Montana State University

MSU GPS Lab

Montana State University
PO Box 173120
Bozeman, MT 59717-3120

GPS Lab Manager:

Diana Cooksey
Tel: (406) 994-5684
Fax: (406) 994-3933
E-mail: dcooksey@montana.edu
Location: 245 Leon Johnson Hall

GPHY 357: GPS Fundamentals and Applications in Mapping

College Office

3 credits, Fall semesters

GPHY 357 teaches students the fundamentals of mapping using GPS and GIS through hands-on experience. The course incorporates lectures, reading assignments and class discussions on GPS theory, hands-on exercises using GPS equipment and software, and a final mapping project. The course Desire2Learn site includes materials that students can access in lab or from a home or campus computer. These materials include a course syllabus, assignments, slide shows, a GPS glossary, a bibliography for further study, links to GPS and GIS web sites, and course E-mail for communication with the instructor and TA. Students are expected to do 4-6 hours of Desire2Learn interaction, exercises and project work per week. The lab manual includes labs designed to maximize hands-on learning, and excellent reference materials from Trimble Navigation, Ltd and other sources. GPS PathfinderOffice and ArcGIS software, and high accuracy Trimble GeoXH GPS receivers are used in the course. GPS equipment and software resources allow us to accommodate 40 students in the class.

After taking GPHY 357, students should be proficient in GPS database design, data collection and processing using sub-meter mapping grade receivers. They should also understand basic and advanced GPS concepts well enough to apply their knowledge to troubleshooting data collection and processing problems. Students should be well-prepared to work in jobs that require basic GPS skills. Students will produce professional maps which can be included as part of a portfolio.

The course lab manual can be purchased at the MSU Bookstore. All other required materials will be posted on the class Desire2Learn site.

Instructor: Diana Cooksey (MSU GPS Laboratory Manager, Certified Trimble Mapping Trainer)


The labs for all courses are held in the state-of-the-art MSU Spatial Sciences Center (SSC) computer facility in Leon Johnson Hall Room 209. The facility is equipped with 20 fully networked computers, plus one teaching computer. Additional equipment includes a projector, document camera, and audio/visual capabilities.