Integrating Research and Education > Teaching with GeoPads > Teaching with GeoPads > Mapping

Mapping Projects

A common goal of field mapping projects is furthering development of students' spatial reasoning skills, in addition to and sometimes more important than the actual production of the map. GeoPads facilitate this process via powerful, intuitive capabilities for in-the-field data entry, visualization, analysis, and interpretation in both 2-D and 3-D representations. GeoPad-based field mapping exercises can use a variety of strategies for gathering and interpreting observations and preparing the final product. Two general approaches, which can combined or used independently, are:

There are also a number of key benefits to using digital field mapping techniques in an educational setting, as compared to traditional paper-based mapping techniques:

There are a variety of strategies for introducing students to mapping on GeoPads. Generally a step-wise approach has proven the most successful, where students start out using paper and pencil techniques, migrate to using the GeoPad using similar techniques, and then introduce GIS functionality for mapping, starting with the simplest capabilities and progressing from there.

In general, when developing a mapping project, you need to pay close attention to aligning three things:

  1. the learning goals of that project project,
  2. the skills and knowledge of the students at that point in your course, and
  3. the configuration and capabilities of the GeoPad environment with which you provide them.

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