On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse the impacts of tourism on people, places and environments, and evaluate the effectiveness of strategies for managing tourism.
Using Geospatial technologies to collect data in the field
Students need to use geospatial technologies in fieldwork to collect data. This could involve using a GNSS receiver (GPS) or another mobile app that supports the collection of data and allows for the recording of location. When students return to class they will need to download, manipulate and then represent the data to create maps and graphs in their fieldwork report. The benefit of using the tools listed below is that they are free for student and teacher use, and are also available on all mobile devices (both Android and iOs).
What geospatial technologies are available to collect data in the field?
- GPS on a mobile phone or handheld GNSS receiver.
- Collecting GPS data using the Google Maps app on a mobile device.
- Apps such as Epicollect 5 or Survey 123 (ESRI). The benefit of these apps is that the teacher can create questions that allow for primary data collection. These apps automatically collect GPS data and will link it to any other data (surveys, vegetation counts, cross-section data, water quality data, images, sound, video) linked to that location. Also, these apps do not rely on mobile data to work in the field and therefore can be used in any location.
Preparation prior to the fieldtrip
- Students are given instructions to download and practise using the designated app that will be used in the field.
- Teachers create the ‘data collection’ questions if using Epicollect 5 or Survey 123. When doing so, they must follow any school or department IT protocols, particularly involving the privacy and collection of data.
- Students download the specific project created by the teacher prior to the fieldwork.
During the fieldtrip
- Students work through the questions in the app, for each specified location. The teacher determines if the students are collecting data individually or in groups, and how this will be shared when they return to class. This will enable all students to be involved in the data collection, including those who do not own or have access to a mobile device.
After the fieldtrip
- If data was collected in either Epicollect 5 or ArcGIS, students can download an Excel spreadsheet as a .csv file of the data collected in the field.
- Students must ensure that these files are ‘cleaned up’ and include correct heading titles. Extra columns of data that are not needed should be deleted.
- Students then import these ‘cleaned’ .csv files into GIS software such Google MyMaps or ArcGIS. Each layer of data added to a GIS map is a ‘column’ from the spreadsheet; each location is a row.
- Students then add their own layers using satellite imagery, secondary data sources (such as tourism or ABS data) to enhance their evaluation of the effectiveness of the tourism strategy or strategies.
There are a number of apps available on mobile devices that will further enhance data collection in the field. These include apps that collect data such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, light glare, sound and elevation. A simple internet search will show the different apps available at no cost. Teachers should test these apps before asking students to download them.
Map creation tools such as Google My Maps and ArcGIS are cost-free for students and teachers. They are also web-based and therefore do not need to be installed on computer or mobile devices. Teachers are encouraged to use any ‘How to’ videos that already exist to support students in using these geospatial tools.