Instructor: Francis Magilligan, Department of Geography
Project: With the ever-expanding sophistication of satellite imagery and other remote sensing technologies, it becomes increasingly critical to expose our students to these new styles of acquiring, expressing, and analyzing spatial data sets. Our department wants to expand our use of spatial imagery. Funding from the Venture Fund for the acquisition of four Global Positioning Systems (GPS) units is critical for our expansion. GPS provides specially coded satellite signals that can be processed in a GPS receiver, enabling the receiver to compute position, velocity, elevation, and time. GPS can be used in at least eight different classes within our current curriculum, from the introductory to the advanced level, including our human and physical geography classes. These GPS receivers are mobile, hand-held units that can be used in the field for single node mapping (e.g., a ground control point (GPC) for geo-rectifying an aerial photograph, location of a single tree or house, etc.) or for three-dimensional mapping of topography and other geomorphic applications. For human geography courses, these spatial data from the GPS receivers can be linked to existing data sets, such as TIGER files and other Census Tract data, and can also be integrated into a GIS.