“GeoMapApp Middle and High School Learning Activities” with Andrew Goodwillie and Steve Kluge (Sep 2013)

by | Jul 24, 2023 | GeoMapApp

with Dr. Andrew Goodwillie and Steve Kluge

Originally presented 29 Sep 2013

GeoMapApp is an Earth Science exploration and visualization application that is continually being expanded as part of the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS) at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. The application provides direct access to the Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) compilation that hosts high resolution (~100 m node spacing) bathymetry from multibeam data for ocean areas and ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) and NED (National Elevation Dataset) topography datasets for the global land masses.

Join Dr. Andrew Goodwillie and Steve Kluge for a hands-on workshop where they will provide an overview of GeoMapApp. Then, they will introduce three brand new K-12 GeoMapApp Learning Activities, not yet published anywhere. The Earth2Class cohort will be the first to see them!

If possible, participants should bring their own laptops so they can take back a working copy of GeoMapApp to their schools. The GeoMapApp web page is located at  (www.geomapapp.org), and is easy to install.

Classroom activities using GeoMapApp are available at http://serc.carleton.edu/geomapapp/collection.html

Join us for “lunch with the scientists”. In the afternoon, you can continue to explore GeoMapApp learning activities for your classroom, or join us to prepare for the Lamont Open House on Saturday, 6 Oct.

Cutting-Edge Research

GeoMapApp relies on the internet to access a rich content of information for physical oceanography, paleoclimates, geochemistry, geology, seabed sediment and rock compositions, ocean crust age, spreading rates, bathymetry, and sediment thickness. One can select and view seismic reflection, gravity, magnetic and topographic profiles from tens of millions of kilometers of ocean surveys dating back to the 1960s. There are dedicated interfaces to explore the results of 40 years of ocean floor drilling, earthquake locations, magnitudes and epicenter depths, and seabed photographs from submersibles, remotely operated vehicles and towed camera sleds. The image in the map window can be saved or sent directly to a printer. Tabular datasets are selectable with lasso tools and can be manipulated in interactive graphs. Gridded datasets can be sun-shaded from selected directions and illumination angles then contoured. Users may import grids and tables from their own file system as well as from Web Mapping and Web Feature

GeoMapApp is a component of the Marine Geoscience Data System at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (http://www.marine-geo.org/index.php). The Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS) provides free public access to data collected throughout the global oceans. The data portals serve different communities of NSF-funded researchers providing direct access to data, program-relevant information, and tools for helping them satisfy their data sharing obligations. The tools and services provide access to the integrated data system, visualization and analysis tools, and education and outreach materials. Use the search interface to explore the holdings and find data of interest.

Classroom Resources

Andrew Goodwillie and Steve Kluge have created a collection of GeoMapApp learning activitieshttp://serc.carleton.edu/geomapapp/collection.html They are published by SERC, the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College.

Themes include:

Introduction: Latitude and Longitude 
Students use GeoMapApp to understand the differences between 2-D map projections and the 3-D world, how places are located by latitude and longitude, units used to measure latitude and longitude, and how latitude …

Introduction: Exploring Earth’s Topography 
Students learn the basics of GeoMapApp, and then use it to create topographic profiles across both continental landscapes and the seafloor. Using those profiles, students visualize and calculate regional and local …

Seafloor Spreading 
Using GeoMapApp, students examine the age of the seafloor crust, calculate the rate of seafloor spreading at different locations around the world, and compare the spreading rates within the context of plate …

Hawaiian Islands: Volcano Ages, Hotspots and Plate Motion
The ages of volcanic rocks along the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain are used to investigate speed of motion of the Pacific plate, to analyze the distinctive bend in the chain, and to consider the age data in the …

Hawaiian Islands: Erosion and Giant Landslides 
High-resolution elevation data on land and in the ocean is used to examine the effects of erosion on the Hawaiian Islands. The remains of remarkable offshore giant landslides are also studied, and consistency with … 

Other Resources for This Topic

MGDS: Marine Geoscience Data System

MGDS: GeoMapApp

 GeoMapApp tutorials_

MGDS: Virtual Ocean

MGDS: Search for Data


MGDS: RIDGE 2000 Data Portal

MGDS: Global Multi-Resolution Topography Data Portal
VIS Lab: Remote Sensing Image Analysis Laboratory

PetDB: Petrological Database of the Ocean Floor

SedDB: Data Collection for Marine Sediment Geochemistry

SESAR: System for Earth Sample Registration

Integrating Educational Technologies

General suggestions: Integrating Educational Technologies into Your Classrooms

This month: Apps

Your assignment:

1) What characteristics make apps effective as a classroom teaching tool?

2) When should apps be used for full-class instruction, and when should they be used for small groups or individual projects?

3) Describe strategies to locate suitable apps for your classes.


4) Design a lesson plan that incorporates at least one app.

E2C Follow-up:

You may send your model lesson and other responses to this “assignment” to michael@earth2class.org. If suitable, we will post your work in the E2C lesson plans and/or add them to this section of the Workshop website.