GIS Day: Schools Use App to Map Noise in Hyde Park

Students visiting the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) on 20 November will use a new mobile phone app to map noise levels in Hyde Park. This is the first time the technology has been used by schools in this way for collaborative fieldwork.

Sixth form students from across London and South East England will to create an interactive map to discover areas of noise pollution and tranquillity as part of this year’s global GIS (Geographical Information Systems) Day celebrations.

The mapping activities, run by RGS-IBG in partnership with software supplier Esri UK and the Association for Geographic Information, will demonstrate how mobile technologies can transform geographical fieldwork in schools.

Students will use the ‘Collector for ArcGIS’ app to enhance and simplify the process of collecting geographical data. Audio, photos, videos and GPS data collected in the park can feed straight into a live online map. The new technology makes this process accessible for school students.

Steve Brace, Head of Education and Outdoor Learning, said: “Using little more than their mobile phones and the skills learnt at the Society, students can carry out sophisticated and interesting fieldwork in their school grounds or local area. This brings data to life and makes spatial patterns visible. Fieldwork such as this can help students of all ages understand geographical processes.”

Geography teacher Vicky Murphy of Barking Abbey School said: “Easy-to-use mobile phone apps will make a significant difference to the way we teach Geographical Information Systems (GIS). By using relevant technology, students will be more engaged in interactive and hands on learning. This will be of particular help for the controlled assessments and independent research projects.”

Education Consultant for Esri UK, Jason Sawle, added: “The use of GIS allows businesses, governments and educational institutions make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography. Esri UK is delighted to putting this cutting edge technology directly into the hands of young people to help improve the quality of their geography lessons.”