Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Geospatial Revolution

For the general public, the widespread availability of GPS equipment and our geospatial revolution has had an unexpectedly negative effect on orientation and awareness.  We can get to places faster yet are clueless as to where we are.  Your average adult would probably struggle with this question - -

"Which is farther north - Cannes on the French Riviera, or Milwaukee?"

Our geospatial revolution must lead to a geography renaissance.  The markets commitment and utilization of GPS and GIS technology should be balanced with an appreciation for geography by the general public.  Several key points regarding geography:
  • In a world of analysis, geography is synthesis.  Geography is about the wide and long view.  Geographic thinking links apparently disparate information to solve unanswered problems.
  • Thinking spatially is critical to an active and effective citizenry.  Geographic knowledge is a crucial ingredient of our national security.  Geography matters when it comes to climate change.
  • Data visualisation is become more advanced and critical.  Getting the picture of any problem or issue is the fundamental first step in solution formulation.  Maps are the language of geography in an ever-changing world.
Penn State Public Broadcasting has a excellent four part series on our geospatial revolution.  The fourth part is noteworthy as it covers geospatial tools and climate change assessment.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three


Part Four

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