Curriculum Resources

GIS/GPS: Geocaching and Mapping Inquiry

Navigation Tools

  1. Know and Communicate Where You Are
  2. Understanding Geographic Positions
  3. Roadmap Reader
    1. Introduction to Maps
    2. Plan a Trip to Springfield, IL
  4. What is GPS?
  5. Finding Your Way with GPS Receivers
    1. Getting to Know Your GPS Receiver - Compass Page
    2. Finding Geographic Positions and Waypoints
  6. Finding Waypoints (activity)
    1. Mark a Waypoint half-page handout for GPS MAP76
    2. Garmin Geko 201
    3. Garmin GPSMap60
  7. GPS Receiver Waypoint Averaging for Greater Accuracy
    1. General (manual averaging)
    2. Garmin Map76


  1. Introduction to Geocaching
  2. Let's Go Geocaching!
  3. Activating a Geocoin
  4. Create Your Own Geocache
  5. GPS Games, including: geocaching, letter boxing, geodashing and waymarking

Community Mapping

  1. Introduction to GIS
  2. GIS at Work
  3. Exploring Your Community
    1. Identify Resources and Needs
    2. Discover Stakeholders
  4. Collecting Data for Your Map
    1. How to Mark Waypoints
    2. How to Interview
    3. How to Take Photos and Make Videos
  5. Creating Your Map
    1. How to Create a Map
      1. Using GoogleMaps
      2. Using AEJEE
    2. How to Transfer Data from GPS
      1. To GoogleMaps
      2. To AERIAL Map
    3. How to Link Data to Your Map
      1. Pictures using Picasa
      2. Video using YouTube
    4. Converting Geographic Coordinates
      1. Manually
      2. Online
    5. Sharing Your Map
    6. Community Change with Maps

Other Curriculum Resources

  • Exploring Spaces, Going Places (4-H Curriculum): Includes three youth levels and helper's guide introducing geospatial technology, geographic education, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Activities correlate with National Education Standards.
  • Geospatial Revolution: The Geospatial Revolution Project is an integrated public service media and outreach initiative about the world of digital mapping and how it is changing the way we think, behave, and interact. Online video episodes and resources.
  • Overview of GIS: Video
  • 4-H Science Toolkit: Geospatial Intro Activities
  • ESRI ArcLessons: An open community database of lessons and ideas for using GIS mapping in the classroom. Can search by different topics such as social studies, life sciences, etc.
  • MappingAmerica: Browse local data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, based on samples from 2005 to 2009. A project of the New York Times.
  • Exploring Food Resources in Your Community: Overview article
  • Food Desert Finder
  • Disaster Simulation Game: A fun way to explore the importance of different resources in your community and how they can be protected under different disaster scenarios
  • ESRI StoryMaps: See examples of how a story can be told with maps and then tell your own story!
  • What is GPS?: Animated video
  • See GIS in Action: Interactive Video Use maps to solve problems and help animals! From National Geographic Education
  • What is Geoliteracy?: Video from National Geographic Education
  • GIS: A collection of selected content from National Geographic Education
  • ESRI ArcLessons

Mapmaking Tools

Explore the world in 3D. Make your own maps and share with others!

Geocaching Resources

Find a geocache near you!

GIS/GPS Community

  • GIS User Groups
  • GISCorps
  • List of University of Illinois Extension Counties that have received a 4-H Community Atlas GIS Grant from ESRI:
    • Monroe County, Introductory Grant (2006)
    • Monroe County, Intermediary Grant (2007)
    • Kankakee County, Introductory Grant (2007)
    • Grundy County, Introductory Grant (2007)
    • Ford-Iroquois County, Introductory Grant (2007)
    • LaSalle County, Introductory Grant (2007)
    • Rock Island Center Unit, Introductory Grant (2007)
    • Madison County, Introductory Grant (2008)
    • Montgomery County, Introductory Grant (2008)
    • Schuyler County, Introductory Grant (2008)
    • Adams-Brown County, Introductory Grant (2008)
    • Edwardsville Center Unit, Introductory Grant (2008)
    • Christian County, Introductory Grant (2008)
    • Lawrence County, Getting Started Grant (2009)
    • Richland County, Getting Started Grant (2009)
    • Pike County, Getting Started Grant (2009)
    • Henry-Stark County, Getting Started Grant (2009)
    • Macoupin County, Getting Started Grant (2009)
    • Rock Island Arsenal, Getting Started Grant (2010)
    • Macon County, Introductory Grant (2010)