GPS and Google Earthaccuracy by rsnRgbG5


									                                    GPS and Google Earth Accuracy

    Teacher Guide
  Overview: This activity lets science students find out if Google Earth and GPS
            units give the same exact latitude and longitude coordinates in the
            same exact location. It allows them to see the accuracy of the
            latitude and longitude coordinate system. It also allows them to
            think about the factors that would affect accuracy.

Oklahoma Pass
   Objectives: There are no pass objects for environmental science.

 Grade Level:       middle – high school

      GIS Skill     Beginner. No prior knowledge of GIS is necessary. It would be
       Level:       helpful to have an overview of latitude and longitude. It would
                    also be helpful if the students knew how to turn on the GPS units
                    and how to find the page that displays the latitude and longitude

       Time:      Two 50-minute class periods for completion of activity and
                  discussion. It might only take one period depending on how fast
                  your students complete the activity.

   This activity requires personal computers with high-speed internet
   connections and Google Earth. Google Earth can be downloaded at: Each student also
   needs a piece of paper and a writing utensil. It would work best if each
   student had a clipboard to write on. You will want to check and make sure
   that you are able to view your school and the area around it in Google
   Earth. If your school has poor resolution (it is blurry) in Google Earth, then
   you will not be able to execute this activity. You could have students pair up
   if there are not enough computers.

GPS and Google Earth Accuracy                                           Teacher Guide Pg. 1
                                 GPS and Google Earth Accuracy


 Each student will get on Google Earth and zoom into their school. They will pick
 out a specific location around their school and zoom into the location. It would be
 best if they picked a location that has a landmark near it because they must
 remember the exact location they pick. The location also needs to be a place
 where they can walk. After picking the location and zooming into it on Google
 Earth, they will take the pointer (the pointer looks like a small white hand and it
 moves when you move the mouse around) and place it directly over the location
 they chose. They then write down the corresponding latitude and longitude that
 shows up for that location. The latitude and longitude will be in the lower left
 corner of the map. They will then turn off their computers and go outside to find the
 location they zoomed into on Google Earth. When they get outside they should
 turn on their GPS units. When they get to their location they need to write down
 the latitude and longitude coordinates that show up on the GPS unit. Make sure
 you tell them that the latitude and longitude on their GPS unit may be different than
 the latitude and longitude given on Google Earth. They may be confused by this.
 Go back to class and if you have time you can have a discussion about the activity
 or else have the discussion the next class meeting. Have the students compare
 the latitude and longitude given on both Google Earth and their GPS units. Ask
 students to raise their hands if they had the same exact coordinates for both
 Google Earth and GPS. If some students did have the same coordinates this
 would be a good time to discuss why we use latitude and longitude as a coordinate
 system and how amazingly accurate the system is. Then ask the students who did
 not get the same coordinates to raise their hands. Ask these students why they
 think they did not get the same exact coordinates on their GPS unit as they did on
 Google Earth. Reasons may include that 1) they did not stand in the same exact
 location that they picked on Google Earth, 2) their GPS units did not have enough
 satellites to be accurate, 3) they were under a tree or near a building and it made
 their GPS signal less accurate, or 4) some other factor or combined factors.

    Google Earth

GPS and Google Earth Accuracy                                          Teacher Guide Pg. 2

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