I remember my very first geography homework (even though the past is a foreign country). I had to draw a map of the street where I lived and the surrounding roads. This began a lifelong fascination with maps. But I am now imagining how geography would have been, if we had access to the internet (or even computers). In addition to the wealth of information out there, one has so many resources when you want to mess around with maps. In planning for the long walk, I have been looking at a very versatile system from ViewRanger. And it is looking as though this will be the main system that I will use:
- to prepare maps in advance of the walk (one had access to OpenStreetMap)
- to find my way using my mobile on route (it has an offline mode so you can still see maps when there is no mobile connectivity)
- to send info back to LocoHQ.
- to let others track where I am.
You can even embed the prepared maps onto sites, as the following shows (this is the last stage of the route which I hope some of you may join me on). If anyone is interested, we would be quite happy to talk to you about using maps, GPS and how they can be used in lessons. *
* Since writing this post, I have been thinking more about a short curriculum based around maps, GPS and mobile phones, and I think it would go something like this.
- A brief history of maps. Early times, Ordnance Survey, maps on the internet – Google, Google Earth, Bing. Looking at things in 3D
- OpenStreetMap – what it is= the wiki of mapping, how it came about=crowd sourcing, things for free
- GPS, compasses – how they work, how they are used, SatNav, on mobiles, limitations=mapping indoors
- Where am I? Tracking me – threats and opportunities. 4Square and commercialisation
- Putting it all together for a long walk. Useful apps – ViewRanger + BuddyBeacon, GPS-Status