3 credits, Fall semesters
This project-based course gives students hands-on experience with advanced GPS mapping techniques, and emphasizes data quality and documentation. Students learn advanced datalogging options, carrier phase and real-time kinematic data collection, base station setup, and use of external sensors. They also gain experience with mobile GIS, Internet map applications, complex offsets, and linking photos and audio files to GPS-mapped features. They use the advanced features of PathfinderOffice, TerraSync and ArcMap software, and are exposed to ArcPad and GPSCorrect. The course includes topic research and presentation, and service-learning project work. It requires a substantial amount of independent work and is for highly motivated students who want to gain advanced skills for future employment. Course enrollment is limited to 12 students, who are members of a working group. The small number allows for more meaningful discussions, more hands-on time with the instructor, more focused teamwork and higher quality end products.
Students work as a group to complete a service-learning oriented mapping project. This project gives students experience in teamwork and combining data collected by several team members into one comprehensive spatial database. Students are assigned specific project tasks with clearly defined outcomes and due dates, and are given some choice regarding specific tasks they want to work on. Students give a weekly oral progress report and prepare a final project paper presenting purpose, methods and results of individual project tasks. In addition, each student chooses a specific GPS mapping topic to research and demonstrate using resources provided. Examples of topics are mapping with GPS Analyst, mapping with ArcPad and GPSCorrect, setting up a GPS base station and serving GPS maps on the Internet. Students are evaluated on quality of individual and group work, as well as their participation in class discussions and contribution to the overall project. Evaluation instruments include both self-evaluation by students and evaluation by the instructor.
All 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.