Monday, July 4, 2005

ArcExplorer – A GIS Solution for K-12

While at NECC I stopped by the ESRI booth as one of my goals for the past several years has been to put their GIS (Geographic Information System) product ArcView to use. We have sent several classroom teachers and even one of our tech staff to training but have never gotten to the point of adding our own district data.

What I found was a new (at least to me) product – ArcExplorer – which is available for free! It doesn’t do everything that ArcView will, but it looks to be the perfect solution (and price) for schools. You can download the program and datafiles to use with it from their site.

You can enter data points by putting in longitude and latitude (ArcView will let you enter the street address) so you can plot the home address of your students or sample points for water quality tests.

This is another reason (or excuse) to purchase an inexpensive handheld GPS navigator such as the Garmin eTrex. The first reason many schools purchase handheld GPS navigators is geocachingTim Wilson posted about a geocaching workshop he attending at TNT this spring.