Geographers on Vacation: Mapping a Bali Road Trip

Written by Janine Owen When it comes to taking a vacation, not everyone thinks “how can I map this?!” However, as a geographer, mapping is always on my mind and vacations are therefore a great opportunity to bust out my trusty black and yellow handheld GPS unit (affectionately known as Bumblebee) and collect some data. In 2014, I took a trip to Bali, Indonesia with my husband Richard. Not only was it an excellent retreat for the both of us, it was a brilliant opportunity for me to collect some field data that I could play around with later. Fast forward to the summer of 2020, and I – like so many Canadians – am dreaming of a future vacation and reminiscing over past trips. Now is the perfect time to dig into my Bali data and have some fun. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has put all of our travel plans on hold, let’s take a trip down memory lane together (GIS-style) as I share two fun things that you can do with GPS data. Creating an ArcGIS Online elevation app To get around Bali, my husband and I rented a van from a local company. With our accommodations pre-booked all around the island for various dates, we jumped in the van, buckled up, and hit the road to explore the beautiful landscape. We met countless kind, wonderful people, and we learned a lot about the history and culture of Bali as we journeyed from place to place. We visited beaches, mountains, and everything in between. It was a truly unforgettable road trip! To document our travels up and down the mountainous terrain, I created an elevation profile app using my GPS data and ArcGIS Online. The easy-to-use app generated an interactive elevation profile for each leg of our journey […]

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