WPSU's online video series highlights human reliance on digital maps

September 08, 2010

University Park, Pa. -- Geospatial information influences nearly everything we do, from driving in our cars to military war strategy to the tracking of genocides, diseases and environmental changes. Satellites, surveillance, and location-based technologies create a worldwide geographic knowledge base that is vital to solving social and environmental problems in the interconnected global community.

Penn State Public Broadcasting is launching the Geospatial Revolution Project, an integrated public media and outreach initiative about the impact of digital mapping. Visit http://geospatialrevolution.psu.edu/ and check out Facebook and Twitter for more details.

On Sept. 15, the first of the project’s four web-based high-definition video episodes will be released, accompanied by a website and free outreach resources, including videos, essays and discussion questions. The outreach material will be posted to Teachers’ Domain, an educators’ online resource providing digital media for classroom and professional development throughout the world. Also, educational collaborators will share the videos with their networks and members.

These tools will allow viewers to better understand and discuss the applications and impact of geospatial technologies, as well as the issues of privacy and security that they raise.

The first episode will cover the origins of geospatial information and the use of digital mapping in Haitian earthquake relief efforts.

Penn State Public Broadcasting engaged expert content advisers including faculty from Penn State’s online Master of Geographic Information Systems program, which was named the 2009 Most Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program by The Sloan Consortium, a non-profit online education organization.

“We are hoping our viewers will realize how broadly, deeply and irrevocably these technologies are part of our lives, mostly for good but with their social side effects as well,” said Penn State Public Broadcasting writer-director Stephen Stept. “We want folks to share these stories with family, friends and colleagues, and perhaps even to join the revolution in some way.”

Penn State Public Broadcasting, licensed to Penn State, produces non-commercial television, radio and online media. Our public service media programming and complementary outreach materials address important societal issues for Pennsylvania, the nation and the world.

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(Media Contacts)

Erin Rowley

Last Updated November 18, 2010