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4-H Center for Youth Development

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GPS, GIS and community mapping

Community mapping is a process involving youth, citizens, community professionals, and community decision-makers working together to learn and use geospatial tools and data to address community and environmental issues.

So what exactly is GPS and GIS?
GPS (Global Positioning System) is a network of satellites that continuously transmit coded information, which makes it possible to precisely identify locations on earth by measuring distance from the satellites.

GIS (Geographic Information System) is essentially a high-tech map! Unlike paper maps, GIS can allow the user to change the information shown as well as ask questions about the relationships between that information.  GIS combines layers of information about a place to give a better understanding of that place. What layers of information are combined depends on the purpose.  GIS software is becoming more sophisticated with the rapidly developing technology.

Overview of GPS and community mapping slides


4-H GIS resources

  • 4-H GIS GPS list serv
    To join and receive announcements about monthly conference calls, webinars, and training opportunities, send an email to Trudy Dunham and ask to be added to the list.
    dunha003@umn.edu
  • 4-H alert, evacuate and shelter
    Find out how 4-H clubs in 13 states in Southeast US have created evacuation and shelter maps to support their community’s emergency preparedness plans.
  • GIS conferences
    Attend a regional GIS user conference to learn more about how GIS is used in your region.  You can also do a web search on “GIS” with your county or state name. 
  • GIS Corps volunteer program
    GIS Corps has a limited number of GIS professionals who are willing to mentor and offer support to 4-H GIS club efforts (near or far).
  • American Forests
    American Forests works to protect, restore and enhance the natural capital of trees and forests, and provides CITYGreen software (an ArcGIS extension) for qualified Intermediate GIS Grant applicants.  

GPS, GIS and community mapping resources

  • GIS/GPS resource list
    A wealth of resources from Tim Haithcoat, Missouri Spatial Data Information Service, Geographic Resources Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia

Workshop 1 - GPS 1
Resources from workshop

GPS learning activities

Workshops 11-14 - developing projects
Resources from workshops

Missouri 4-H club mapping project (draft)

Last Updated 15-Jul-10


Can't find something?  Contact 4hyouth@missouri.edu (please include your county) or 573-882-9359

The Missouri 4-H website contains many PDF documents that require the free Adobe Reader.  You may need to download the newer version of Adobe Reader if you encounter problems reading the PDF documents.



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