MAILED: Aug. 7, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- Senior Tsutomu Tabei, Tokyo, Japan, is creating a campus map to be used as a resource tool at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire using a Global Positioning System (GPS).
The map will include an accurate location of everything from sidewalks and roads, to buildings and electrical pits on campus, said Sean Hartnett, associate professor of geography.
"It will be a detailed map which will bring all of these locations into the same file," Hartnett said, adding that with the new GPS, positions will be precisely located with sub-meter accuracy.
Tabei is doing the calculations as part of an eight-week internship for Hartnett.
He uses the GPS to get the precise latitude, longitude and elevation coordinates of everything on campus. The GPS receives signals from satellites which are used to triangulate coordinates, Tabei said.
"It's hard to capture data near a building or a tree," he said, noting that a building or tree can block the signal.
Once Tabei collects the data with the GPS, he transfers it to the Arcinfo computer mapping program, he said.
Facilities planning and management sought Hartnett's help to create an accurate campus base map, said Terry Classen, director of facilities planning and management.
"The campus doesn't currently have a scaleable (dimensionally accurate) plan of grounds, structures and utilities," Classen said.
Since the map gives a precise location, it can be used as a resource to help generate information for making decisions about the university in the future, Hartnett said. For example, the map will make it easy to determine the total area of buildings and the total space of grass and trees, he said.
"The map isn't going to look much different from previous maps," Hartnett said. "The power is the way it (information) can be stored and accessed."
GPS equipment for the environmental sciences was acquired last spring with the support of several departments including geography, geology, biology, and facilities planning and management, Hartnett said. The GPS will be used for several projects including the mapping of Dells Pond and the impacts of spring flooding on the lower Chippewa River, he said.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Aug. 19, 1997