Today is National Boy Scout Day and there are few professions that have a direct tie into the Boy Scouts as GIS does. Scouts are taught from the first overnight hike how to read a map and use a compass. Specifically, there are two related badges that tie into GIS: geocaching and surveying.
Geocaching is a new badge, debuting in 2008, to much fan fare might I add. As described on scouting.org:
“The word geocache is a combination of ‘geo’, which means ‘earth’, and ‘cache’, which means ‘a hiding place’. Geocaching describes a hiding place on planet Earth - a hiding place you can find using a GPS unit. A GPS (Global Positioning System) unit is an electronic tool that shows you where to go based on information it gets from satellites in space.”
Surveying is a different badge that requires a different skill. There are measuring instruments, math, and computing electronics used in securing the badge, but yet it teaches how land is measured and how it is described so that others can know where boundary lines are.
To obtain these badges, scouts are going to have to work hard, prepare, and do their research. We have compiled some great resources to help them get prepared:
- Geocaching 101
- GPS Device Buying Guide
- Geocaching Pamphlet
- Surveying Coloring Book
- Surveying Program Guide From the California Land Surveyors Association
Overall, the skills the scouts learn are the basic foundation of what we do every day at GISi. It is exciting to be able to participate in these activities with my son and our clients each day.
image via ScoutingMagazine.Org