FOR 230A : Map, Compass and GPS

Transcript title

Map, Compass and GPS



Grade mode

Standard letter grades

Contact hours total


Lecture hours


Lab hours



Teaches the basic skills of field and forest navigation with compass and GPS. Competency obtained in pacing, paper and computer map use, compass and basic GPS use.

Learning outcomes

1. Use a magnetic compass to determine bearings and azimuths, both true and magnetic.
2. Convert between bearings and azimuths and between true and magnetic directions.
3. Use a clinometer or an Abney to measure vertical angels and then correct slope distance to horizontal distance using basic trigonometry.
4. Measure distance by pacing and GPS use.
5. Know the basic design and utilization of the Public Land Survey system.
6. Identify all symbols, grids, Public Land Survey notation, and marginal information on aU.S.G.S. 7W series map.
7. Determine land area from a map using a dot grid and a polar planimeter.
8. Draw a map to scale using standard format and symbols.
9. Determine position by recreational GPS.
10. Use MyTopo’s Terrain Navigator to obtain locations, coordinates, distance, direction, elevation and GPS tracks and routes.
11. Gather, comprehend, and communicate scientific and technical information in order to explore ideas, models, and solutions and generate further questions.
12. Apply scientific and technical modes of inquiry, individually, and collaboratively, to critically evaluate existing or alternative explanations, solve problems, and make evidence-based decisions in an ethical manner.
13. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of scientific studies and critically examine the influence of scientific and technical knowledge on human society and the environment.

Content outline

• Course Introduction
• Definitions
• Direction and Distance Measurement
• Compass Theory and Angular Measurement
• Compass Use
• Map Scale and Map Projections
• Coordinate Systems
• GPS Theory
• Planimetric and Topo Maps
• Topography and Slope
• USGS Maps
• USGS Map Symbols and US National Grid

Outside of

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