Course Outlines - Course Details
Diablo Valley College Course
GEOG-129: Field Data Acquisition and Management 
This course covers the fundamentals of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) using the Global Positioning System (GPS), for data acquisition, management, and integration of data with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Students will learn to design, implement, manage a field project, and export the information to a compatible GIS platform for advanced analyses. 
GEOG - 124 or equivalent
GEOG-124 or equivalent
General Information
Department: Physical Science/Physics/Astronomy/Geology/Geography 
Division: Physical Science and Engineering 
Units: 3.00 
Grade Code: Student choice 
Repeatability: 0 
Max day class size: 30 
Max night class size: 30 
Number of Hours
Per Semester
Lecture: 54.00
Laboratory: 0.00
Activity: 0.00
By Arrangement
Lecture: 0.00
Laboratory: 0.00
Activity: 0.00
Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:

  1. Explain the use of GPS for field data collection.
  2. Describe GPS Technology and its components.
  3. Describe and create metadata for field project.
  4. Demonstrate how to calibrate GPS receivers.
  5. Explain the sources of error in field data collection using GPS.
  6. Demonstrate post-processing and error correction.
  7. Export post-processed data to a GIS platform.
  1. Introduction to GPS technology
    1. GPS and navigational satellites
    2. Components of GPS
    3. Use of GPS in the field – benefits and challenges
  2. Designing a project for field data collection
    1. Select a subject and area
    2. Determine the variables to be surveyed
    3. Create a project-plan and time-line
  3. Preparing for field data collection
    1. Understanding the GPS receiver
    2. Setting the coordinate and datum
    3. Creating a data dictionary
    4. Conducting field work
  4. Post-processing field data
    1. Determining acceptable Dilution of Precision (DOP) and positional accuracy
    2. Analyzing error
    3. Preparing the data for integration with GIS
    4. Building the metadata
  5. Future trends in field data collection
Lecture, Demonstration, Discussion, Distance Education 
Reading 1: Read the chapter on metadata. Create a metadata to map the trees in your neighborhood. 
Reading 2: Read the chapter on data transfer and data export. What potential errors and problems can occur while exporting data from GPS into a GIS system? 
Writing, problem solving, performance 1: Using the metadata developed for mapping the utilities at Diablo Valley College, map the utilities of parking lots 3, 4, and 4a. 
Writing, problem solving, performance 2: Using the United States Coast Guard website, differentially correct the data you collected for the assigned project. 
Sample One: List one alternative method of acquiring line information in the field without using the line data option in the GPS receiver. 

Sample Two:

When preparing to differentially correct field position data, what is the maximum allowable distance between the base station and the field (rover) unit?


Frequency of Evaluation:

Evaluations will adhere to the DVC "Fairness in Grading" guidelines and will include as a minimum:

  • Evaluation of students within the first quarter of the course and notifying student of the results

  • Counting a final examination for no more than one-half the course grade

  • Basing final grades on at least three students' tests and/or reports


Sample Textbook. See the current course syllabus or for the actual course textbook.
Book One
Author: Kennedy, Michael 
Title: The Global Positioning System and ArcGIS 
Year: 2009 
Book Two
Author: Misra, Pratap and Per Enge 
Title: Global Positioning System: Signals, Measurements, and Performance 
Year: 2010 
Approval Date
Jan 8 2014 
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