Students watch a video about the technology being used in Portland to solve city concerns. They learn that Portland is using technologies such as GPS and GIS to alert the government of problems, to analyze infrastructure, and to communicate with citizens about real-time events. Students then list city government concerns that are being addressed by GPS and GIS technology.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Oregon | Unit 8: Modern Oregon & State Symbols." In this unit, students will consider Oregon’s natural and cultural heritage, as well as the state’s current day strengths and challenges. Students also learn about the state’s symbols and their meanings.
4.8: Use geographical tools (e.g., maps, GIS, Google Earth) to identify absolute and relative locations and physical characteristics of places in Oregon.
SS.05.CG.02.01: Identify public safety, transportation, education, and recreation as responsibilities of local governments.
An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show videos to the class
Class set of Portland Technology handout
Distribute the Portland Technology handout to students. Tell students that they will be watching a video that will explain the use of technology to solve city concerns.
Define GPS as a locator of items, people, and places, such as the GPS in most cars that can give directions. Then define GIS: a Geographic Information System, such as a laser that maps the terrain of a mountain from a plane or satellite. In this video, students will learn how Portland is using these technologies.
Play the video, Portland, an Interactive City | Geospatial Revolution. [5:41]
Have students complete the handout by making a list of ways GPS and GIS technology is used in Portland to help its residents.
- Transportation (bus transportation scheduling, station amenities)
- Using street view to visualize places in the city
- PDX reporter: Cataloguing issues around town (like graffiti)
- City planning and sustainability (locating issues to address in future development)
- 3D maps of buildings/terrain with LiDAR
- Shadow analysis of buildings and if they impact parks
- Making sure buildings don’t block certain views (i.e., the mountain)
- Determining the residents’ walking accessibility
- To find out data (crime data, property info, park info, etc.)
- To locate the nearest bus station
- To find out whether your bus is on schedule or when it’s arriving
- Using street view to know exactly what to expect when arriving at a new place
- To determine whether or not the bus stop has a curb or a crosswalk
- To report an issue such as graffiti, an issue in the road, etc.
- To find out if a shadow is going to fall on a park
- To find out if a new building will block the mountain view