So began last week, when I had the opportunity to teach 12 high school students in Parks and People's Branches program how to collect data and make maps. Branches is a 6 week program, and Parks and People decided to try something new - a pretty excellent decision. My goal was to impart a basic understanding of data collection and Quantum GIS - an open source GIS software that was chosen so that the students could continue to use it on their own, for free. I hoped each student could print a map by day 5... Here is what we did...!
Day 1 was a hands on Garmin lesson out in Druid Hill Park. They found out what GIS means, watched a few videos of some cool mapping projects, and did an intro lesson to QGIS. Not bad. Day 2, everyone came back for more, and we ventured down to the Star Spangled Banner Trail in the Inner Harbor for a scavenger hunt and data collection. I went with a group that had to find the Sondheim Fountain - bonus in the heat! ('found' it a few times!) After lunch our team walked around and recorded trees, trash cans, and retail options, and started learning about attributes. My two wonderful assistants joined the other groups so each team had hands on instruction with the GPS.