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Geography 121 Project Two: Locating Geographic Coordinates using GPS


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Title: Geography 121 Project Two: Locating Geographic Coordinates using GPS

Geography 121 Project Two Locating Geographic
Coordinates using GPS
  • Jeffrey Hayden
  • Kristen Muscat
  • Jamie Pfitzenmeyer
  • William Steudler

A review of GPS
  • GPS otherwise known as Global Positioning System
    is a navigational tool based off the concept of

GPS was developed by the US Department of
National Defense.
There are 3 components of GPS
User Segment
Control Segment
Space Satellite
The GPS Space Segment
The GPS space segment consists of 24 satellites
located in space which orbit the earth. These 24
satellites follow the path of 6 distinct orbits
circulating every 12 hours.
The 24 satellites continually send messages to
receivers which are located on Earths surface.
The GPS Control Segment
The control segment consists of monitor control
stations located across the globe. The control
station calculates satellites orbit and clock
information every 15 minutes. The control
station also sends updated navigation information
to satellites a few times a day.
The GPS User Segment
The user segment of the GPS system continually
listens for signals broadcasted by the
satellites. The user segment then receives the
information from the various satellites and
calculates the distance information. The user
segment then uses distance data and trilateration
to determine the location.
The user segment can be hand-held or can also be
used to track animals and navigate airplanes.
Inaccuracies with GPS
  • Atmospheric Delay- when the satellite's signal is
    delayed because it bounces through the atmosphere
  • Multipath- when the signal bounces off or is
    delayed by an object (trees or people) before it
    reaches the user segment.
  • Obstruction- when an large object (a building)
    between the satellite signal and the user segment
    completely blocks connection.

How to do PROJECT 2
  • There are 2 parts to this project, with a group
    of 3-4 people you will
  • A. Locate 2 unidentified points using the
    handheld GPS. Also, you will locate your own 4
    points using the GPS.
  • B. Then you will plot these points using computer
    software on a map of Penn State.

For this project you will need the following
  • GPS and cord (these you can sign out with Missy)
  • Pencil/Pen
  • Worksheet
  • Computer
  • Patience, this project takes time.

Before searching for your points
  • -Make sure there is sufficient battery levels on
    the GPS, it might even be a good idea to bring 4
    extra AA batteries along with you in case you
    have problems.
  • Print out the worksheet for this project here
  • http//
  • Now you are ready to get to work!

To Avoid MUCH Confusion
  • -The GPS system records coordinates as degrees,
    minutes and seconds. VERY IMPORTANT!!--
  • These measurements DO NOT directly translate into
  • -Convert the decimal (mystery) coordinates you
    were given on your worksheet to degrees, minutes,
    and seconds (in order to find them using the
    GPS). You may wish to use this website
  • http//

Getting Started
  • After you determine your converted coordinates,
    it is now time to turn on GPS. Do this by holding
    red light bulb button. (if you are inside, you
    probably will not get a signal)
  • Press the Page button until the Main Menu page
  • Next, highlight Waypoint List using the arrows
    and press enter
  • If previous waypoints exist, using the arrow-
    highlight Delete Waypoints and press enter.

Locate a Waypoint
  • Press the GOTO button (top left.)
  • Type in the unidentified
  • coordinates that you were
  • given on the worksheet.
  • The GPS will then lead you to
  • these mystery points.
  • Remember, you should be looking for the converted
    coordinates (decimal to degrees, minutes, and

Important Information
  • When choosing your four locations, make sure that
    they fall somewhere in West-Central portion of
    campus (between Walker Building and the HUB)
  • Note, these locations must be far enough apart to
    be distinguishable on a map

Marking Your Four Waypoints
  • Press Page to refresh until you get to the
    Position Page
  • This page displays elapsed time, position, time,
    and a compass
  • As you move the position coordinates will
    indicate movement (through the changing numbers)
  • Once you reach a destination, press Mark. This
    will save your waypoint
  • Repeat this step three more times at different

When youve completed marking your points
  • Before returning to lab, make sure you have
    correctly SAVED ALL your waypoints. (check this
    by pressing page to main menu-waypoint list)
  • Return to the Walker Building lab and enter data
    into the computer

To input data into the computer
  • Use the GPS cord to connect to the computer. (the
    port is in the back of the computer)
  • 1. Open Waypoint v1.8.03 from the Start Menu
    (you may have to run a search for it)
  • 2. Click onGPS- then-
  • Download from GPS- then-
  • Waypoint

More Instructions
  • 3. Choose File- then- Configuration
  • Make sure Decimal Degrees, and Statute Miles are

Almost done configuring
  • 4. Choose File then- Datum
  • a. scroll down to find WGS84 b. click to
    highlight and press ok
  • c. Congratulations, youre configured, Save
    the GPS data as a text file (.txt) in your W
    drive File -then- Save -then- Waypoint

Next, open Microsoft Excel
  • Open the text file you just saved on Waypoint.
    It should look something like this

Erase the text in row 1. On this graphic it
appears as Datum, WGS84, etc. Label Column C as
Waypoint. Label Column D as latitude and E as
longitude. Looking at this graphic, delete all
columns excluding columns C, D and E. The
information remaining will be your waypoint,
latitude and longitude.
Your edited Excel file should now
look like this Save this updated file. Now
exit out of Microsoft excel so you can use the
data in ArcView.
Open the program ArcView 8.x this may also be
called ArcMap (This can be found on the Start
Menu under Programs.) Next, unzip the file
Project 2b Campus Map Data" which can be found
on the Geog 121 page on Angel. You will use this
file when making your map.
ArcView will transpose your coordinates onto a
map of the Penn State Campus. To do so correctly
the settings must be on NAD83.
To view this screen press View. Click Coordinate
System Then click ltcustomgt make sure it is NAD
1983 that is highlighted. Click Apply. Then

Next, click Layers. Click all the boxes, and
your map should look like the this graphic. You
may want to check the box clp_mask first (thats
the bottom layer). Then you can add buildings and
roads. At this time you have in front of you a
map of campus. The final thing you will need to
do is to load your data points onto this map.
Now, to add your points, Click Tools. Click Add
XY Data. In the first file drop, where is says
Choose a tableyou will use the document of
coordinates you saved in Excel. Make sure it is
your file name that appears in this box. Then
make sure the X field is Latitude, and the Y
field is Longitude. Click OK.
Guess What!? Youre done!
  • -If the steps were followed correctly, your
    points should be plotted on the correct buildings
    on campus.
  • -You will then use Microsoft FrontPage to
    complete your project.
  • -Directions for your websites layout are here

  • -You may run into problems with this project, it
    can be very complicated. Trust us, we know from
  • -DO NOT wait until the day before it is due. Get
    your coordinates as soon as possible. Make sure
    you leave enough time to attend office hours or
    ask questions. Youve been warned. Good luck!

  • Dana, Peter H. (2000) Global Positioning System
    Overview. http//
    /notes/gps/gps_f.html. Accessed 5 October 2006.
  • DiBiase, David. Understanding Geographic Data.
    Module 2 ESRI Virtual Campus 2006.
    http// Accessed 5 October 2006.
  • Degrees, Minutes, Seconds and Decimal Degrees
  • Conversions. Federal Communications Commission.
    .html. Accessed 5 October 2006.
  • GEOG 121 Project 2Locating Geographic
    Coordinates with GPS. Parts 2a and 2b.
  • http//