Map My Waahi, My Place – virtual field trip

14 August 2017

More young people than ever before are taking an interest in the geospatial industry - a record 4000+ students recently took part in a LINZ-led virtual field trip.

This month students from more than 150 schools took a virtual trip online to the East Coast of the North Island, where they heard from geospatial experts, rangers and historians about how they are using location-based technology to support their work

“Map my Waahi was this year’s theme – Waahi means a place of historic importance,” says LINZ geospatial expert Duane Wilkins.

“Each student chose a place important to them and learned how to visualise information about it – stories of its history, GPS locations, and images – all on a 3D map.”

Mr Wilkins took students through the process for making their maps. 

“They were taught how to pull data from the LINZ Data Service and plug it into simple mapping tools, such as Google My Maps.” 

Students from two East Coast schools, Te Waha O Rerekohu Area School and Te Araroa and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kawawa Mai Tawhiti, Wharekahika (Hicks Bay), were on location taking part in field activities such as GPS data capture, mapping, and capturing 360 degree photospheres to include in Google Street View. 

Map My Waahi was the first of three virtual field trips to be sponsored by the Ministry of Education, led by LINZ in partnership with the Department of Conservation and presented by Core Education. 

“It was an opportunity for students to get a taste of geospatial technologies and how professionals use GIS every day.” 


Activities included; 

  • Tuesday - Surveying the oldest Pohutukawa tree in NZ at Te Araroa called “Te Waha o Rerekohu” to measure and document its growth, circumference and height, then mapping the results
  • Wednesday - Capturing GPS data to visualise distributions and 360 Photospheres of the Pingao native sand dune plant, a plant of great cultural significance to East Coast iwi. Mapping results on Google Maps
  • Thursday – Visiting remote Hungahungatoroa historical gunfighting pa – the last stand of the Pai Marire resistance who were captured, and the chiefs sent to the Chatham Islands. 'Street view' of Hungahungatoroa pa made during field trip.
Students taking part in the Map my Waahi virtual field trip

Blending mapping technology and tiakanga of community taonga with Te Waha o Rerekohu. Courtesy of LEARNZ and Andrew Penny


Video featuring the students gathering data during their visit to Te Waha o Rerekohu

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