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GIS GPS Geocaching

Page history last edited by Emily Mann 14 years, 3 months ago

Geocaching with the STARs of Tucson



Link to the Event page. This event took place on May 16, 2009. 


GIS - Geographic Information System


Wikipedia: A Geographic Information System (GIS) captures, stores, analyzes, manages, and presents data that refers to or is linked to location.


One free and well known GIS system is Google Earth.

A lesser known system, but one significant for the Tucson area, is the Pima County Map Guide Map.

The best GIS system for geocaching activities in the U.S. is geocaching.com

Professional level software: ArcGIS from www.esri.com



GPS - Global Positioning System


Wikipedia: The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a global navigation satellite system. A GPS Receiver is a device which receives signals from the satellite system to pinpoint your location on Earth.





Simple definition: Hide and Seek using GPS and GIS resources.


Wikipedia: Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure," usually toys or trinkets of little value.



The Best Geocaching Resources for Educators:

Bridget Belardi's Geocaching in Education web site.

Dr. Alice Christie's Geocaching web site


Sample Lesson Ideas

Geocaching Hide and Seek - good introduction to the hide and seek process

Mystery Bug Challenge - students form groups and find caches hidden around the school

Lets go Geocaching.doc  - waypoints to special spots in the neighborhood around the school


Where to go for information on geocaches in your area: Geocaching.com


The Challenge: How does geocaching relate to subject matter content?


Simple steps for classroom geocaches:

  1. Teach students to use the GPS.
  2. Prepare the cache content with an activity related to a subject students are studying.
  3. Hide the caches (not too well) in a safe location around the school. Beware of things that scratch, sting, bite, stick, etc.
  4. Mark the location for each cache in your GPS. (If you have multiple devices you might want to use computer software to duplicate the locations onto each GPS.)
  5. Name the cache.
  6. Return to the classroom.
  7. Assign roles to student groups.
  8. Students use the Find function to locate the caches and transport them back to the classroom.
  9. Students complete the enclosed activities.


Other Useful Resources:

Garmin GPS and Mapsource

DeLorme mapping and GPS 

Magellan GPS




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