Lab: Using  Handheld GPS/Phone to Create a Point Database

Create a database with pictures taken of monuments around the yard.  This has the following objectives:


  1. Fill out a table, showing how you coded the database and how you would filter it to find each category.  Insure the filter is complete and in the proper format (you might want to cut and paste it to get the quotation marks correct).
  2. Database
  3. Screenshot of your database overlaid on a orthophoto of the Academy.
  4. A discussion of what you would revise about the structure of your database if you had to redo it. If your design was perfect, defend it; otherwise suggest anything you learned about designing a database that become obvious as you collected and displayed data.
  5. Discussion of the pros and cons of the camera as a GPS and GIS collection device.
  6. Discussion of the difference between the NAIP and one of the other imagery data sets.


  1. Design the database you will create. You must follow the rules for field names.
  2. Collect data, using either:
  3. Create photo DB
  4. Add attribute data to each record to the database with the photo names and locations.
  5. Get two images covering part of the Academy from the USGS Earth Explorer, one NAIP which will cover all of the Academy, and one high-resolution and cover a much smaller area.  It will be large, so get the most recent and the one that best covers your photos.  Look at the coverage on the map or the metadata and browse image to verify you have the correct image unless you want to download a lot of imagery; you must have at least one the monuments on each image.
  6. New image to open the orthoimagery
  7. Database (on map toolbar) to overlay your database on the imagery.  Icons from thumbnails can be effective.
  8. Correct GPS locations to match the imagery.  The imagery might be old, so consider that in your edits.  If you used the phone, you might also have several photos with the same GPS location.  You might want to move the point from where you were standing to take the picture, to the location of the object in the photo.
  9. Merge databases.
  10. Plot, Label all records to put a label next to the record if desired.
  11. Grayscale and subdue map can allow emphasis on map overlays instead of the base map.
  12. Bring up the photos if you used the camera option.  Record display after you Double click on a record in data base.
  13. KML export for Google earth.

Advanced related options, not required for this lab but worth knowing about:

  1. Link web pages to database.
  2. Distance from point: you can find the distance of every parking spot from a particular point, and then filter by distance, or color code on the map by distance.

Last revision 10/19/2018