Coordinate Systems Overview

Instructors' Notes

Several techniques can be used to help students gain a working knowledge of coordinate systems. Indeed, this 50-minute module can readily be expanded to include another 50-minute coordinate system "workshop" using maps and mapping reading problems.


It is useful to teach this unit using sets of maps that employ different coordinate systems. Build a collection of local maps as well as maps from other states, provinces, or nations. These can be used for illustration or assigned to individual students for coordinate "readouts."


Have students practice using both global and local coordinate systems to find locations. Present them with problems where they must both locate positions on maps from coordinates and read coordinates from maps.


Develop projects that present problems with respect to the use of coordinate systems. These might involve GIS projects that span different UTM or SPC zones, or projects that involve collating information recorded in several different coordinate systems.

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