Class Exercise Using Google Maps

Reading: O'Gara, G. 2000. What You See In Clear Water: Live On The Wind River Reservation. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY.   pages 1-139

For this exercise we used a base map (the file is in the attachment section at the bottom of this page) and created content to map the case study. Using a single Google Map, students added information to the map icon windows and created paths (used to draw lines and shapes such as the reservation boundary and rivers). We sent the students the link to collaborate on the map and had everyone log onto the same map during the class period.

The finished map can be downloaded as a kml file and uploaded into Google Earth, where you can use it to create a tour. The advantage of using a Google Map for the initial mapping exercise is that all of the students can log onto the same map and treat it as a wiki. Another advantage is that you can use Terrain view, which makes it much easier to trace rivers (it even gives the names of major rivers and streams) as well as Map view, which shows the outline of the reservation. You can switch between Terrain and Earth views in Google Maps, which makes it easy to see what you are working on.

The USGS gauging stations were downloaded from WaterWatch as a kml file, then select gauges were saved to the base map.

Here is the list of things the students worked on:
  • Outline reservation
  • Find the tribal offices
  • Trace Wind River headwaters
  • Trace Little Popo Agie
  • Find the diversion dam
  • Remove any gauge stations not on the correct river system, add any that are missing
  • Find irrigation canals for Riverton and other white settlements
  • Find irrigation canals used mainly by tribes
  • Find center pivot irrigation—ground water
  • What river is Ethete on?
  • Where are the Wind River Mountains? The Owl Creek Mountains? Where are the glaciers that feed the rivers?
  • Find sportfishing businesses on reservation (resorts)

View Wind River Case Study in a larger map
Dr. Cynthia Annett,
Nov 9, 2011, 9:58 AM