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GPS 4-H EXPLORATIONS

USING THE GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM FOR WILD-LAND NAVIGATION,


ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS, SCIENCE EDUCATION, AND MORE.
Mike Clifford Frog Holler’ GPS
Senior Extension Agent Emeritus, Virginia Tech
Jan. 2009

February, 2002

May, 2007
GPS and GIS DEFINITIONS
GPS is short for Global Positioning System which is
"a network of satellites that continuously transmit coded
information, which makes it possible to precisely identify
locations on earth by measuring distance from the satellites".
Of course, many users also refer to their hand-held GPS
receivers as "my GPS" ... as in the statement "my GPS'
batteries went dead and I got lost!"
GIS is short for Geographic Information System(s). "In the
strictest sense, a GIS is a computer system capable of
assembling, storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically
referenced information , i.e. data identified according to their
locations. Practitioners also regard the total GIS as including
operating personnel and the data that go into the system"
( from: http://www.usgs.gov/research/gis/title.html ).
SELECTED GPS NAVIGATION TERMS (as used by Garmin)
WAYPOINT: A specific location, entered in a GPS receiver or on a map.
[Also known as a "point", a "marker" (MapTech) or a "landmark" (Magellan)].
TRACK: A path of travel automatically logged in a GPS receiver.
ROUTE: A sequence of waypoints created in a GPS receiver (or on a digital
map). Components of a route include waypoints, distances and directions.
GOTO: Activating direct GPS travel to a destination ('as the crow flies')
BEARING: Direction from your current location to a selected destination.
COURSE: Direction from your starting location to a selected destination.
HEADING: Direction that you are currently moving.
ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival at a selected destination (next or final).
ETE: Estimated Time En route at a selected destination (next or final).
EPE: Estimated Position Error - GPS estimate of current position accuracy.
(simply displayed as Accuracy in some units)
MORE GPS and MAPPING TERMS
(that you probably never heard of before)

• WAAS: The Wide Area Augmentation System is a Federal Aviation Administration system of
geostationary satellites (over the equator) and ground stations which provides free differential
correction to GPS receiver in range. With a clear view of the southern sky, accuracy improvement
to three meters can be expected. Most new GPS receiver models have WAAS capability.

• Position Format: In a GPS receiver, this is the selectable coordinate grid system used to identify
a position. The default setting in most GPS models is hddd°mm.mmm’ (a.k.a. decimal minutes).
Two additional latitude-longitude options are hddd.ddddd° (a.k.a. decimal degrees) and
hddd°mm’ss.s’ (a.k.a. decimal seconds). Another commonly used setting is UTM/UPS (see
below). When you need to switch from one system to another, the receiver automatically handles
the conversion.

• Map Datum: A mathematical model that describes the earth’s surface, necessary to manage the
inherent distortion created when making a flat map from a globular world. In GPS receivers, the
default datum setting is WGS 84. Others commonly used in the USA are NAD 27 and NAD 83.
When you need to switch datums to match maps or other users, the receiver automatically handles
the conversion.

• UTM: The Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate grid system is particularly useful when
using GPS with paper maps. Connecting the blue tick marks along the margins of USGS 7.5'
topographic maps will produce a grid of squares, 1000-meters on a side. When set to UTM, a GPS
receiver displays coordinate precision to one meter within these squares, allowing you to easily
pinpoint precise locations on the map. Note that precision exceeds accuracy in this case.
BASIC INFORMATION
PROVIDED BY GPS RECEIVERS . . .
YOUR CURRENT POSITION
•COORDINATES (LATITUDE & LONGITUDE, UTM, MGRS, ETC.)
•ELEVATION (APPROXIMATE)

DIRECTION TO SPECIFIED WAYPOINTS (“MARKERS”)


(0R BETWEEN WAYPOINTS)

DISTANCE TO SPECIFIED WAYPOINTS


(0R BETWEEN WAYPOINTS)

YOUR SPEED OF TRAVEL

YOUR DIRECTION OF TRAVEL


. . . AND OFTEN MUCH MORE
ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL, ENROUTE
AREA & PERIMETER MEASUREMENT
MAPS – base map; loadable topo and street maps
HIGHWAY ROUTES - turn-by-turn directions
POINTS OF INTEREST
CALCULATORS & CALENDARS
DOG TRACKING
TIME OF DAY, SUNRISE/SUNSET
CELESTIAL, SOLUNAR DATA
GPS GAMES ETC.
SOME GPS APPLICATIONS
PROFESSIONAL RECREATIONAL
• MILITARY • HIKING
• HUNTING
• MARITIME
• NATURE STUDY
• AUTOMOTIVE • FISHING
• SURVEYING • BOATING
• AVIATION • BIKING
• SKIING
• AGRICULTURE
• SNOWMOBILING
• FORESTRY • GEOCACHING
• ENVIRONMENTAL • GOLF !
• PUBLIC SAFETY
• EDUCATION
Patriotic GPS Art ! An amazing maize maze
HOW WE UTILIZE GPS IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING
EDUCATIONAL & OPERATIONAL USES
WILDLIFE MAPPING

WETLAND & HIGH ADVENTURE


WATERSHED
STUDIES LEADER TRAINING SEARCH & RESCUE

BIG TREE
SEARCH
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

HUNTER EDUCATION

CAMPS

TRIP PLANNING & SAFETY

FISHING & CANOEING


ENVIRONMENTAL
EDUCATION

AND LOTS MORE !


GPS WORKSHOPS
VIRGINIA 4-H GPS CURRICULUM
(as of Jan. 2009, more under development)
LEVEL A BEGINNER
 Getting to Know Your GPS Receiver
 Marking and Finding GPS Waypoints
 Communicating with the Satellites
 GPS Treasure Hunt

LEVEL B INTERMEDIATE
 Locating GPS Satellites
 Collecting Tons of Data with GPS
 GPS Nature Trail
 Youth Favorite Places
 Geocache Hunting

LEVEL C ADVANCED
 Creating New GPS Waypoints
 Hosting a Geocache
 GPS Search & Rescue - Find Bubba!
Exploring Spaces, Going Places
New national 4-H
GIS-GPS Curriculum
on CD with web site
support

National
Experiential
Educational
Learning Model
Standards:
Geography Life Skill
Science Development
Technology Jury Reviewed
Math

Order Geospatial curriculum online at: http://www.4-hmall.org/Curriculum.aspx $15


GPS is a wonderful educational tool that combines
Technology and the Great Outdoors
Wetland Deliniation Area Measurement Site identification
Wildlife Mapping Investigative sampling Forest mapping
Environmental and Historical trails Community mapping ETC.

For example … CHESAPEAKE 2000 AGREEMENT


MEANINGFUL WATERSHED EDUCATION EXPERIENCES
Goal:
Promote individual stewardship and assist individuals, community-based organizations,
businesses, local governments and schools to undertake initiatives to achieve the goals
and commitments of this agreement.
Objectives:
*Beginning with the class of 2005, provide a meaningful Bay or stream outdoor
experience for every school student in the watershed before graduation from high school.
*Provide students and teachers alike with opportunities to directly participate in local
restoration and protection projects, and to support stewardship efforts in school and on
school property.
An example of a class project:

THE MIDLOTHIAN
ROAD-KILL SURVEY
Fun and Learning in the Great Outdoors!
GPS is used in zoological surveys & DGIF collecting permit reports
Use GPS as a research planning & operations tool …

… and as a safety tool


NAVIGATION BASICS
1. KNOW YOUR POSITION
2. PLAN YOUR ROUTE
3. STAY ON YOUR ROUTE
4. RECOGNIZE YOUR DESTINATION

GPS, in combination with map and compass, can help


make you a safe and successful wild land navigator.
The NAVSTAR System

24+ Satellites
6 orbital plates
11,000 miles up
12 hour orbit

from GPS Land Navigation by Michael Ferguson


THE EARTH: Parallels of Latitude
Meridians of Longitude

GPS can pinpoint your


position anywhere around
the globe …
the Alaskan wilderness,
the South Pole
ice sheet, the
Amazon jungle, the
Australian Outback, the
plains of Kenya,
or even the wilds of the
Virginia backwoods!

from GPS Land Navigation by Michael Ferguson


ERROR SOURCES
Multipath interference

Atmospheric/Ionospheric LINE OF SIGHT


Geometric DOP
Clock
Ephemeris
Selective Availability
(SA is now turned off)
and
Human Error! from GPS Land Navigation by Michael Ferguson
HIGH SENSITIVITY ANTENNAS
Most of the newest Garmin GPS units use SiRF chip
technology to attain much greater reception in difficult
situations – densely forested areas, mountainous regions,
urban canyons. Many of these models are designated with an
“H” in their name (for High sensitivity antenna).

FYI: Additional Garmin nomenclature sometimes includes


“C” for color units; “S” for sensor (electronic
compass/altimeter/barometer); and “x” for map storage using
a micro-SD card.
Selective Availability was the intentional degradation of civilian
code GPS signals for security reasons. Shut off in May, 2000.

Plot of stationary GPS receiver position accuracy, before & after SA.
Note the differences in scale (metric) of the plotted track logs.

5.5 hour period immediately prior 8 hour period immediately after


to shutoff of selective availability shutoff of selective availability
ACCURACY
STANDARD CIVILIAN RECEIVERS
(Selective Availability OFF)

HORIZONTAL ACCURACY TO
15 METERS (49.2’) OR BETTER

VERTICAL ACCURACY (altitude)


TO 100 METERS (328’) OR BETTER
DIFFERENTIAL GPS (DGPS)
SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE POSITION ACCURACY

•Coast Guard
•Commercial Ground
& Satellite Based
Correction
•Wide Area Augmentation System
(WAAS)
WIDE AREA AUGMENTATION SYSTEM
FAA SPONSORED
GEO-STATIONARY SATELLITES (# 35 for us)
FREE ACCESS
ACCURACY TO 3 METERS
INSTALLED ON MOST NEW (2001+) GPS
MODELS
A SELECTION OF GPS RECEIVERS ...
GARMIN
ETREX

Model we PRODUCTS
use
for
BASIC
GPS
CLASSES
A SELECTION OF GPS RECEIVERS
Magellan - Lowrance - TomTom - Cobra ...
The models we use during advanced classes …"ETREX +"
These three Garmin eTrex Models have
AREA MEASUREMENT CAPABILITY
(as do many other Garmin models)

Legend Venture
Vista
RINO 5 models
Radio Integrated with Navigation for the Outdoors
GPS - FRS - GMRS
GPS DOG TRACKING SYSTEM

GARMIN ASTRO
IPX WATERPROOF STANDARDS
IPX2 Light mist, do not immerse

IPX4 Rain, splashing water, do not immerse.

IPX7* Submerged to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

* Electronics are protected if immersed, but battery


compartment may get wet. Be sure batteries and
compartment are dry before using.
Combining GPS with digital mapping software
will simplify these tasks and enhance the results
Preparing GPS Receivers for Group Activities
1. Initialize the GPS receivers outdoors (turn on and allow time to retrieve satellite
data). This should be done within a few days prior to the class. Receivers that
have not been recently used (especially if stored without batteries) could take
15 minutes or more to lock on to GPS satellites, wasting valuable class time.
2. Check to see that all receivers are set to the same desired position format and
datum. The receiver default settings usually are hddd°mm.mmm (degrees and
decimal minutes) and datum WGS 84. Make sure the settings you select match
the maps that you are using.
3. Check to see that all receivers are set to the same desired north orientation (i.e.,
magnetic, true, grid, or user defined).
4. Check to see that all receivers are set to the same desired measurement units
(i.e., statute, metric, nautical).
5. You may wish to reset some or all previously recorded data, including
waypoints, tracks, and routes.
6. Check the battery level on each unit, replace or recharge as needed.
7. Review and practice the GPS receiver manipulations necessary for the
particular activity that you are about to facilitate.
MAP DATUMS
When using GPS in conjunction with a map, set the receiver’s datum to
match that of the map. Failure to do so may result in large position errors.

• WGS84 World Geodetic System 1984 Default


datum on most GPS receivers. Most accurate worldwide
datum, but not yet in wide use on USGS topographic maps.
• NAD27 (NAD27CONUS) North American 1927 Older
datum used on most USGS topographic maps.
• NAD83 North American Datum 1983 Very
similar to WGS84. Used on newer USGS maps.
• and hundreds of others around the world!
COORDINATE SYSTEMS
Position Formats - Grid Systems
Most USGS topographic maps contain both Lat-Long & UTM grid marks along the margins.

• LATITUDE / LONGITUDE (ANGULAR)


DEGREES-MINUTES-SECONDS (hddd°mm’ss.s”)
DECIMAL MINUTES (hddd°mm.mmm’) GPS default setting
DECIMAL DEGREES (hddd.ddddd°)

• UTM / UPS (RECTANGULAR, METRIC)


UNIVERSAL TRANSVERSE MERCATOR
UNIVERSAL POLAR STEREOGRAPHIC
OTHERS …
MILITARY GRID REFERENCE SYSTEM, TOWNSHIP &
RANGE, STATE PLANE COORDINATE, ETC.
Parallels of Latitude
Meridians of Longitude

from GPS Land Navigation by Michael Ferguson


UTM: A very useful coordinate system when using
GPS with USGS topographic maps

The Universal Transverse Mercator grid covers the


conterminous 48 United States comprises 10 zones—from Zone 10
on the west coast through Zone 19 in New England.
UTM divides a
map into perfect
metric squares.
This makes it
easier to locate
positions and
to measure
distances
on the map.
LEGEND – VENTURE - VISTA
ENTERING COORDINATES TO CREATE
A NEW WAYPOINT IN ETREX +

• ON MENU PAGE, SELECT MARK.


• NAME IT & SELECT SYMBOL (optional)
• ENTER ELEVATION (optional)
• ENTER COORDINATE DATA
• SELECT “OK” AND YOU’RE DONE
PROJECTING COORDINATES TO CREATE
A NEW WAYPOINT IN ETREX+
CREATE A NEW WAYPOINT BY ENTERING A BEARING
AND DISTANCE FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION OR
ANY EXISTING WAYPOINT

• ON MENU PAGE SELECT FIND.


• SELECT AN EXISTING WAYPOINT AND ENTER
• FROM MENU OPTION, SELECT PROJECT.
• NAME IT & SELECT SYMBOL (optional)
• ENTER DISTANCE
• ENTER BEARING
• SELECT OK AND YOU’RE DONE
USING
THE

GARMIN

eTrex
Basic Model
NOTE: the newer eTrex units have a 5th main page - the “Trip Computer” page.
ENTERING COORDINATES TO CREATE
A NEW WAYPOINT IN ETREX

• FIND “ MENU” PAGE


• SELECT “MARK”
• NAME IT & SELECT SYMBOL (optional)
• ENTER ELEVATION (optional)
• ENTER COORDINATE DATA
• SELECT “OK” AND YOU’RE DONE
PROJECTING COORDINATES TO CREATE
A NEW WAYPOINT IN ETREX
YOU CAN ALSO CREATE A NEW WAYPOINT BY ENTERING A
BEARING AND DISTANCE FROM YOUR CURRENT POSITION OR
AN EXISTING WAYPOINT

• ON “ MENU” PAGE SELECT “WAYPOINTS”


• SELECT AN EXISTING WAYPOINT AND ENTER
• SELECT “PROJECT” AND ENTER
• NAME IT & SELECT SYMBOL (optional)
• ENTER DISTANCE
• ENTER BEARING
• SELECT “OK” AND YOU’RE DONE
SPEED
TRIP
ODOMETER
TRIP TIME
SUNSET
SUNRISE
LOCATION
ELEVATION
BEARING
HEADING
MAX SPEED
AVERAGE
SPEED

Note: newer units have


additional options on the
“Trip Computer” page.
USING GPS RECEIVERS & DIGITAL MAPPING SOFTWARE
AS TOOLS FOR

ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS
AND

NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

•AREA CALCULATION
•PERIMETER MEASUREMENT
•CRUISE LINES & PLOTS
•OTHER SAMPLING
THE TOOLS The “recreational” GPS models and mapping
software used in this section are affordable, available, and easy to use.
Area and Perimeter Measurements
Environmental studies often require acreage data on areas to be
sampled or surveyed. Several low-cost GPS models are now
capable of area calculation in the field. Almost all models can
calculate perimeter distance around a tract.

• Using the track log generated while traversing the perimeter of


a tract, the receiver measures both enclosed area and perimeter
distance. The results can be displayed in (and instantly converted
among) units of your choice - metric, statute, nautical.

• Using the route creation function, a few models can also produce
an area and perimeter estimate by linking major corner/turn
waypoints in a route sequence. This is useful in difficult terrain
where it is not possible to traverse the tract's perimeter.
AREA MEASUREMENT USING GPS RECEIVERS

Venture Legend Vista

These three Garmin eTrex Models have internal area measurement capability.
Linkage to mapping software is not required.
… SOME OTHER GARMIN PRODUCTS WITH
GPS V
INTERNAL AREA MEASUREMENT CAPABILITIES

RINO series GPS 72 GPS & 12 XL GPS 76 series GPS 60 series

AND MANY MORE NEW GARMIN MODELS


Area Calculaton Comparisons of March II and Garmin eTrex Venture GPS Units
An interesting comparison between a $4000 professional unit and a $125 “recreational model.

Provided by Dick Starnes, DOF, Nottoway County


Spring, 2002

TRACT I.D. MARCH II ETREX VENTURE MARCH//GARMIN

A. 32.5 acres 32.9 acres -0.4 acres


B. 39.3 39.9 -0.6
C. 12.1 12.4 -0.3
D. 20.5 21.7 -1.2
E. 34.7 35.6 -0.9
F. 21.9 22.5 -0.6
G. 6.3 6.9 -0.6
H. 3.6 3.9 -0.3
I. 24.6 25.7 -1.1
AREA
MEASUREMENT:
ETREX+
Venture
Legend
Vista Legend & Vista only
and new color models All models

RINO
All models
ALL
MODELS
AREA MEASUREMENT USING “ACCESSORIES”

1. On Menu page, enter Accessories


2. Enter Area Calc. (area calculation triangle).
3. Highlight and press Start (stop will appear).
4. Travel perimeter of the tract, then press Stop.
5. Record and save (as a track) if desired.
6. Clear the track log.

Area and perimeter measurements can be


displayed in in a variety of units.
AREA MEASUREMENT USING GPS TRACK LOG
(all listed models)

1. From Menu button or page, enter Tracks.


2. Clear the track log - important !
3. Travel perimeter of area being measured.
4. Just before arrival back at starting point,
stop and save track log.
5. Highlight / enter saved track to view area
calculation using appropriate units.

Area measurements can be displayed in in


a variety of units - acres, sq.ft., sq. miles, sq.
meters, hectares, etc. GPS does conversion!
AREA MEASUREMENT USING “ROUTE”
(grayscale Legend & Vista only)

1. On Main Menu page, enter Route.


2. Enter New (unless using an existing route).
3. Enter a sequence of waypoints
(first and last should
be the same).
4. Name and save the route.
5. Highlight route and select Route Area on the options menu.

• Area measurement can be displayed in a variety of units.


• Perimeter and leg distances can be viewed as selectable fields
Area Calculation using the basic eTrex model with
MapSource and Terrain Navigator mapping software.
The inexpensive basic yellow eTrex doesn’t have all the features of the more
advanced models, but it can still be used in combination with MapSource and
Terrain Navigator software to generate acreage estimates and other data.
•Clear the track log.
•Travel the perimeter of area.
•Save the track log.
•Upload the saved track
from eTrex to MapSource.
•Go to MapSource track
properties to view track
length, area enclosed, leg
lengths & elevations, and
elevation profile of the track.
Random & Linear Sampling
• Set your GPS unit and mapping software to
the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator)
coordinate system. UTM provides a grid system
that can be reduced to one meter squares, each
with its own unique geographic-numerical
address (the UTM coordinate). This lends itself
to random sampling selection techniques.
Selected coordinates are entered into the GPS
receiver, which is then used to locate the
scattered plots in the field.
• GPS can also be used in linear sampling (such
as foresters' cruise lines & plots). From any
given waypoint in the GPS receiver, a series of
new waypoints can be "projected" at selected
distances in a desired direction. From any point
on your grid you can find and go to any points
in your survey area.
SETTING UP CRUISE LINES & PLOTS
IN THE GPS RECEIVER
Note: These instructions fit the Garmin eTrex Venture - Legend - Vista
series, the Garmin Rino series, and can be adapted to some others.
They can be performed in the field or at the office.

1. Mark starting waypoint (from which you will project a string of waypoints
- plot points - at designated distances, generally in a straight line).

2. From the starting waypoint, project additional points (see waypoint's menu
option list) by entering the desired bearing & distance. Name each and
save for the next steps.

Note: most GPS receivers will display projection options in only in


hundredths. The following conversion information might be useful:

0.01 miles = 52.80 ft. = 0.799 chains (thus 0.05 miles is 4 chains)
0.01 kilometers = 10 meters = 0.497 chains (thus 0.02 km is about 1 chain).

[See http://www.onlineconversion.com/ for more conversion help]

(CONTINUED ON NEXT SLIDE)


SETTING UP CRUISE LINES & PLOTS
IN THE GPS RECEIVER
continued
3. To set up the next parallel cruise line, project a new starting waypoint at a right
angle and at the appropriate distance from the original, and then project from
this new starting waypoint as described in step #2. Repeat until you have the
survey area covered. Systematic naming of the waypoints (plot points) in each
cruise line is important to eliminate confusion (A1, A2, ... etc.; B1, B2, etc.).

4. View the parallel lines of plot points on your GPS receiver's screen to ensure
that the design of the cruise grid appears correct. Adjust as necessary -
waypoints can be moved: Find waypoint > view Map > click once on waypoint
> drag with click stick to new position.

5. You are now ready to cruise with your GPS receiver. From the starting
waypoint - or any point on your grid - find and go to any or all plot points in
your survey area without additional measuring and in any sequence that is
convenient.

(Note: “Projecting” a waypoint is one of several possible methods.


Others include "measuring distance" and "pan map" on unit's map page)
SETTING UP CRUISE LINES & PLOTS
USING
MAPTECH TERRAIN NAVIGATOR
and GARMIN MAPSOURCE Software
1. Mark starting waypoint.

2. Use Route tool to draw cruise lines and plots. Directions and distances
are actively displayed at the bottom of the screen. Right click to create waypoints,
edit names to provide a logical sequence (A1, A2, ...; B1, B2, etc.).
3. View the parallel lines of plot points on your computer's screen to
ensure that the design of the cruise grid appears correct. Positions can be
moved/corrected by hand using the waypoint tool.

4. Transfer waypoints (plot points) to GPS receiver.

5. You are now ready to cruise with your GPS receiver. From the starting
waypoint - or any point on your grid - find and go to any or all plot points
in your survey area without additional measuring and in any sequence
that is convenient.
TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS
AERIAL PHOTO TOPOGRAPHIC MAP
HIGHWAY MAPS

VIRGINIA ROAD MAP ALEXIS ROAD MAP


Latitude-Longitude coordinates & grids UTM & MGRS coordinates & grids
TOPO MAP MARGIN INFO: BOTTOM CENTER
TOPO MAP MARGIN INFO: BOTTOM LEFT
TOPO MAP MARGIN INFO: BOTTOM RIGHT
TOPO MAP MARGIN INFO: TOP LEFT
TOPO MAP MARGIN INFO: TOP RIGHT
CONTOUR LINES
CONTOUR LINE EXAMPLES
A sampling of Topographic Map Symbols
… more Topographic Map Symbols
Map
Symbol
Quiz
#1
Map Symbol Quiz # 2
Describe notable terrain feature(s) at each number or set of numbers.
Latitude - Longitude Template
Using a UTM Grid Card
GPS Receivers and Digital Maps
USING
THESE
TOOLS
TOGETHER

WAYPOINTS, TRACKS, and ROUTES can be transferred


between your GPS unit and the mapping software. Data can
be easily organized, analyzed and stored in your computer.
Garmin MapSource CD's
Maps & Data for Garmin GPS Receivers

Note: The latest free MapSource update provides a direct link that allows
you to display your waypoints, tracks, and routes directly onto Google
Earth aerial and satellite photos!
See:
http://www.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=209
DIGITAL MAPPING

Scanned USGS Topo Maps

Two scales -1:24,000 and 1:100,000

Create / Store / GPS transfer


- Waypoints
- Routes
- Tracks
Distance measurement
Area calculation
DIGITAL MAPS
USING A
MAGNETIC COMPASS
1995 U.S. DECLINATION & ANNUAL CHANGE
FOUR COMPASS STYLES ...

BASEPLATE - MIRROR - LENSATIC - SIGHTING


FEATURES OF THE
“ORIENTEERING STYLE”
BASEPLATE COMPASS
LENSATIC COMPASS

From A Comprehensive Guide to Land Navigation with GPS by Noel Hotchkiss


From A Comprehensive Guide to Land Navigation with GPS by Noel Hotchkiss
Compass Only
(Taking a Field Bearing)

1. Select an on-route landmark. Hold compass level and


point the Direction of Travel Arrow at the landmark.

2. Find your heading to the landmark by turning compass


dial until the N aligns with the Red end of the Needle.
Read heading at the Index Line.

3. Keep the Needle aligned with the N. Sight and move


toward your landmark. Repeat procedure until you
reach your destination.
Another way to describe the process ...

The Brunton Company


Compass & Heading

1. When given a heading in degrees, turn the Dial so


the heading is set at the Index Line. Hold compass
level with the Direction of Travel Arrow pointing
straight ahead.

2. Turn your body until the Red end of the Needle


is aligned with the N on the Dial.Travel in this
direction.

3. Pick out a landmark in line with your heading.


Move toward it. Repeat procedure until you reach
your destination.
Compass & Map
Following a Map Bearing:
1. Place compass on map with baseplate edge connecting where
you are (start “A”) and where you want to go (finish “B”).

2. Turn the compass Dial until the N aligns


with Magnetic North (MN) on map.

3. Hold the compass level in front of you with the Direction of


Travel Arrow pointing straight ahead. Turn your body until
the Red end of the Needle is directly over the Red Orienting
Arrow. Look up. Find a landmark. Move to it. Repeat until
you reach your destination.
Following a Map Bearing with a north-oriented map

Step 1

The Brunton Company


Step 2

The Brunton Company


The Brunton Company
SELECTED GPS, GIS, & LAND NAVIGATION INTERNET REFERENCES

GPS & GIS Information


Virginia Geospatial Academy http://www.cnr.vt.edu/geoacademy/
Virginia 4-H NREE Curriculum - GPS/GIS http://www.ext.vt.edu/resources/4h/eenr.html
GPS World Online Magazine http://www.gpsworld.com/
GPS User Magazine http://www.gpsuser.com/index.html
Geocaching - Official GPS Cache Hunt Site http://www.geocaching.com/
GeoCommunity http://www.geocomm.com/
USFS GPS Page http://www.fs.fed.us/database/gps/welcome.htm
GPS Information. Net http://gpsinformation.net/
GPS Nuts http://www.gpsnuts.com/
Federal Aviation Administration - GPS http://gps.faa.gov/
GIS for Everyone http://www.esri.com/gisforeveryone/
Map & References (University of Iowa) http://www.cgrer.uiowa.edu/servers/servers_references.html
GPS Utility http://www.gpsu.co.uk/

GPS Manufacturers
Garmin International http://www.garmin.com/
Magellan Corporation http://www.magellangps.com/
Lowrance Corporation http://www.lowrance.com/outdoor/
Brunton http://www.brunton.com/

Maps & Info on Line


USGS National Mapping Information http://mapping.usgs.gov/
MapQuest http://www.mapquest.com/
MapTech http://www.maptech.com/
TopoZone http://www.topozone.com/
Digital Grove http://www.digitalgrove.net/
Google Earth http://earth.google.com/

Compass companies
Silva http://www.silvausa.com/
Brunton http://www.brunton.com/
Suunto http://www.suunto.com/

On-Line Catalogs
GPS Equipment Vendors Links Page http://www.gpsinformation.net/banners.htm
Amazon http://www.amazon.com
GPS City http://www.gpscity.com/
Adventure GPS http://www.gps4fun.com/
SafeTrac GPS & Electronics http://www.safetracgps.com/
GPS Discount http://www.gpsdiscount.com/
Forestry Suppliers http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/
Cabellas http://www.cabelas.com/
THE END ?

… NOT IF YOU HONE YOUR GPS, MAP, & COMPASS SKILLS


Questions or Suggestions?
Contact:
Mike Clifford
Chair, NREE GPS-GIS Curriculum Committee
Senior Extension Agent Emeritus, Virginia Cooperative Extension - Virginia Tech

Home:
Frog Holler'
11131 Amelia Springs Road
Jetersville, VA 23083
Phone: 804.561.5411
Cell: 804.615.5411

mjc4h@vt.edu -or- frogholler@hughes.net

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Frog Holler' GPS
Global Positioning System instruction for adult and youth groups.

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