Final Day for The Geospatial Revolution in Macedonia

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From Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director:

On the final day of the workshop I presented Episode 4 to the group and the workshop wrapped up with a presentation of certificates to the participants.

That evening Doug Swanson and I presented to the American Corner Macedonia. To our surprise, we had a full house of eager young people looking to learn more about GIS and The Geospatial Revolution. I showed Episode 1 and Doug presented an introduction to GIS.

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Most of the members of the audience were young people interested in studying or living in the United States. They had insightful questions about the work that Doug and I do.

I discussed the idea depicted in Episode 1 that young people like themselves had come together to make a difference when the Haiti Earthquake struck. We began talking about how people were able to fill in details on the map of Haiti in OpenStreetMap and I wondered whether Struga, Macedonia was mapped. One of the young men in the audience had watched Episode 1 ahead of time online and checked OpenStreetMap and saw that in fact there was no map of Struga but that he wanted there to be. I told them about one of the things that never made it into the episode, the idea of "mapping parties" where groups of people get together and go out and map assigned landmarks and come back together and put the information on a map. Several members of the audience are energized and excited about getting GPS units and putting Struga on the map themselves! I hope that I'm able to help make that happen in some way.

I really have no words to sum up my trip to Macedonia. This trip and the relationships I have built while here are much more than I bargained for. It has been an amazing experience to share The Geospatial Revolution in a country that I would likely have never visited on my own. I can now say that I have friends in Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia as well as across the United States.

A Big Thank You to the Crisis Management Center of the Republic of Macedonia and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for allowing me to present here. It was certainly an incredible experience.

Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director, The Geospatial Revolution

Sharing Geospatial Revolution, Episode 3, in Macedonia

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From Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director:

On the third day of the conference, I showed Episode 3 and talked about some of the challenges of creating the episode. It was quite a unique experience to show Episode 3 in this region. The violence depicted in the segment about the former Yugoslavia and the Dayton Peace Accords was a reality for the people in the room. I had the opportunity to talk with some people whose lives were directly affected by the conflicts. It served as a humbling reminder that the stories we show are about real people with real, sometimes painful experiences and we should never forget that.

We were lucky enough to be joined by Colonel Todd Brown, the Defense Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Macedonia. He watched The Geospatial Revolution with the group and observed the morning's training sessions. After seeing the workshop in action, Colonel Brown asked geographer Douglas Swanson (Head of the US Delegation for the workshop) and I to present The Geospatial Revolution and information about GIS at the nearby American Corner Macedonia (ACM) on Thursday. The corner is an information center that houses reading material for research about the United States and hosts events and presentations throughout the year. According to the Embassy website, "this Corner is a partnership between the Public Affairs Office at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, the Municipality of Struga, and the nonprofit organization Macedonian American Alumni Association (MAAA)."

It is very short notice to get people to come out to such an event, but we leave Macedonia on Thursday so that was the only day available. We'll have to see how it goes!

Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director, The Geospatial Revolution

Day Two of The Geospatial Revolution in Macedonia

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From Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director:

On the second day of the Civil-Military Emergency Preparedness (CMEP) South Eastern Europe Technical Workshop, I presented Episode 2 to the 46 participants and workshop leaders.

I discussed some of the details of production, including how we were able to capture the stories using a small crew of 3 or 4 people and long shooting days. I also discussed the importance of including explanations or "teaching moments" throughout the episode along with engaging stories. This was very important to the filmmakers of the project, since our goal was to educate viewers.

The stories resonated with many of the people in the room who work with GIS in  their countries' governments. During the first day, representatives from Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia discussed how their countries use GIS. Today, a representative from The Republic of Serbia shared that the country's post offices currently use GIS (as do other areas of the government) and he hoped that in the future they would be able to incorporate GIS as thoroughly as the city of Portland (featured in Episode 2) has.

In between sessions, we chat about the fact that the producers of The Geospatial Revolution, whose expertise is in filmmaking, needed to learn about geospatial technologies in order to create the series. It's amazing to be in a room full of people interested in GIS, committed to learning more about it and interested in sharing information with each other.

Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director, The Geospatial Revolution

From Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director:

Today was the first day of the Civil-Military Emergency Preparedness (CMEP) South Eastern Europe Technical Workshop in Struga, Macedonia. Penn State Public Broadcasting was invited to show an episode of The Geospatial Revolution each morning of the 4-day workshop and to discuss some of the production techniques and behind-the-scenes insights related to the making of the documentary series.

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I showed both the trailer for the series and the first episode of The Geospatial Revolution. I explained the genesis and goals of The Geospatial Revolution and some of the challenges of the production. I also discussed how we integrated geospatial technologies within the video.

In addition to recording interviews and supporting footage for each episode, we also used the technologies we were explaining as visuals within the piece itself. The zoom that opens the episode is a perfect example of a mix of techniques. It is a combination of acquired animations, satellite imagery and footage we recorded, all working together to create a seamless sequence.

I also discussed how the Haiti story showed viewers how geospatial technologies are used to literally save lives.

I've met some very interesting and really nice people within the GIS community and learned about how various countries in the region are using GIS. I am excited about learning more as the week goes on.

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Macedonia is a beautiful country and a well-kept secret!

Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director, The Geospatial Revolution

Geospatial Revolution, Episode Four is LIVE!

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Come one, come all to check out the fourth episode of Geospatial Revolution!

We include chapters on Monitoring a Changing Climate, Preventing Hunger, Tracking Disease, and Mapping Power to the People as we explore global issues through the use of geospatial technology.

Watch and embed!

Geospatial Revolution--Creative Team Meeting for Episode 4

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Check out these photos from our creative team's meeting this week.

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(From left to right) Animator Corey Johnston meets with Editor Greg Feinberg and Writer/Director Kristian Berg to discuss animations and graphics for Geospatial Revolution Episode 4.

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Animator Corey Johnston explains his concepts to the Geospatial Revolution team.

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(From left to right) Writer/Director Kristian Berg works with Editor Greg Feinberg on the edit of Geospatial Revolution Episode 4.



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Geospatial Revolution--Editing Episode 4

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We are currently editing Episode 4!

This episode focuses on stories where geospatial technology is used on a global scale.

It releases on May 3, 2011.

Check out our website to watch and share Episodes 1-3 and the trailer.

Geospatial Revolution



Geospatial Revolution--Episode 3 Update

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As the Geospatial Revolution wrapped shooting on the third episode, the producing team needed an interview with former NATO commander General Wesley Clark, a key player in the Dayton Peace Accords which in 1995 ended the war in Bosnia.  But General Clark is a tough man to pin down.  When producer Cheraine Stanford finally got the word, we had a day's notice.  Director Kristian Berg grabbed a plane to Arkansas and met a crew at the general's office in downtown Little Rock, where he gave a dynamic first hand account of the negotiations and the breakthrough moments they gained key concessions from Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic with the help of digital mapping technology.  The third episode explores geospatial applications in military operations, police work and international diplomacy and will be released online on Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

Geospatial Revolution Episode 4--Map Kibera Shoot

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Writer/Director Kristian Berg was in Chicago doing interviews with the Map Kibera team yesterday.
Erica Hagen and Mikel Maron provided fantastic interviews for inclusion in our fourth episode, due out April 19, 2011.
And the Oak Park Public Library team and the HMS Media team were wonderful to work with! Thank you!

Geospatial Revolution Episode 3--Now Editing!

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We have started editing episode three in our series, all while filming episode four!
Writer/Director Kristian Berg is working closely with Editor Greg Feinberg on making this episode fantastic.
Stay linked to our website, as the episode releases on March 1!
And keep sharing our other three videos--the trailer, episode one, and episode two!

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