Department of Water Resources Home

GPS in the Classroom - Related Links

South Central Region Office
Department of Water Resources

(559) 230-3300

Street and Mailing Address:

3374 East Shields Avenue
Fresno, CA 93726-6913

  • Benchmark Hunting
    Groundspeak Inc.
    Using your GPS unit and/or written directions provided by National Geodetic Survey, which are available for review by the public, you can seek out NGS survey markers and other items that have been marked in the USA. At the top of peaks or in a village square, you probably walk by at least one every day. The interesting thing about benchmarks and horizontal control points is that a majority of them are located in plain sight (though largely ignored by the general public). Some of these points haven't been visited and documented in a very long time, so you may also be rediscovering long neglected objects of American history as well!
  • BookCrossing
    Humankind Systems, Inc.
    Read and Release your books 'into the wild' and track their progress on the internet through a free book tracking website. According to Ron Hornbaker, President and CTO of's parent company, Humankind Systems, "Sharing books with your friends and neighbors is a natural instinct...what we've done is created a tracking database so that you can see where your books are, and read the journal entries along the way."
  • Degree Confluence Project
    The goal of the Degree Confluence Project is to visit every latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location. The pictures, along with a narrative describing the adventures it took to get there, are then posted on the web site. This creates an organized sampling of the world. Another goal is to document the changes at these locations over time. Although the goal initially is to visit as many different locations as possible, don't hesitate to revisit a confluence if you're in the area. There is a confluence within 49 miles if you are on the surface of Earth.
  • eBird
    Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society
    eBird, a project developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, provides a simple way for you to track birds in North America. You can retrieve information on your bird observations, from your backyard to your neighborhood to your favorite bird-watching locations, at any time. You can also access the entire historical database to find out what other eBirders are reporting from across North America. The eBird database is used by birdwatchers, scientists, and conservationists who want to know more about the distributions and movement patterns of birds across the continent.
  • Drinking Water Source Assessment Protection Program
    California Department of Health Services & U.C. Davis
    The California Drinking Water Source Assessment Protection Program was developed to provide information to communities that wish to develop local programs to protect their sources of drinking water. One of the most important program components is the process of updating the source locations in the Department of Health Service’s database. Knowing the precise location of each source allows a more accurate estimate of how close it is to any neighboring activities that are potentially contaminating. The Information Center for the Environment (ICE) at the University of California Davis has designed an application and a set of standard procedures, utilizing the Global Positioning System to capture accurate source locations and update DHS’s database with these locations.
  • Frogwatch USA: California Frogs
    National Wildlife Federation and U.S. Geological Survey
    Frogwatch USA is a long-term frog and toad monitoring program managed by the National Wildlife Federation in partnership with the United States Geological Survey to: collect information about frog and toad populations in the U.S.; promote an appreciation for the diversity of frog and toad species; foster an understanding of the importance of protecting wetland habitats; and provide an opportunity to learn about and establish a closer relationship with the natural environment. You do not have to be a frog or toad expert to make a contribution; all you need is an interest in frogs and toads.
  • Geocaching – where YOU are the search engine
    Groundspeak Inc
    A GPS device and a hunger for adventure are all you need for high tech treasure hunting. Here you can find the latest caches in your area, how to hide your own cache, and information on how to get started in this fun and exciting sport. As of June 22, 2004, there are 105,188 active caches in 208 countries. A Geocaching forum – GPS in Education – has been created to facilitate discussion on this topic. Educational geocaches in California include:
    • GCE92F – Way of the Mono by Mountain Travler
    • GC5382 – Historic Forts by Anton
    • GCC044 – Fresno Flats by Mugsly
    • GCD509 – Flume Ride by Frenchy et al
    • GCG9CX – Kingsburg Historical Tour by Johetyem
    • GC151D – Muir was Here in ’73 by Doug et al
    • GCFAD9 – It’s Elementary by Bahkause
    • GCCDA0 – Northern CA Solar System Model by Team Jiffy
    • GC6937 – Black Box by Georgeandmary
    • GCG8CJ – Pass it on by Georgeandmary
    • GCGR75 – The Great Geek Gravitational Generator by fizzymagic
    • GC69F1 – IQ Test by fizzymagic
    • GCGBEW – Hexpedition #1 by fizzymagic
    • GCGMP8 – Prospero’s Prolific Programming Primates by fizzymagic
  • Geocaching in Social Studies
    Whitnall Middle School, Greenfield, Wisconsin
    The 6th graders in Mr. Seavert's Social Studies class review their geography skills and their United States and Wisconsin knowledge, along with studying Ancient India and Ancient China. They start each class by taking a daily geography quiz. They also review United States and Wisconsin geography with geocaches. Mr. Seavert's 2003-2004 class had three themed caches and 25 travel bugs. They are known as whitnallgps on the web site.
  • GPS Drawing
    Jeremy Wood,
    GPS Drawing transforms journeys into art. The GPS receiver automatically records ones route like a geodesic pencil. The gallery contains drawings contributed from Japan, Thailand, China, USA, and South Korea. They have received GPS tracks from pilots, skydivers, skiers, hikers, cyclists, joggers, and whale hunters. Amongst the GPS tracks presented on the site are the tracings of historic and geographic features on foot, algorithmic traveling, cross-hatching on a lawnmower, paddleboat doodling, and thermal-seeking scribbles in the sky.
  • INTECH 2 Social Studies
    State of Louisiana
    INTECH 2 Social Studies centers around the use of mapping tools such as GPS, GIS and GeoMedia software. Using GIS to overlay different types of data, students discover meaningful patterns that allow them to make decisions about real-world scenarios. Due to improvements in digital mapping technology, government agencies are in need of localized small-scale detailed data. These are measurements that school children can provide. The most valuable benefit to students of the mapping capabilities of modern GIS is that it can connect a student's immediate surroundings and experience with large-scale maps and real-world problems.
  • Letterboxing North America
    Letterboxing combines navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest to explore interesting, scenic, and sometimes remote places. It takes the ancient custom of placing a rock on a cairn upon reaching the summit of a mountain to an artform. Most letterboxers carve their own stamps or team up with an experienced stamp artist. Virtual letterboxes, which don't involve going outdoors, solve clues on web sites and find a stamp image or perhaps a virtual logbook.
  • Travel Bugs
    Groundspeak Inc.
    A Groundspeak Travel Bug is a tag with its own unique tracking number stamped on it. The tag is attached to an item - and becomes a hitchhiker – for which the owner invents a goal to be achieved. One Bug's goal may be to reach a specific country, or travel to 10 countries. Travel Bugs are tracked with the help of users who go online and "grab" them or receive them from other users. Each Travel Bug has its own on-line "diary" that mirrors its real world movements.
  • (2003). Geocaching, Rocky Mountain Mapping Center, U.S. Geological Survey