Puzzle activities

In the beginnings of GIS in Education, puzzles were built into some free software of the time (ArcVoyager).  Although my old friend ArcVoyager has gone, it’s not forgotten in these reprises of two classics that my students of all ages enjoy solving.  It’s an excellent way to get into GIS and have some fun thinking!

missing ship

Case of the Missing Ship – 10th Anniversary Edition for ArcMap 9 and AEJEE )Those of you who enjoy some of the nice features of ArcVoyager (circa 1997) will appreciate this revision.  I’ve taken the original activity and data and written instructions and student handouts appropriate for the ArcGIS 9.x world.  I’ll be working the entire collection of ArcVoyager Puzzles so that they work in ArcMap 9.x and AEJEE. Also available at ESRI’s ArcLessons site ( The ArcMap 9.x version will work in ArcGIS 10.x as well.

Download Missing Ship (*.zip) Includes data, student instructions, student answer sheet and the answer keys.


The Left-Handed Chocolate Caper for AGX and ArcGIS

More of those great puzzles, this one is in time for Valentine’s Day.

This is an update to the a classic puzzle created by the Esri Ed Team in 2000.
“Hishe Penn traveled the world in search of exotic foods. Two weeks ago, he called his office with exciting news. He found a variety of cocoa bean whose molecules formed opposite the usual way. This “left-handed bean” was actually much more nutritious and had all the flavor of a regular cocoa bean. He was excited about creating a new brand of chocolate products. Much to his surprise, Penn had been followed by a rival scientist, whose henchmen grabbed Penn and held him captive, hoping to steal his discovery.” Find Penn and give the world better chocolate in time for Valentine’s Day!

PDF of Activity with map links

Download the old zip file

Lesson Plans

I have lesson plans created with other organizations or projects and ones just for my blog and presentations along with my formal publications.

Most lessons are in my lesson archives.  These  lessons use older or outdated software; but if you’re still using old versions of software, then lessons await. If you like the way I write lessons, then you’ll enjoy my books.

There are several activities/lessons in the ArcLessons library. (Search “duke” to find my lessons)


English Language Arts and Geospatial Technology Playlist on YouTube

My YouTube Stuff

GIS How-to

I have created a few documents on how to do some simple and popular tasks in ArcGIS.

Translating Joined data from ArcMap 9.x to AEJEE

How to Export Data (Creating your own shapefiles) in ArcMap 9.x  For my friends at the Rural STEM group…here’s your requested item.  In the old days we called this “covert to shapefile” but now it’s exporting data.  You can easily take large data sets and make them more meaningful by selecting your smaller data set, exporting the data and saving it as a new shapefile…in 6 easy steps.

HOW TO EXPORT in ArcMap9 (*.pdf)

Understanding GIS
  • Understanding GIS is a recreation of the experience created by ESRI in a former demo product called ArcVoyager.  It is a webquest (of sorts) and a handout that your students can explore to learning more about GIS in general.
  • My GIS in Education Blog has good resources for educators interested in GIS, GPS, geospatial technologies, cross-curricular integration and integrating technology.  I believe in sharing the wealth of knowledge and experience, so I’ll keep you informed of cool stuff I find or time-tested resources & if you’re tweeting, follow my tweets!  If you want some information, follow the blog.  If you wants LOTS of information, follow the tweets.  You won’t miss anything because the blog auto-tweets!
  • Georeferencing the Curriculum created by Dr. Shannon White and Barbaree Duke This a guide to planning and organizing geospatial activities in your school or classroom. Download the document (*.pdf)
  • GIS Resources for Educators created by Dr. Shannon White This is an extensive list of books, software, and other tools that are helpful to educators who are interested in integrating or teaching GIS in the K-12 classroom. Download the document (*.pdf)
GIS Mapping Software

*free products (yep…that’s right…FREE!)