GPS Tracking

wolf_packs_gps_image

This image of GPS tracking of multiple wolves in six different packs around Voyageurs National Park was created in the framework of the Voyageurs Wolf Project. It is an excellent illustration of how much wolf packs in general avoid each other’s range.” SOURCE: Earthly Mission

Maps are powerful tools to demonstrate spatial ideas and concepts.  Wolves are territorial, and using GPS trackers to understand this really drives home the point.  Here is a similarly fantastic map of an eagle’s flight paths shows the patterns amid noise.

gps-tracks-eagle-movement-over-twenty-years-5c79333418b97__700

As a runner, I keep track of my all my runs using some apps and Citystrides.com.  A screengrab of my “LifeMap” is included below.

Running GPS

With these tools at my disposal I stumbled on the decision to learn about my city by running every single street, exploring the cultural landscape, and make the training miles a part of a bigger goal.  With this newfound understanding of my city, I’ve mapped over 100 changes on OpenStreetMap (OSM) to give my newfound knowledge a bit of public utility.  The light blue line in the image below is the Cranston (RI) city boundary; As of March 12, I’ve officially run #EverySingleStreet, 100% of Cranston roads.  It was a quixotic goal, but an absolutely thrilling way to comibne my love of running, cartography, Cranston, and exploring the cultural landscape.

100percent
15 months in the making, a map documenting my runs on #EverySingleStreet of Cranston.

TOOLS: Using GPS data in mapping tools such as ArcGIS.com or Google Earth doesn’t require a lot of expertise, but gathering the data out in the field can usually be done with an app that can create a .GPX file (search your app store for GPX).  You can use GPS Visualizer to convert files, create GPX files or convert files to other formats.  Look at the screengrab below to see some of the options, especially the ‘sandbox’ tool which lets you create a GPX file.

GPS

GeoEd Tags: GPS, mapping, biogeography.

 

 

About the author: Shandra Johnson
I love to research and I'm very organized. I've worked in retail which is enjoyed. I wish I could find a job that allowed me to have more time with my son.

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