Geo-tools for Teaching and Learning

I’ve been out and about quite a bit over the past 2 months, mainly to promote Fieldtrip GB but this has given me the opportunity to sit through some interesting presentations and i have found out about a number of great tools that i thought i should share with you.

Polldaddy – this is an online service that allows you to create and conduct quick polls.  You can view the results immediately so the exercise can become interactive when you are teaching. You can use Polldaddy on websites or through mobiles with their app.  Quick, easy and effective.  The free account gives you 200 survey responses a month and up to 10 survey questions per survey. There is a Pro account which cost $200 per year.

Skitch – Skitch is a annotation application from the makers of Evernote. Skitch allows users to annotate images and screen-grabs, adding extra information and notes.  This could be great when students are out in the field. Students could take a picture and then augment the picture with their own notes e.g. adding in a fault or rock unconformity. One neat feature is the ability to sketch on maps, the app launches Google Maps you just sketch away. Skitch is available for iPad/iPhone, Android, iOS and Windows.

Skitch

Skitch annotations on a photo

 

SkitchMap

Skitch annotation on a map

Fotobabble– Fotobabble allows you to add audio clips to images, they call it talking photos and slideshows.  This could be a great way to convey information to students, give them a visual representation and then some audio which triggers a discussion point. Or, get the students to use it to augment the photo’s the capture in the field.  This way they will not be left trying to remember what on earth  the photo is supposed to represent.

Fotobabble

Fotobabble – talking photo’s

iSpot – this one is a bit different, it is a project which aims to crowdsource ecological mapping, but there is a twist.  The user can take a picture of a plant and submit it.  iSpot has a team of experts who will identify the plant species and provide the user with some information about the plant.  This is neat in that the users get information that they are interested and the project team get data from locations around the UK.  An example of a symbiotic crowdsourcing scientific project?  Quite possibly.

iSpot

 Google Earth Engine (coming soon) – Google Earth Engine is Google extension of customisable views in Google Earth.  With Earth Engine users can upload their own data and perform simple spatial analysis on them. The obvious advantage with Earth Engine is that users dont really have to worry about base mapping data, they have access to all the imagery from Google Earth.

Google Timelapse datasets – this is what large organisations can do if they focus their processing power.  Google has made mosaics with all the data from Landsat 5 and Landsat 7.  This is a huge amount of data and a colossal amount of processing.   Some great examples of the time lapse include:

This stuff was the preserve of the remote sensing scientists, but is now accessible to anyone with an internet connection. This would be great for demonstrating any temporal change that has occurred since 1984, as long as it is big enough to be visible from space.  

 

Fieldtrip GB – this is an app fro EDINA that enables users to capture data on their phones. Users can choose to create their own data collection forms and once collected, data can be exported to csv, kml and geojson format.  The app is also suited for collecting data as a group exercise, a great idea if you have lots of students and want to crowd-source data collection to demonstrate an example. There is a blog article on how to set up a group exercise on the FtGB blog.

Fieldtrip GB

Fieldtrip GB

In addition, there were a number of apps that were worth a look.  I have listed them below with the briefest of descriptions. If you want more information, then just click the links and have a play.

  • QuakeFeed  (Apple) Earthquake feed for most of the World.
  • Earthquakes (Android)Earthquakes is a quake application that based on multiple data sources. With this app, you can get the latest earthquake info immediately from all over the world. Also, you can search the earthquakes occurred in the past.
  • GPS Note (Apple) With GPSnote you can easily add, edit and delete notes on the map.
  • OS Converter – (Apple) Easily convert between British National Grid References (i.e. OS Grid Refs) and Latitude, Longitude coordinates (both OSGB36 and WGS84 are supplied).
  • Altimeter – get heights in real time.  Android – DS Altimeter. Apple – Travel Altimeter 
  • Clinometer – measure slopes. Android – Clinometer   Apple – Clinometer HD
  • Decibel Ultra – measure noise levels in the field. Android – Decibel-O-Meter. Apple – Decibel Ultra
  • Rainfall Radar – takes feeds from rainfall radar satellites and trigger an alarm if you are about to get wet. Android – OSM RainAlarm Apple –  MyRadar

That’s about all i can remember, if more comes back to me then i will add it to the post.

 

 

About Addy Pope

Addy is a member of the GeoData team at EDINA and work on services such as GoGeo, ShareGeo and the FieldtripGB app. Addy has over 10 years experience as a geospatial analyst. Addy tweets as @go_geo
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