GIS and Remote Sensing > Activities > Massachusetts Lighthouses
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
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This page first made public: Aug 17, 2010

Massachusetts Lighthouses

Emily Burns, Community College of Rhode Island


Students practice selecting features by location and adding a hyperlink to a point feature. They work with data that they download from a state GIS site.


Type and level of course
This activity was written for an introductory GIS course.

Geoscience background assumed in this assignment

GIS/remote sensing skills/background assumed in this assignment

Software required for this assignment/activity:
ArcMap 9.3 with a site license

Time required for students to complete the assignment:
20-30 minutes


GIS/remote sensing techniques students learn in this assignment
Downloading data from the internet
Selecting by location and creating a new layer from selected data
Attaching a hyperlink to a point feature

Other content/concepts goals for this activity
Becoming familiar with what is available at the Massachusetts state GIS page; this is local information that students may find useful in the future.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Evaluating one's own map and seeing if it is readable and accurately reflects the data used

Description of the activity/assignment

Students download two data sets from the MAssachusetts state GIS web site: town polygons and lighthouse point features. They combine the two into a map and investigate the distribution of lighthouses in the coastal towns of Massachusetts. They also affix a hyperlink to a point feature.

Determining whether students have met the goals

I check their maps and their answers to the questions on the worksheet.
More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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