Collecting, Mapping, Analyzing, & Communicating Field Data: A Lesson

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10-08-2019 06:44 AM
JosephKerski
Esri Frequent Contributor
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ArcGIS is a platform, which means that (1) applications can be built upon it, which offer powerful capabilities for educators and students, and (2) the tools within the platform are connected.  When these ArcGIS connected tools are used in tandem, complete experiences are easily realized.  One example is fieldwork:  Planning > Collection > Mapping > Analysis > Communicating > Monitoring.   GIS enhances each step in this process.  The attached activity I created guides you and your students through the following 10 steps: 

  1.  Considering why and how to conduct fieldwork.
  2.  Understanding the scope and purpose of Esri field and office apps.
  3.  Understanding some of the most popular ways to map field-collected data in ArcGIS Online.
  4.  Creating a field survey using one of these apps, Survey123.
  5.  Collecting data into the survey.
  6.  Creating an ArcGIS Online map from the survey data.
  7.  Symbolizing, classifying, and examining the data in the ArcGIS Online map.
  8.  Conducting spatial analysis using the ArcGIS Online map.
  9.  Creating an operations dashboard from the survey data.
  10.  Creating a story map from the ArcGIS Online map, operations dashboard, and survey.

This workflow touches several key tools and methods for collecting, mapping, analyzing, and communicating the results of fieldwork.  It is my hope that through this lesson, you will consider what data you would like to collect, and be empowered and confident that you can use these tools in your own work in education and beyond.

--Joseph Kerski

One of the messages of the activity--don

One of the messages of the activity--don't just map your field-collected data--analyze it and understand it!

Workshop workflow

Part of the attached lesson showing the workflow that touches on several key tools and methods for collecting, mapping, analyzing, and communicating the results of fieldwork.  

Getting out into the field.

Collecting data in the field is important--plants, animals, weather, soil moisture, water quality, condition of trails, and much more, and can be done through these connected tools in the ArcGIS platform.   Photo by Joseph Kerski.

About the Author
I believe that spatial thinking can transform education and society through the application of Geographic Information Systems for instruction, research, administration, and policy. I hold 3 degrees in Geography, have served at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and USGS as a cartographer and geographer, and teach a variety of F2F (Face to Face) (including T3G) and online courses. I have authored a variety of books and textbooks about the environment, STEM, GIS, and education. These include "Interpreting Our World", "Essentials of the Environment", "Tribal GIS", "The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data", "International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS In Secondary Education", "Spatial Mathematics" and others. I write for 2 blogs, 2 monthly podcasts, and a variety of journals, and have created over 5,000 videos on the Our Earth YouTube channel. Yet, as time passes, the more I realize my own limitations and that this is a lifelong learning endeavor and thus I actively seek mentors and collaborators.