Litter Retriever with a GPS Receiver

Gary Cooper, NBS Consulting Alaska
Omowumi Alabi, Department of Geosciences, University of Missouri - Kansas City
Aida Awad, Maine East High School, Park Ridge, Illinois
Rudi Gens, Alaska Satellite Facility; Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Anupma Prakash, Geophysical Institute and Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Bill Witte, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Published: September 2010. Last Updated: May 2011.


Trashcans and Litter marked and displayed in Google Earth.

Have you ever wondered about the spatial distribution of litter? Why is it in some locations and not others? Could the problem be as simple as the location of the trash receptacles? In this chapter you will use a Global Positioning System, or GPS, to mark the locations of trash, and trash cans around a local park or school campus. Then you will import the data into Google Earth and edit the placemarks. Once the data is displayed on a Google Earth map, you will be able to analyze the location of the trash and trash cans in order to make a recommendation as to where additional trash cans should be located in the local park. The chapter emphasizes the following: local problem recognition, methods of quantifying and collecting data with technology, and communicating decisions based on the analysis of data. The techniques learned in this chapter can be applied to other geospatial investigations.

This chapter is part of the Earth Exploration Toolbook. Each chapter provides teachers and/or students with direct practice for using scientific tools to analyze Earth science data. Students should begin on the Case Study page.

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