Student Preparation

Student preparation required for GeoPad exercises varies with:

  1. the intended student audience (e.g., degree of prior GIS experience, heterogeneity of students)
  2. the complexity of projects and the desired learning outcomes (basic note taking vs. collection of numerous data layers and complex GIS editing and manipulation).

For courses that can not require prior GIS experience and/or have less expectation for GIS learning outcomes, an incremental approach may be taken. For example, the course may begin with a traditional paper mapping exercise. The GeoPad technology is then introduced with tutorials on the basics of hardware and software. Mock field exercises may be given to introduce digital mapping techniques with instructors nearby for assistance. Student use of the technology gradually becomes more sophisticated and independent as the course progresses.

Another approach is to link the field GeoPad experience with an on-campus course that incorporate GIS fundamentals, digitizing, geodatabase design, etc.

Resources about Student Preparation:

  • Student Preparation - This web page by Ben Crosby at MIT includes links to documents that are designed to prepare students to collect and interpret data. Included are labs designed to help students become proficient in using maps and bruntons, GIS, digitizing geologic maps, cross sections and stratigraphic columns, and 3D visualization (block diagrams with ArcScene). Field notebook examples are also included here.
  • Tutorials and examples from the digital mapping website at KU - This website by Doug Walker at the University of Kansas includes an outline introduction to GIS, an introduction to geologic maps as GIS, instructions to start using the program and and guidance about how to think about maps, information on how to digitize a map and learn the programs, and how to layout maps for presentation. Included are instructions for ArcView3.2 (Microsoft Word 72kB May25 07), and ArcGIS9.1 (Microsoft Word 62kB May25 07). For sample data, applications and example map products, please click here.
  • Using ArcPad and ArcGIS to make Geological Maps - This web page by Ryan Clark at MIT provides an index pertaining to using ArcPad and ArcGIS to make geological maps. Included are links about preparing base maps, collecting data on the iPaq, transferring data from the iPaq to the computer, dealing with lines and symbology, finalizing maps, and dealing with specific data types.