2008 Volume 117 Issue 2 Pages 341-353
The use of GIS in education in Japan has not yet been widely diffused, although the computer and network environments of schools have been improved, and teachers have already recognized the characteristics and advantages of this tool in education.
Nowadays, GIS has been intergraded into many aspects of our lives. Mobile phones are also basic tools in our daily lives. A GIS application that runs on cellular phones would be helpful in school education.
From this point of view, the authors have developed a system called Cellular Phone GIS including a GIS application for mobile phone (hereinafter Cell Phone GIS Application) and its web-based GIS viewer application for PC using Google maps (hereinafter PC viewer), and carried out fieldwork at an upper secondary school using these tools. Data can be input and edited outdoors with the Cell Phone GIS Application. These data can be viewed on both cellular phones and personal computers via the Internet. Students carried out a land use survey in the area around the school with the Cell Phone GIS Application, and examined and presented the results using the PC viewer in class.
Students participated actively in the fieldwork with the cellular phone. Through experience of the survey with the tool, they found many new things and learned to adopt multi-dimensional points of view and ways of thinking. Also, this project generated more interest among students in geography classes.
The Cell Phone GIS Application provided high school students with a feeling of accomplishment from the fieldwork. Meanwhile, this tool and PC viewer minimized work after fieldwork because users do not have to input and aggregate data again. Therefore, teachers and students can use course hours efficiently. The Cellular Phone GIS can provide an environment in which students are able to receive educational effects from fieldwork.