GIS and Digital History

This week in my Digital History class we are talking about GIS/GPS. It is also student evaluation week, so my class time is cut from 50 minutes to about 30 minutes. I realized today that most of my students are unfamiliar with this technology. I brought in several GPS units (Garmin Etrex, Trimble Recon, and Trimble GeoXH) to show them what a GPS unit looked like. After talking about the GPS units for a few minutes, I moved on to GIS programs. Here I had a technological glitch and my laptop let me down. I


improvised and showed them the TimeMap webpages Bill Caraher created for PKAP to demonstrate how you can manipulate spatial data. The student really seemed to understand the importance of this technology for archaeology, but seemed to have a hard time understanding how this technology can be applied to other fields. The class had to end long before I was satisfied with what the students understood about GIS so I: 1)  will talk a bit more on this next week; and 2) assigned them some homework – they have to work through a basic GIS tutorial on the ESRI webpage (manufacturers of ArcGIS), entitled "What is GIS?"


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