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Listed under:  Science  >  Earth and space  >  Geographic location
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Orienteering: using a map and compass

Orienteering requires knowledge of directions, an ability to read a map and the use of a magnetic compass. Find out about the basics of orienteering.

Teacher resource

GeogSpace: year 2 - exemplar

This is a web page consisting of an overview and two illustrations of practice on the GeogSpace website, a resource for teachers. The focus is on a student's understanding of the earth, as represented by a world map and a globe. Illustration 1 is a set of activities using a globe of the world as a model of the earth. Illustration ...

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Treasure hunt

Can you read a map and follow directions? Well if you can chances are you can help us find the buried treasure. You'll need to know right from left, east from west, clockwise from anti-clockwise and over from under. Got all that? See you at Buccaneer's Refuge 'me hearties, arrgh'. Remember X marks the spot!


Compass used by Andrew Keith Jack in Antarctica, 1914-17

This compass was used by Andrew Keith Jack, an Australian member of the Ross Sea Party, on sledging journeys during the Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-17.

Interactive Resource

Australia in 1846 - SpatialGenie map layer

This is a historical map of Australia, published c1846, showing early colonies and the borders of the colony of South Australia. Students use the spatial visualisation tool, SpatialGenie, to explore this map as spatial data. They can investigate this map alone or add other map layers. Students use shape tools to measure ...

Interactive Resource

The Australian colonies in 1853 - SpatialGenie map layer

This is a historical map of the Australian colonies, published in 1853, showing the existing colonial borders at that time. Students use the spatial visualisation tool, SpatialGenie, to explore this map as spatial data. They can investigate this map alone or add other map layers. Students use shape tools to measure area ...

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Nordenskjöld, Antarctica and two long winters

Early in the 1900s, several long expeditions set out to delve into the mysteries of Antarctica. One of them made some remarkable scientific discoveries about life that existed long ago on the continent. But it wasn't all smooth sailing. This 1901-1903 Swedish expedition was plagued with problems. Watch this clip to find out more.

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Memories of Antarctic expeditions (1954 and 1961)

Listen as scientist Dr Phillip Law recounts his experiences of expeditions to Antarctica. See historic footage of travelling through pack ice. The clip features the Kista Dan (1954 expedition) and the Magga Dan (1961 expedition). The Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) was established to set up scientific ...

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Mapping the age of discovery

Maps may be used to find treasure but this one is a treasure! A rare map found by chance brings to life one of the most significant voyages in history, when Ferdinand Magellan travelled west from Spain to the East Indies (Indonesia). Although Magellan was killed en route, his crew were the first Europeans to circumnavigate ...


James Cook - finding your way

If you decide to visit somewhere you've never been before, how do you find your way? If you're in a car, the driver might use a GPS. You might use a smartphone app to give you directions. Perhaps you might go really ‘old school' and use a printed map or street directory. But how did explorers navigate their way around the ...


First shop in the world - mathematics activities

This photograph may well be of either the first or the last shop in the world! The scene could motivate thinking and research on geographic location and distance measures on the Earth's surface. This photograph leads naturally to the need for a location reference system, hence latitude and longitude. Other ways (eg trigonometric ...


A telegraph line across the continent, 2007

This video clip looks at the story of the struggle to cross a vast continent and build the telegraph line that would bring Australia to the world and the world to Australia. 'A telegraph line across the continent' is an excerpt from the film 'A Wire Through the Heart' (55 min), the third episode of the three-part series ...

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Arctic exploration

This is a video resource describing research carried out in the Arctic by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists operating from the US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy. The video explains that because summer Arctic ice cover is diminishing due to climate change, scientists consider it vitally important ...

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Travel the seas

This is a video resource describing the use of nautical charts for navigation at sea. The video explains what nautical charts are and how to use them, using authentic charts to point out important features. The video uses animation to explain the coordinate system based on latitude and longitude. It emphasises that coastlines ...

Interactive resource

Kite kit: colour, shape and design: level 2 [Japanese] [Windows version]

Use and recognise complex words describing colour, size, shape and cultural images. Choose complex words to complete instructions for making a kite. Build another kite by following instructions given by a Japanese friend. Fly your kites in a range of places in Japan. Adjust compass directions, wind speed and flying height. ...


Exploration of Antarctica: the 'heroic era'

This collection of 18 digital curriculum resources focuses on expeditions to Antarctica in the early years of the 20th century. It is organised into five categories: Nordenskjöld's expedition, 1902; Shackleton's expeditions; Amundsen's expedition, 1911; Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-14; and Mawson's ...


Mapping Australia

This collection of 20 digital curriculum resources is organised into six categories - the unknown south land; Australia's coastline as charted by Dutch explorers; Australia's eastern coastline as charted by James Cook; Matthew Flinders's charting of the Australian coastline; Indigenous Australians' maps of country; and ...


The cruise of the Kormoran, 1940-41

This is a nautical chart showing the route of the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran, which was known as 'Raider G'. The chart shows the route the ship took across the Atlantic and Indian oceans during its operations between December 1940 and November 1941. The circles represent the locations of ships the Kormoran either ...

Teacher resource

Going places - unit of work

In this unit of work students visualise and plan routes, understand and use the language of position, and give and interpret directions using a variety of formats and resources.

Teacher resource

Giving directions - units of work

In this unit of work students understand and use the language of position, and give and interpret directions using a variety of formats and resources.