Archiv des Autors: Thomas Bartoschek

Geo Activity in User-centered design seminar

Great things happen… the geoactivity was one of the use cases in Catharina Riedemann’s seminar „User-centered design of geospatial applications“ in this years summer semester at the Institute for Geoinformatics.

The student group of Johannes Trame, Dustin Demuth and Christoph Mülligan found out that Weiterlesen

ESRI Education User Conference

On July 11th we presented the GeoActivity at this years ESRI Education User Conference taking place in San Diego, CA. The  talk was scheduled in the Research session on spatial thinking. After the presentation we prepared a demo on the Hilton Hotel terrace (to have GPS connection) for the interested audience. Most of the peolpe have not seen the XO before, only heard about the project. Some interesting contacts and collaboration opportunities came up. For example with the GLOBE Program by NASA.


AGILE conference

From May 12-14 I was participating in the AGILE 2010 conference in Guimaraes, Portugal, where I presented the project.


It was a nice experience again, the audiance size was around 30 and I had some interesting talks and a very positive feedback afterwards. Especially some portuguese participants from ISEGI were interested in the project, as they already have an GIS integration program in secondary school education (conTIG) and were thinking about putting it one level down to primary school. If you are interested in the paper or the presentation, just contact us.

Rwanda Outcomes

On our last day in Rwanda we met David Cavallo and Juliano Bittencourt from OLPC. They really liked our Geo Activity and the whole project approach, using Open Source data, organizing usability tests, having a didactic concept and performing learning tests. We exchanged a lot of ideas and discussed further cooperation and possibilities. Here’s our plan for the near future:

  • correcting the encountered minor usability and workflow problems (e.g. symbols)
  • providing a future plan to OLPC =>to receive 10-15 XOs for further tests in Germany
  • finalising a Geo Activity-bundle => to be deployed in Rwanda and perhaps in Uruguay
  • working on further Geo game plugins:
    • GeoGuess (like the „Schlag den Raab“ map game)
    • GeoMap (like IndieMapper OR even better as an OSM-editor)
    • Geo… let’s see 😉

Also we are interested in integrating sensor devices with the map. This connection will have a great benefit of the understanding of Geo phenomenon data which can be measured at a specific location. Also, this will offer Geo statistical approaches to examine and explore the own environment and might shape a more sensitive sense for effects and impacts on the direct environment.

Thanks to all ifgi colleagues who participated in the collecting of money for a GPS device for Theodore, our (much more than) full time translator. He was very happy receiving it today and assured us to put some effort in future OSM mappings.

Kagugu School Day4: Paper Maps and Collaboration (1st try)

On Thursday, our plan was to perform some control tests of geocaching using a paper map and try the collaborative geocaching and geotagging using the MESH. It is possible to share both of our games with the neighborhood and search for a geocache or map the school ground as a team. Unfortunately we encountered major problems in establishing a running MESH with all participants, to share the activity. Probably we deleted some individual configuration files while cloning the XOs. Some phone calls with OLPC and some techies helped, but there was another lconing session necessary, which had to wait for the night.

After 3 days of pure burning sun (in the rainy season) it even started to rain so we could take this as an excuse for the failed 1st try and missing pictures. During the rain we stayed in the school library and tried to get things running.

In the mean time we performed the paper map tests and some more single user tests of geocaching and geotagging.

Kagugu School Day3: Single User Tests of Geotagging

On Wednesday we started with the second game of our GeoActivity: Geotagging. This day’s task for the children was to map point feutures on the school ground by using  symbols for basic geographic map elements: building, agriculture, vegetation, water, infrastructure, animal. Again we took 2-3 children (in total around 25 of 110) and accompanied them, taking notes.

Take a look at one of the children’s KMZ-exported mappings.

First and most important issue was our symbol design. The children did not recognize some of our symbols, e.g. water, agriculture. An important result in this usability and learning test. We will have to put more effort on the symbol designs.

This time, Roman Meyer, visiting GIS Officer from Tchad, helped us with testing. Thanks for that, Roman!

Overall the children liked this task and created nice lttle maps of the school ground.

Kagugu School Day2: Single User Tests of Geocaching

The outdoor work started on Tuesday: During the lessons we picked 2-3 kids (in total 30 of 110) out of class to perform the single user tests of the Geocaching game. After hiding the geocaches on the school ground Theodore translated a short explanation of the actvitiy and the kids could start their search with the help of our activity and the OSM basemap.

We accompanied the children on their search, noting their problems, questions and reactions.  Their wayfinding and search time was recorded by GPS. As for usability measures we tried to encourage the children to think aloud – a new situation for most of them. Due to language barriers and missing experience we could not collect many comments on that. All in all the task was reasonable easy and all tested children found their way around the school ground, although there were some differences in time and wayfinding. A deeper analysis will follow. After the second round we realized that hiding a cache on a school ground shared by 4000 children is quite impossible… 3 of 4 boxes „disappeared“ during this day.

On this day we had some help from Claudio Pajarola, a swiss GIS specialist from CGIS (Center for Geographic Information Systems) of the NUR (National University of Rwanda) and from Lote, a student of KIE (Kigali Institute of Education).

During the test runs and especially if they hit some break, we had a lot of guests and visitors, watching from behind 😉

We even got an idea how it could look like, if some children use the laptops in collaboration mode… (in fact, these kids just used the better WiFi connectivity on this spot)

Here you go with the wayfinding of Queen, a 9 year old girl: