
may also be purchased individually. Call our
Sales Department at 1-800-647-5368 or visit
us on the web at www.forestry-suppliers.com.
GPS/GIS Kit Contents National Science Education
Content Standards Correlation
Grades
A
B
C
D
K-4
5-8
9-12
Stock Number 36843
Qty.
3
1
1
Fields of Study:
• Areas–Geography
• Earth Science
• Mathematics
Description
GPS Receiver, Garmin eTrex 10
Training DVD for Garmin eTrex 10, 20, 30 Series
Reference: Going Places with GPS
Using GPS 1
3
3
3
3
3
3
E
F
3
3
3
3
3
3
G
Required For This
Lesson Plan
K-4 5-8 9-12 Stock Number
3
3
3
3
3
3
39470
37967
60005
Grades 5-8
Background
If you have ever been lost, your first thoughts
might well have been “Exactly where am I,
and what is the easiest way back?”
Understanding basic mapping concepts and
skills will help you find your way. This includes
the use of a compass.
When used properly, a compass can help
to point you in the right direction. Today, we
can take this a step further with the Global
Positioning System (GPS).
The Global Positioning System is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a
network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by
the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was
originally intended for military applications, but
was opened to civilian use in the 1980s. GPS
works in any weather condition, anywhere in
the world, 24 hours a day.
The GPS Satellite System
The 24 satellites that make up the GPS space
segment are orbiting the earth about 12,000
miles above us. They are constantly moving,
making two complete orbits in less than 24
hours. These satellites are travelling at speeds
of roughly 7,000 miles an hour.
The first GPS satellite was launched in
1978. A full constellation of 24 satellites was
achieved in 1994.
Each satellite is built to last about 10 years.
Replacements are constantly being built and
launched into orbit. A GPS satellite weighs
approximately 2,000 pounds and is about 17
feet across with the solar panels extended.
How It Works
Twice daily, GPS satellites circle the earth
in a very precise orbit and transmit signal
information to earth. GPS receivers use this
information to calculate a user's exact location. The GPS receiver compares the time a
signal was transmitted by a satellite with the
time it was received. This time difference tells
the GPS receiver how far away the satellite is.
By comparing distance measurements from
multiple satellites, the receiver can calculate
the user's position and display it on the unit's
electronic map.
A GPS receiver must be locked on to the signal of at least three satellites to calculate a 2D
(two-dimensional) position–latitude and longitude–and track movement. By tracking four
or more satellites, the receiver can also determine the user's altitude for a 3D (three-dimensional) position. Once the user’s position has
been determined, the GPS unit can calculate
other information, such as speed, bearing,
track, trip distance, distance to destination,
sunrise and sunset time and more.
Sources of GPS Signal Errors
While highly accurate for most applications,
there are certain factors that can degrade the
GPS signal, such as:
Atmospheric Delays — The satellite signal
slows as it passes through the atmosphere.
The GPS system uses a built-in model that
calculates an average amount of delay to
partially correct for this type of error.
Signal Multipath — This occurs when the
GPS signal is reflected off objects such as
tall buildings or large rock surfaces before
it reaches the receiver. This increases the
travel time of the signal, thereby causing
errors.
Receiver Clock Errors — A receiver’s
built-in clock is not as accurate as the
atomic clocks onboard the GPS satellites.
Therefore, it may have very slight timing
errors.
Orbital Errors — Inaccuracies of the satellite’s reported location.
Number of Satellites Visible — The more
satellites a GPS receiver can “see”, the
better the accuracy. Buildings, rugged terrain, electronic interference or sometimes
even dense foliage can interfere with signal
reception, causing position errors or possibly no position reading at all. GPS receivers
typically will not work indoors, underwater
or underground.
Satellite Geometry/Shading — This refers
to the relative position of the satellites at any
given time. Ideal satellite geometry exists
when the satellites are located at wide
angles relative to each other. Poor geometry results when the satellites are located
in a line or in a tight grouping.
Purpose
• To give students a conceptual understanding and basic use proficiency of a GPS unit
• Provide a basic introduction of GPS use
and GIS application
Pre-Activity Assessment
Instructors should make assessment of the
students’ background knowledge of:
• Basic compass function and use
• Basic mapping skills
• GPS terminology
• GPS function and use
For more information about GPS, we suggest
the following web links that will provide strong,
basic information and enhance proficiency in
mapping knowledge skills, GPS function/use
and GIS concepts.
• www.esri.com
• www.garmin.com
Prerequisite
Students should have a basic working knowledge of the GPS unit that they will be using.
A user’s guide can usually be found on the
manufacturers’ web site.
Procedure
Students engaging in this exercise should have
a basic knowledge of GPS and the related
terminology. This activity must be conducted
outdoors.
Prior to the activity, the instructor should establish points or markers, each with a unique
number or letter to identify it. The points/
markers should be spaced at least 100 feet
apart so the students will have a line-of-sight
to navigate to each location. Larger distances
between points is most desirable. The point/
markers can be pieces of cut cardboard placed
on the ground or orienteering markers (Forestry
Suppliers #37214). Refrain from using permanent landmarks, (telephone poles, playground
equipment, fencing, etc.), during this activity if
possible. These objects are better used as a
separate geographical data entry when creating
a total GIS “picture” of a specific area.
Using GPS 2
1. Students should be divided into groups of
no more than 5 students.
2. Each group will be assigned a specific set
of markers/points to find and record the
coordinates. A waypoint should then be
created.
3. The waypoint should be named or recorded as the same number that appears on
the marker/point. (Example: Team 1 is
assigned markers 3, 5, and 8. Team 1 then
proceeds to the markers, stopping only at
3, 5, or 8 to record each one’s coordinate
or waypoint.
4. When Team #1 finds marker number 3, the
waypoint is recorded as number 3. The
same procedure will be completed for the
other two.
5. After Team #1 completes this task, they
will return to the instructor and wait for the
other teams to complete the recording of
their designated markers.
6. Once all the teams have recorded their
waypoint of their markers, all GPS units will
be turned in to the instructor.
7. The instructor will then give each team a
GPS unit used by a different team in the
previous activity.
8. Now using another teams’ original GPS
unit, each team will navigate a new course
to new markers/points.
Assessment
• What is the meaning of the acronym GPS?
• List common uses of a GPS unit.
• What are the 3 segments of GPS?
• What are common sources of error when
using GPS receivers?
• What is WAAS?
Content Standards Covered
A
Science as inquiry
• Abilities necessary to do scientific
inquiry
• Understanding about scientific inquiry
D
Earth and Space Science
• Structure of the earth system
E
Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design
• Understandng about science and
technology
F
Science in Personal and Social
Perspectives
• Science and technology in society
• Science and technology in local,
national and global challenges
G History and Nature of Science
• Science as a human endeavo
Rubric
After completing the suggested pre-activity
assessment and the procedure, students
should be able to:
1. Understand basic GPS terms and skills.
2. Understand the concept and use of a
GPS unit.
3. Show basic proficiency in GPS unit use
4. Understand the need and application of
GPS/GIS in various areas of work and
recreation.
Grades 9-12
Background
If you have ever been lost, your first thoughts
might well have been “Exactly where am I,
and what is the easiest way back?”
Understanding basic mapping concepts and
skills will help you find your way. This includes
the use of a compass.
When used properly, a compass can help
to point you in the right direction. Today, we
can take this a step further with the Global
Positioning System (GPS).
The Global Positioning System is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a
network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by
the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was
originally intended for military applications, but
was opened to civilian use in the 1980s. GPS
works in any weather condition, anywhere in
the world, 24 hours a day.
The GPS Satellite System
The 24 satellites that make up the GPS space
segment are orbiting the earth about 12,000
miles above us. They are constantly moving,
making two complete orbits in less than 24
hours. These satellites are travelling at speeds
of roughly 7,000 miles an hour.
The first GPS satellite was launched in
1978. A full constellation of 24 satellites was
achieved in 1994.
Each satellite is built to last about 10 years.
Replacements are constantly being built and
launched into orbit. A GPS satellite weighs
approximately 2,000 pounds and is about 17
feet across with the solar panels extended.
How It Works
Twice daily, GPS satellites circle the earth
in a very precise orbit and transmit signal
information to earth. GPS receivers use this
information to calculate a user's exact location. The GPS receiver compares the time a
signal was transmitted by a satellite with the
time it was received. This time difference tells
the GPS receiver how far away the satellite is.
By comparing distance measurements from
multiple satellites, the receiver can calculate
the user's position and display it on the unit's
electronic map.
A GPS receiver must be locked on to the signal of at least three satellites to calculate a 2D
(two-dimensional) position–latitude and longitude–and track movement. By tracking four
or more satellites, the receiver can also determine the user's altitude for a 3D (three-dimensional) position. Once the user’s position has
been determined, the GPS unit can calculate
other information, such as speed, bearing,
track, trip distance, distance to destination,
sunrise and sunset time and more.
Sources of GPS Signal Errors
While highly accurate for most applications,
there are certain factors that can degrade the
GPS signal, such as:
Atmospheric Delays — The satellite signal
slows as it passes through the atmosphere.
The GPS system uses a built-in model that
calculates an average amount of delay to
partially correct for this type of error.
Signal Multipath — This occurs when the
GPS signal is reflected off objects such as
tall buildings or large rock surfaces before
it reaches the receiver. This increases the
travel time of the signal, thereby causing
errors.
Receiver Clock Errors — A receiver’s
built-in clock is not as accurate as the
atomic clocks onboard the GPS satellites.
Therefore, it may have very slight timing
errors.
Orbital Errors — Inaccuracies of the satellite’s reported location.
Number of Satellites Visible — The more
satellites a GPS receiver can “see”, the
better the accuracy. Buildings, rugged terrain, electronic interference or sometimes
even dense foliage can interfere with signal
reception, causing position errors or possibly no position reading at all. GPS receivers
typically will not work indoors, underwater
or underground.
Satellite Geometry/Shading — This refers
to the relative position of the satellites at any
given time. Ideal satellite geometry exists
when the satellites are located at wide
angles relative to each other. Poor geometry results when the satellites are located
in a line or in a tight grouping.
Purpose
• To give students a conceptual understanding and basic use proficiency of a GPS unit
• Provide a basic introduction of GPS use
and GIS application
Pre-Activity Assessment
Instructors should make assessment of the
students’ background knowledge of:
• Basic compass function and use
• Basic mapping skills
• GPS terminology
• GPS function and use
For more information about GPS, we suggest
the following web links that will provide strong,
basic information and enhance proficiency in
mapping knowledge skills, GPS function/use
and GIS concepts.
• www.esri.com
• www.garmin.com
Prerequisite
Students should have a basic working knowledge of the GPS unit that they will be using.
A user’s guide can usually be found on the
manufacturers’ web site.
Procedure
Students engaging in this exercise should have
a basic knowledge of GPS and the related
terminology. This activity must be conducted
outdoors.
Prior to the activity, the instructor should establish points or markers, each with a unique
number or letter to identify it. The points/
markers should be spaced at least 100 feet
apart so the students will have a line-of-sight
to navigate to each location. Larger distances
between points is most desirable. The point/
markers can be pieces of cut cardboard placed
on the ground or orienteering markers (Forestry
Suppliers #37214). Refrain from using permanent landmarks, (telephone poles, playground
equipment, fencing, etc.), during this activity if
possible. These objects are better used as a
separate geographical data entry when creating
a total GIS “picture” of a specific area.
Using GPS 3
1. Students should be divided into groups of
no more than 5 students.
2. Each group will be assigned a specific set
of markers/points to find and record the
coordinates. A waypoint should then be
created.
3. The waypoint should be named or recorded as the same number that appears on
the marker/point. (Example: Team 1 is
assigned markers 3, 5, and 8. Team 1 then
proceeds to the markers, stopping only at
3, 5, or 8 to record each one’s coordinate
or waypoint.
4. When Team #1 finds marker number 3, the
waypoint is recorded as number 3. The
same procedure will be completed for the
other two.
5. After Team #1 completes this task, they
will return to the instructor and wait for the
other teams to complete the recording of
their designated markers.
6. Once all the teams have recorded their
waypoint of their markers, all GPS units will
be turned in to the instructor.
7. The instructor will then give each team a
GPS unit used by a different team in the
previous activity.
8. Now using another teams’ original GPS
unit, each team will navigate a new course
to new markers/points.
Assessment
• What is the meaning of the acronym GPS?
• List common uses of a GPS unit.
• What are the 3 segments of GPS?
• What are common sources of error when
using GPS receivers?
• What is WAAS?
Content Standards Covered
A
Science as inquiry
• Abilities necessary to do scientific
inquiry
• Understanding about scientific inquiry
D
Earth and Space Science
• Structure of the earth system
E
Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design
• Understandng about science and
technology
F
Science in Personal and Social
Perspectives
• Science and technology in society
• Science and technology in local,
national and global challenges
G History and Nature of Science
• Science as a human endeavo
Rubric
After completing the suggested pre-activity
assessment and the procedure, students
should be able to:
1. Understand basic GPS terms and skills.
2. Understand the concept and use of a
GPS unit.
3. Show basic proficiency in GPS unit use
4. Understand the need and application of
GPS/GIS in various areas of work and
recreation.
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