The map prac:
Enhancing ecology
with a compass and
map, paper map and
Google Maps

N. Sivasothi a.k.a. Otterman
Department...
The Map Prac
1. Identifying the problem
2. The 2-hour map practical
3. Assignment and submission
4. Applications
5. What n...
Where are we?




                3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
23 Jan 2006 - A Himalayan Griffon Vulture
      Gyps himalayensis in Singapore




                                       ...
23 Jan 2006 - A Himalayan Griffon Vulture
      Gyps himalayensis in Singapore




                                       ...
1. Identifying the problem
Where am I?




                             14
Chek Jawa, a hidden eden, 2001




                                 15
Malaysia
                     Sg Johor



                           Pulau
                          Tekong
Singapore


  ...
Chek Jawa,
Pulau Ubin




             17
Morning Cycle data reported by
   iPhone app, Runkeeper




                                  Thanks
                     ...
Gothere.sg:
    NUS to
 Sungei Buloh
Wetlands Reserve




                   19
“...while navigation devices can make it
         easier to navigate from an origin to a
       destination, people are le...
21
22
23
24
25
2. Spatial Awareness with Google Maps
The Map Prac - http://tinyurl.com/lsm2251-mapprac




                              ...
1. Points of a compass




                         27
28
2. Find the bearing, correlate to paper map - why?




                                                     29
Bukit Timah?




               30
Group Work
Their own home;
describe environs
to group mates




                    31
32
Online resources scarce!




                           33
1938




       River flows to the sea!




                                34
35
36
37
3. Assignment and submission with GDocs
Practise, practise, practise
Google Forms for submissions




                    ...
Class of 100 - 200
Submission efficiency with Google Docs




                                        39
40
Text
names blanked
out for privacy




                         41
42
43
44
45
“It is very interesting to see how much
Singapore has canalized many of its rivers
 as well as the amount of reclaimed lan...
4. Applications
Species distribution




                       47
Intensity of bat calls in Kent Ridge
Ong Say Lin et al., 2009



                                       Ecology Asia




 ...
The hunt for the Red Jungle Fowl




Amanda
 Tan
                                     49
Red Jungle Fowl
Amanda Tan, 2010, ongoing




                            50
Smooth-coated otters at
               Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve,
               residential population since 1998



...
Smooth-coated otter
Meryl Theng, 2010/11, ongoing




                                52
Common palm civet
Xu Weiting, 2009/10, ongoing




                               53
“Mr Kinky Tail”




                  54
55
5. What next?
Integrating the Map Prac to daily life




                                         56
Home Assignment
in Groups




                  57
LSM1103
What will
you see?




            58
Manual plot of
 bicycle ride,
the Northern
  PCN loop,
 using Bikely
                 59
HCMC




       60
Montreal




           61
The Map Prac
1. Unfamiliarity?
   1.1.Detection (conversations)
   1.2.A problem, how?
2. The 2-hour map prac
   2.1.Compa...
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The map prac: Enhancing ecological understanding with a compass, paper maps and Google Maps

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By N. Sivasothi. Department of Biological Sciences, NUS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUNomJw3Jrc&p=83FA1CD871F4A4E5

Students are quite unfamiliar with the local and regional physical landscape which significantly hampers their understanding of ecology. A rudimentary two-hour laboratory session was conjured up to address this gap in a new second year ecology module in 2009/10, reaching 200 students over two semesters. The session introduced the use of Singapore topographical paper maps, the magnetic compass and Google Maps. NLB’s iRemember.sg provided a critical 1935 Singapore map but otherwise online resources were unavailable. The “map prac” guidelines were written and tweaked on Google Docs during the session in response to student’s reactions and learning speed.

For a take home test, students plotted a variety of named placemarks including all of Singapore’s rivers and islands which they had little if any familiarity with and submitted this as a link via Google Forms which allowed me to collect reactions to the practical. The large scale perspective introduced by the integrated approach was surprisingly informative to students. They realised the interconnectedness of the landscape, thus enhancing their grasp of ecology. With increasing enrolment in this module, an abridged version of the “map prac” is planned for adoption as an independent exercise which will include existing e-tutorials. Students will present their printed map of relevant annotated placemarks to their project group-mates in the first practical and identify their study sites in the process.

This original “map prac” tutorial is available here and can be used, abridged or added to:
http://tinyurl.com/lsm2251-mapprac.

Published in: Education
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The map prac: Enhancing ecological understanding with a compass, paper maps and Google Maps

  1. 1. The map prac: Enhancing ecology with a compass and map, paper map and Google Maps N. Sivasothi a.k.a. Otterman Department of Biological Sciences National University of Singapore http://blog.sivasothi.com 1
  2. 2. The Map Prac 1. Identifying the problem 2. The 2-hour map practical 3. Assignment and submission 4. Applications 5. What next? 2
  3. 3. Where are we? 3
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. 23 Jan 2006 - A Himalayan Griffon Vulture Gyps himalayensis in Singapore 12
  13. 13. 23 Jan 2006 - A Himalayan Griffon Vulture Gyps himalayensis in Singapore 13
  14. 14. 1. Identifying the problem Where am I? 14
  15. 15. Chek Jawa, a hidden eden, 2001 15
  16. 16. Malaysia Sg Johor Pulau Tekong Singapore Straits of Singapore Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin 16
  17. 17. Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin 17
  18. 18. Morning Cycle data reported by iPhone app, Runkeeper Thanks Colin Wan! 18
  19. 19. Gothere.sg: NUS to Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve 19
  20. 20. “...while navigation devices can make it easier to navigate from an origin to a destination, people are less likely to learn environmental layouts and become overly dependent on their devices” Klippel, A., S. Hirtle, Stephen & C. Davies, 2010 - citing Pruch & Wilson, 2004; Parush, Ahuvia & Erev, 2007; Bakdash, Linkenauger & Proffitt, 2008. 20
  21. 21. 21
  22. 22. 22
  23. 23. 23
  24. 24. 24
  25. 25. 25
  26. 26. 2. Spatial Awareness with Google Maps The Map Prac - http://tinyurl.com/lsm2251-mapprac 26
  27. 27. 1. Points of a compass 27
  28. 28. 28
  29. 29. 2. Find the bearing, correlate to paper map - why? 29
  30. 30. Bukit Timah? 30
  31. 31. Group Work Their own home; describe environs to group mates 31
  32. 32. 32
  33. 33. Online resources scarce! 33
  34. 34. 1938 River flows to the sea! 34
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. 36
  37. 37. 37
  38. 38. 3. Assignment and submission with GDocs Practise, practise, practise Google Forms for submissions 38
  39. 39. Class of 100 - 200 Submission efficiency with Google Docs 39
  40. 40. 40
  41. 41. Text names blanked out for privacy 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. 43
  44. 44. 44
  45. 45. 45
  46. 46. “It is very interesting to see how much Singapore has canalized many of its rivers as well as the amount of reclaimed land. So much that Jurong Island can be made up of so many islands. Upon comparison to the old 1935 map of Singapore, I also realised how secretive Singapore government is about releasing information of its map as many of the islands were not named and I had to go and google each one by one to find out their names.” 46
  47. 47. 4. Applications Species distribution 47
  48. 48. Intensity of bat calls in Kent Ridge Ong Say Lin et al., 2009 Ecology Asia 48
  49. 49. The hunt for the Red Jungle Fowl Amanda Tan 49
  50. 50. Red Jungle Fowl Amanda Tan, 2010, ongoing 50
  51. 51. Smooth-coated otters at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, residential population since 1998 Marcus Ng akak Budak 51
  52. 52. Smooth-coated otter Meryl Theng, 2010/11, ongoing 52
  53. 53. Common palm civet Xu Weiting, 2009/10, ongoing 53
  54. 54. “Mr Kinky Tail” 54
  55. 55. 55
  56. 56. 5. What next? Integrating the Map Prac to daily life 56
  57. 57. Home Assignment in Groups 57
  58. 58. LSM1103 What will you see? 58
  59. 59. Manual plot of bicycle ride, the Northern PCN loop, using Bikely 59
  60. 60. HCMC 60
  61. 61. Montreal 61
  62. 62. The Map Prac 1. Unfamiliarity? 1.1.Detection (conversations) 1.2.A problem, how? 2. The 2-hour map prac 2.1.Compass 2.2.Paper map 2.3.Google Map 3. Assignments 3.1.Plot, plot, plot 3.2.Submission + feedback (GForms) 4. Applications 4.1.Assignments, Research 4.2.Life 5. Next? 5.1.Tutorial 5.2.Shift to 1st years (Kent Ridge) 62

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