IU - Indiana University

Geo-Spatial Technologies for Indiana Educators and Students



GPS Defined

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. There are no subscription fees or setup charges to use GPS.

GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user's exact location.

Lessons and Activities

M&M's and GIS Activity, M&M and GIS Activity Iron-On Transfers

Intro to GPS Geocaching

GPS Meets Orthophotography

Surveying with GPS

Connect the Dots

Happened on this Spot

Overhead Transparencies Jump to the 21st Century


Basic GPS Exercises – http://www.gps-practice-and-fun.com/gps-exercises.html  

EarthCache - an educators' guidebook on the mechanics of establishing an Earth cache, teaching GPS and geo-caching, and implementing GPS into a GIS. http://www.geosociety.org/earthcache/teacherGuide.htm

Garmin equipment purchasing and technical support – http://www.garmin.com – click on Resources for guides and background information;  good visuals for classroom explanations and classroom/field ideas.

Geocaching – http://www.geocaching.com

GPS, GeoCaching, and YOU! - a Power Point by Joe Ladwig introducing you to the facts about GPS and the use of GPS (geocaching) in the classroom.

GPS4Educators – http://www.gps4educators.com – equipment purchasing, training, and technical support.  Resource section with ideas, explanations, and imagery.

GPS Visualizer is a free, easy-to-use online utility that creates maps and profiles from GPS data. See where you have been, where you are going, or visualize geographic data.

Integrating GPS-GIS and Photography Field Work - a two-page article by Rochelle Landwehr at Oklahoma State University discussing the success with a 4-H group.

Trimble Corporation – http://www.trimble.com/gps - Internet tutorial, equipment purchasing and technical support.