Thing 17 – Geo-location Tools

Thing 17 – Geo-location Tools

March 8, 2019 0 By JR

Go to Geocaching.com to learn more and try the app. See if you can locate a geocache in your area and share your adventure on your blog.

OR

Explore one of the other apps created at The University of Edinburgh and write about this on your blog.

OR

Share on your blog another geolocation app that you have found to be useful and/or fun!

I remember hearing about geocaching many years ago as something people were starting to get involved with. There were even a few people I knew in little Saskatoon that were getting into it. Like most fads of the time it quickly went away, but the idea was always there under the surface.

So I downloaded the app, and much to my surprise there was a lot in Saskatoon, including one just outside of where I work:

This got me thinking a bit about how geolocation could be used in education. It reminded me a bit of a project I did in 2012 while I was taking an ETAD course on multimedia design for learning, as well as the course I took at Helsinki Summer School. During my time at HSS, Helsinki happened to be the World Design Capital. One of the activities/events they had at that time was a font walk, where they had an app and a booklet you could use to go around the core of Helsinki and check out how type was used in different ways around the city. I turned that into a little project of my own for a Grade10 typography unit. For that part of the project I used Google Maps to insert the photos I took while I completed the Font Walk, and considered making assignments where students would create their own “walks” in which ever town or city they were in.

That particular idea stayed with me for a long time, and I admit I got pretty excited when I saw a WordPress plug-in demonstration during one of BCCampus’ ed tech demos. They called it FieldPress. I checked it out, but at the time I was in a role where I did not use WP in my course developments at all (crushing I know). What I really dig about this tool is the way you can set up virtual field trips. It was created as an Open Geography project, which it fits really well for, but I think it could be used for all sorts of courses both for degree pathway and continuing ed. I’m not sure how much uptake it got. They have a demo site set up and the GitHub repo looks like it hasn’t been touched in about 3 years. It would be disappointing if it was not getting much use.

I have to admit I’m disappointed I didn’t know about 23 Things last spring because I was in Edinburgh and I could have tried out Curious Edinburgh myself! I went on 2-3 walking tours even…opportunity missed. One of the tours I went on was a ‘ghost tour’ which included a lot of stories from old Edinburgh. I think combining something like WalkThruTime and a facilitated walking tour would add a whole new level to the tour. And that’s just the thing, I find many educational technologies have applications in non-formal learning environments such as tours, museums, public out reach, art galleries etc. Maybe even more applications in those other settings. Particularly when it comes to AR/VR.

A connection with Thing 18 – AR & VR

It’s interesting to me that thing 17 & 18 are paired. As I read over the materials for Thing 17 I began to think about different ways we could use geolocation to make interesting experiences for users. I thought back to a course from 2014/15 from iVersity called The Future of Storytelling. They cover something called “location-based” storytelling and introduction an AR game that uses location data, check it out


Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash