Glencoe Science Level Red
Interactions of Matter
Build a city
Geographical information system (GIS) is a geospatial data tool that provides the ability to investigate real-world problems. GIS is experiencing a rapid increase of use in content area such as Earth science and oceanography and is no longer considered only a resource when studying geography.
Using GIS to analyze geospatial data from a historical perspective is one strategy for understanding how cities have changed over time. These tools are being effectively used by scientists and researchers to understand how cities have grown and to predict and plan for a community's future needs.
- Open a Web browser and navigate to http://davidrumsey.com/index.html.
- Select GIS Browser from the index page.
- Choose one of the following major United States cities to investigate historical and current maps and satellite images.
- San Francisco, California
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Washington, D.C.
- New York, New York
Click GIS Professional Browser on the city's main page.
Use the geospatial tools on the GIS interface to project different maps of your city. You can use the tools in the menu bar to show multiple layers of maps together.
Once you have had a chance to explore different maps, create a futuristic picture book that depicts an alien or astronaut coming to the city they have chosen using out-dated maps to navigate. Your book should include images from maps that provide geospatial data to support their descriptions. Address the following issues in your book:
- How have the boundaries of the city changed over time?
- How has the population center of the city changed over time?
- What types of modifications to natural features have happened over time? For example, are there areas that were once mountainous that are now lower in elevation?
2 class periods; one to research and one to create their book.