The Integration of Geospatial Technologies in Professions

I have noticed lately that increasingly conferences outside of the geospatial sphere are specifically requesting geospatially related topics. I think it shows the integration and acceptance or growing need for “every day” geospatial skills and geospatial literacy outside of fields normally thought of as being obviously geo-related. It means that for geospatial users who often could not find people who “spoke their language” except at specialized conferences (American Association of Geographers (AAG), Esri International User Conference among others), there is growing opportunity for learning and sharing skills with other people within their specific profession.

Some of the places I have seen this trend are in the recent Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE) which has a 20 Year history of technology & teacher education. They included both geospatial technologies, 3D modeling for manufacturing, and serious gaming in their topics for the upcoming 2011 conference. They state that skills in these areas are becoming an important part of education and future job preparation for students.

The prestigious EPA Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowships For Graduate Environmental Study included this special note which states that awards, “may involve the collection of “Geospatial Information,” which includes information that identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features or boundaries on the Earth or applications, tools, and hardware associated with the generation, maintenance, or distribution of such information. This information may be derived from, among other things, a Geographic Positioning System (GPS), remote sensing, mapping, charting, and surveying technologies, or statistical data.”

The 26th International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management also created a section for Geotechnical topics due to the increasing number of papers being submitted on the subject of solid waste and geospatial analysis such as route planning, design, administration, and cross-boundary environmental issues.

Call for papers for AAG ’11 session

I am putting the finishing touches on a paper session that will highlight outreach efforts in Geography and/or geospatial technologies. I need another paper or two to round out the session. If you are doing any outreach work, formal or informal, and you are interested in sharing your successes and lessons learned please contact me at “jesse dot rouse at uncp dot edu” by Tuesday (19 Oct). Deadline for abstracts is this Wednesday, 20 October and you have to register to submit your abstract.

Call for participants – AAG 2011 session

I am putting together a session on Geography outreach efforts for the upcoming AAG meeting in Seattle in April. The focus will be on how different people or organizations are approaching outreach in Geography including topics such as connecting with new communities, informal audiences, creating lesson plans, using technology to encourage understanding, or anything that might help others as they plan their outreach efforts. With efforts from GIWIS to the GTCM coming to bear over the last few years we have a unique opportunity to build on formal recognition of the jobs available and technologies connected to Geography to build public interest in Geography, geographic concepts, and spatial thinking in general. My hope is to have a paper session followed by a panel session to open the conversation more broadly and consider how to support current and future outreach efforts. I will add the session to the proposed sessions on the AAG site in the next couple of weeks.

If you are planning to attend the AAG and you are interested in taking part in the session please contact me at jesse (at) veryspatial dot com.

AAG 2010 – Where we were

That is it for the VerySpatial crew for the 2010 AAG in Washington, DC. Posters were stood beside, papers were presented, panels were discussed, and podcasts were recorded. We walked away with the fewest podcasts of any AAG, so if we missed you and you would like to talk about your presentation, topic, or product then contact us and we can plan a phone conversation.

We hope that those of you still in DC enjoy the rest of the conference. See you next year in Seattle.

AAG 2010 – Where we will be

Howdy! We will be traveling and conferencing over the next few days in Washington, DC at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers. If you will be there presenting or just hanging out grab us and say ‘hello’, or better yet grab us and tell us (and our microphones) what you are doing at the conference. As for us, this is where we will be presenting during the week. Click the title below to get location and time details.

Jesse – 12:40 Poster Session – It’s OK to play with your data: Exploring local data to find new questions
Barbara – 12:40 Paper Session – Geography, Geovisualization, and the New “New Journalism”
Sue – 2:40 Poster Session – It’s All About the Journey: the role of spatial narrative in the experience of immersive virtual world simulations

Jesse, Jeff Dunn, Frank, Sue and YOU – 8AM Panel Session – Digital Media and Learning in Geography
Frank – 12:40 Paper Session – A geography of taste: fair trade coffee and spatialized tag clouds

Come one, come all

Ladies, gentlemen, and children of all ages, we would like to invite you to attend a session at the AAG in Washington, DC next Friday (April 16) at 8AM (if you are attending the conference of course). The panel session is entitled Digital Media and Learning in Geography (abstract below) and it will take place in Marriott Ballroom Salon 3, Marriott Lobby Level. The panel participants will be Jeff Dunn, Frank Lafone, Sue Bergeron, Jesse Rouse, and you (I mean a panel is just a reason to talk to other people about a topic we are interested after all). We will spend the first 20-25 minutes of the panel giving you a glimpse at some of the aspects of general DML conversations and how Geography can take advantage of everything from New Media to social networks, 3D games to our very own LBS, followed by a general discussion amongst those interested in sharing their questions and experiences.

We hope to see you there!

Digital Media and Learning in Geography
The concept of digital media and learning (DML) emerged in the last few years to try to characterize the broad range of digital resources that are being used in formal and informal education. From video games to online social media, the use of digital media is no longer a question of digital divide, but one of how do I keep up. As educators interact with their audience of ‘digital natives’ the preparation that equipped them for brick and mortar settings often leaves them ill prepared for the expectations of many of their tech-savvy students. The question of how to incorporate the digital technologies that our students are now expecting into their education leaves many an educator shell-shocked. Fortunately, in Geography and related disciplines, we can approach the issue with a full arsenal of digital technologies from GIS to GPS to web maps and virtual globes. We even have ready access to presentation technologies through New Media technologies such as blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. However, there seems to be some question as to how to incorporate these technologies, whether spatial or presentation, outside of the traditional classroom and lab experience to provide broader access to formal education, let alone the potential for external informal audience. This panel will focus on the wealth of DML technologies geographers have access to and how they can be used to educate a new generation of learners, whether in or out of the classroom.

VerySpatial at the AAG

I mentioned a while back that VerySpatial will be hosting a panel on Digital Media and Learning in Geography at the Association of American Geographers meeting in Washington, DC in April, but keep in mind that while we are many, there are that many more chances for us to get into trouble with microphone in hand. On that note we are calling out any Geographers or companies who will be at the AAG who wish to talk to us about your project, idea, plan, or product (or your favorite bunny slippers). These will be our standard gorilla style conference interviews that will be between 5-15 minutes long and will eventually make their way into the weekly show or our AAG roadshow coverage. We should be onsite each day for the conference but schedules do fill up so send us an email, tweet or phone message with your interest and we will get in touch with you before the conference to set up a time and place to meet and speak.

Also, if there are any #geoglobaldomination or tweetups during the conference (that are near the red line at least) expect to see us there.

AAG Panel Call for participation

We are putting together a panel on Digital Media and Learning (DML) in Geography for the upcoming AAG in DC. Our intrepid hosts will be three of the panel members, but we are looking for another 2-3 folks to round out the discussion. If you are working in any area of DML in a Geography class, using spatial thinking, or using Geographic Information technologies and will be at the AAG and want to formally participate contact us. If you want to informally participate then just come to the AAG in April and share your opinion.

As for the three of us, Sue will be our token 3D Sim/serious games person, Frank will be speaking from his web background and web mapping day job, and I will be bearing the podcast/New Media torch. We are looking for folks who work in any of these areas or other Digital Media and Learning for Geography areas (databases, ontology, UI, social media…etc) to join the panel. Please contact us by Oct 28 with your area of interest and your AAG PIN (which you receive after you have registered for the conference).