Plan a Trip from Joppa Steamboat Wharf
With ArcExplorer GIS

A GIS Day Activity for Caroline County Middle School Students


This Activity requires the following resources:

  • A computer for each pair of students.
  • Internet connection for each computer.
  • Web browser
  • This Activity sheet.
  • ArcExplorer Activity Key and suggestions for teachers.

Student Activities:

  • Learn how to use ArcExplorer2 software.
  • Explore digital maps of the Choptank River and Denton.
  • Plan a trip on which you will use a Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation device.

1. Get to know ArcExplorer 2:

  • Start ArcExplorer.

  • Open the RiverGuide Project. (Ask your teacher where the project file is located on the comuter.)

  • Turn map layers on and off.

  • Use the “pan” tool to move around the map.

  • Use the “zoom” tool to zoom in until the “topographic” map background appears.  Zoom back out to make this map disappear.
  • Notice how the map scale and distance scale bar change when you zoom in an dout.

2. Find out more about your destination:  Denton Bridges and Ferries:

  • Use the “Find” tool to find all of the historic bridges on the Choptank and Tuckahoe Rivers.
  • Click the “Pan” and “Highlight” buttonsto show “Denton Bridges”.on the map.

  • Use the “Identify” tool to show details about the Denton Bridges.
  • When was the first bridge built?
  • What is the latitude and longitude of the Denton Bridge? Write down the lat/long to plan a trip to the bridges using GPS.
  • What are two ways to can tell the lat/long of a point on the map?

3. Plan a trip Denton Bridges and Ferries using GPS:

  • Zoom in to Denton, so that the map scale is about 1:10,000.
  • Put the screen cursor over Lockerman School and note the latitude and longitude shown at the bottom of the screen.  (These coordinates are in “decimal degrees”. North and West are shown as negative numbers. Minutes and seconds are shown as a decimal -- tenths and hundredths of a degree.)
  • Find “Denton Ferries” at the riverbank near Lockerman School.
  • Write down the latitude and longitude of Denton Ferries to plan your trip using GPS.

  • The west landing of the Denton Ferries was once located at 38.8894 N Latitute and 75.8381 W Longitude. Find this location on the map.  What land and water features are found at this location?  

  • Pull down the menu next to the measure tool and select “Miles” as the unit of measure.
  • Use mouse clicks to measure the distance in miles from Lockerman School to Joppa Wharf.

  • Print a map showing the route you will follow.
  • Write down the geographic coordinates of Lockerman School, Denton Ferries (east and west landings), and Joppa Wharf to use in the GPS device.

(See the GIS Day activity on how to use a Global Positioning System receiver.)


© 1999-2005
Choptank River Heritage Center
10215 River Landing Road
Denton, Md.  21629
410.479.4950 --