Campus Mapping using GPS

Guy Johnson, Rochester Institute of Technology


This assignment takes the student through a series of mapping exercises with increasing requirements. The first uses GPS units to record points, the second to record location based data, and the third uses more complex workflow to obtain finer accuracy and automation.


Type and level of course
Second course in GIS sequence following an Introductory course in map-making using ArcGIS software.

Geoscience background assumed in this assignment
Assumed proficient in the use of the ArcGIS software.

GIS/remote sensing skills/background assumed in this assignment
None needed.

Software required for this assignment/activity:
Requires ArcGIS 9.x, Comsumer quality GPS devices and software, and Trimble GeoXM GPS devices and Pathfinder Office software.

Time required for students to complete the assignment:
4 weeks duration - 15 hours total work time.


GIS/remote sensing techniques students learn in this assignment
Students become proficient in the acquisition and integration of GPS data in the GIS environment.

Other content/concepts goals for this activity

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
This is primarily a course in the integration of technology skills to accomplish a given workflow. They must use multiple hardware and software to accomplish the projects.

Description of the activity/assignment

Students will integrate GPS hardware and software with GIS to create useful campus maps. They must understand concepts of uncertainty in data acquisition and processes in the refinement of the data to produce these maps.

Determining whether students have met the goals

The final resulting maps will be the basis for evaluating the students accomplishment of the project goals.
More information about assessment tools and techniques.

URLs and References

Students must acquire a basemap for providing a visual reference to verify locations. ESRI resources are recommended (

Download teaching materials and tips

  • Activity Description/Assignment: Campus Mapping using GPS (Microsoft Word 37kB Aug11 10)
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  • Solution Set:

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