Geospatial Mapping Technology

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Are You Into It?Geospatial Mapping graphic

If you know where you are and where you are going Geospatial Mapping (GPS/GIS) should be on your map.  Make your own maps and find your way using the technology and software that puts the world at your fingertips.

  • Develop an interest and understanding of global positioning and global information systems.
  • Develop problem solving and logical reasoning skills.
  • Improve communication and teamwork skills by working the way scientists and engineers do - in teams.
  • Develop responsible attitudes about science and technology and how they relate to the real world and people’s lives.
  • Gain experience in problem solving and decision-making using science process skills.
  • Develop knowledge and skills related to geospatial mapping technologies.

Here’s what you can do all year!

Starting Out Basic / Level 1

  • Learn how to use a compass or a GPS unit.
  • Discover all the ways interactive maps and GPS units are used to help us learn about and navigate our world.

Learning More Intermediate / Level 2

  • Route your trail on foot or on a bicycle using a compass or GPS unit
  • Learn how to create an interactive GIS map and how to record and use GPS data.
  • Make and maintain a local geocache.

Expanding Horizons Advanced / Level 3

  • Teach others how to know where they are going using a GPS unit or map and compass.
  • Use mapping technologies to map an important resource in your community and publish it on the Web.

Take It Further

Project Hot Sheet

Fair Exhibit Tip Sheets

Tip sheets are used by judges to evaluate your exhibit. Use them to help make the best presentation of your work. Choose a tip sheet based on your project's intended purpose.

If your project:

Exhibitor Fair Information Form (Word or editable pdf)

 Exhibit Evaluation Form (pdf)

Other Opportunities to Explore:

  • Attend Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and participate in workshops, motivational speakers and a community service project, bringing ideas back to your community.
  • Is it county fair time? Consider taking an exhibit, a piece of your project learning to the fair for judging and to show off what you’ve learned throughout the year. It might get selected to go to the Iowa State Fair.
  • Use mapping as a way to visualize and interpret data you collected as part of a research project. Enter your project  in a local science fair or the State Science + Technology Fair of Iowa.
  • Contact your local ISU Extension Office for other local workshops, activities, and events related to Geospatial mapping technology.
  • Meet others interested in GPS/GIS. Check out camps at the Iowa 4-H Center.
  • Interested in a college education in the area of Global Information Technology (GIS) or engineering related to the field? Schedule a visit with Iowa State University to explore those majors.

Step It Up

Pass it on! Now that you know how, share it with others. Here are ideas to get you started.


  • Give a presentation on geospatial mapping and how it is used on your community


  • Complete a Service-Learning project

  • Create an online map of an important community resource such as child care centers or tourist attractions and work with your city to make it available through their website


  • Teach others how to use a GPS application
  • Develop a workshop to teach others about geocaching
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