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Getting Creative in the Classroom

Professors and GeoEducators who train in surveying and /or geomatics could easily use the Survey Earth in a Day 2.0 event on June 21st @noon as an opportunity to excite students about surveying and geography, spark creativity in learning and educate students on the fundamentals of GPS.  I've been reminded on numerous occasions when discussing the event that a field trip or classroom exercise would be an amazing way to participate.

Would You Like to Host a Survey Earth Activity For Your Class?

Have you or would you consider performing an exercise with your students?   If so, let me know in the comments below and I will send over all of the information you will need.  And if you like, I will add your name or school to my growing list of educators hosting activities related to Survey Earth in a Day 2.0.   Next year we will have Survey Earth 3D on June 21st 2014, so data collected from this year's event will be layered upon the data from 1.0 and 3D.

You can also submit a photo of your setup and data collection tohttp://landsurveyorsunited.com/photo or through the mobile interface of LSU at http://landsurveyorsunited.com/m for our Survey Earth Photo Contest which will be occurring at the same time as the event.

 

Background and History of Survey Earth Event

For those who do not know, here is some background information on Survey Earth in a Day 2.0 and a few images you might consider using in the classroom to prepare for the event.  The following are non-technical answers to 3 questions asked to me by a publication regarding the event.  Educators will of course have their own spin on the details, but this should get your mind going.

 

1)Measuring the Earth sounds really cool. Can you explain how it works for us non-surveyors?

The fact that the majority of the public does not know what a professional land surveyor does happens to be one of the primary reasons for holding such an event- to educate.  Without land surveyors, no one in the world would be able to accurately understand the ownership of real property.  Surveyors bring accuracy to the measurement of land that the general public could never achieve. You can't find your property corners using Google Maps, for example.

Before Land Surveyors United, no Global Social Network existed for Land Surveyors, despite the fact that it is the oldest profession known to man. Land Surveyors are trained to use a type of GPS equipment which is highly accurate. Cellphone GPS is only accurate to +/- 30 Meters and can only triangulate positions between 2-4 satellites. Survey grade GPS can be accurate to close to a centimeter or more, triangulating position from 20 or more satellites at once.

An entire global network of surveyors simultaneously capturing and sending in data during a single day (the solstice-longest day of the year) will actually increase the accuracy of the maps we use everyday, on our phones and on the web. Therefore, only a professional land surveyor can improve the accuracy of web-based maps. Imagine how much land surveyors could change the state of web-mapping when we, as a community, simultaneously measure the entire planet on the longest day of the year from thousands of locations around earth. We will show the public how truly important land surveyors are to society.




2) What kinds of information do you hope to learn from this data?

Our first goal is to get land surveyors in the habit of communicating across borders. Surveyors are governed by laws which vary from state to state, country to country, which is one of the primary reasons for the lack of a 'global community' before now.  We hope to understand both the similarities and differences shared among surveyors in different parts of the world.  We hope to unify land surveyors based on this community gathered data and we hope to educate the public about the importance of professional land surveyors to society. Ultimately, we hope to learn much more from the data than we currently anticipate, as it could be useful across disciplines of science, math, geodesy, geography and of course anthropology.
2)What response did the event have last year and what response are you expecting this year?

Last year, with only around 2100 members on the network, we had around 1450 participants and we are learning from our mistakes.  Our submission form timed out for around 440 submissions because we were using a Jotform/Dropbox form that I hacked together.  2012 was the very first year for two ning-powered global events for land 

surveyors.  Survey Earth in a Day 1.0 happened on Thursday June 20th, during the first annual International Surveyors Week.

This year with well over 5400 members, we have close to 3700 registered to participate, which will be a HUGE boost in submissions, we hope.  We've put a lot more social media promotion into this year's event and our network activity and membership has more than doubled.  International Surveyors Week 2013 is a bit more focused than last year and Survey Earth in a Day 2.0 is gonna be live and streaming.  

Next year, Survey Earth in a Day 3D is planned (June 21 2014).   Data from all three years will be layered and mapped, giving us some ideas related to changes and shifts in the earth's surface over time, not to mention the growth of our global surveyors community.  Pretty exciting stuff, even if you're not a land surveyor, i'd say!  And as an anthropologist and the only person on my network who isn't a land surveyor, I am most excited about the strength and sense of community that this event is bringing to the land surveying industry.

 

I ask and encourage educators and students to share and post about this event in your own networks and blogs and will be happy to add your logo to our supporters page and the publication which will be distributed after the big event.

 

 

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