US World Regional Geography class gets a chance to Skype with Burmese activist Suu Kyi

Professor John Boyer’s World Regions class at Virginia Tech got an amazing opportunity yesterday evening to interview Nobel laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi, who is known the world over for her efforts as a pro-democracy activist in Myanmar (Burma). After Boyer and his class recorded a video interview request and posted it to YouTube, Suu Kyi agreed to the request and answered questions from students and the audience for about 45 minutes via Skype. Here’s local news coverage of the event and congratulations to Professor Boyer on an unbelievable experience for his students!


National Geographic Challenge for PS3, XBOX360, and Wii

As you know, many of our discussions here on VerySpatial have touched on the increasing convergence between geography, geospatial technologies, and games and gaming technology. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw the announcement and trailer for National Geographic Challenge, a new console game that will be available for all 3 of the big gaming platforms – PlayStation 3, XBOX 360, and Wii. It will be released on October 25th, and is available for pre-order now. It’ll cost you $29.99 for the PS3 or XBOX 360 version, and $19.99 for the Wii. (The National Geographic Challenge webpage shows a PC version, but I couldn’t confirm that on any of the retail sites I checked.)

It’s a single or multi-player quiz/challenge game that asks players to explore and answer questions about the world, and will draw on National Geographic’s great multimedia resources. I know I’m going to be grabbing a copy for the VerySpatial crew, and we’ll let you know what we think!

Here’s the official trailer if you want to see a glimpse of the game in action:

Updates to the Metro mean changes to an iconic map

OK, I’ll admit it, one of my favorite things about visiting relatives and friends in the Washington DC area is getting to ride the Metro. I’m sure for those who have to commute on its trains every day, the feelings are more mixed, but I always find it the best way to get around.

One of the most memorable images for the Metro is of course its iconic map, designed by graphic designer Lance Wyman back in the 1970s (Wyman is also involved in designing the update). Now that a new line is under construction and scheduled to open in 2013, meaning realignments to parts of the existing lines, the time has come for the Metro Map to get an update to help riders navigate these changes. Metro officials are already drafting maps, but they are also looking for input from the Metro’s ridership to help them design a new updated map that gives riders the information they need. It’s the dilemma faced by every cartographer really, how to balance design with function in representing information spatially.

If you’d like to give your input on how best to update the DC Metro Map, you can take their Metrorail Map Survey.

Via MyFoxDC